2014 Braverman Award Winner Announced

The Progressive Librarians Guild is pleased to announce that Denise Scott from the University of Toronto is the 2014 winner of the Miriam Braverman Memorial prize for her essay “Deconstructing the ‘Books for Boys’ Discourse.” Having completed her degree, Scott will graduate in June from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information in June with a Master of Information degree. Scott holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Arts from York University’s Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her academic interests include gender identity and sexual orientation, youth cultures, and diversity in libraries.  Scott co-authored a forthcoming publication about transgender members of the Canadian Forces, and has previously published about library services for LGBTQ youth. Ultimately, she hopes to work in teen services at a public library.

Scott’s paper  “Deconstructing the ‘Books for Boys’ Discourse” examines the “Books for Boys” rhetoric, which labels some books as being specifically “boy books” in order to encourage boys to read. The paper analyzes the prescriptive nature of gendering and the problems that accompany the discourse’s reliance on gender stereotyping.  Scott offers that “while the practice may encourage some boys to read, it also sends a message about the types of books that boys should want to read and the topics that should be of interest to them.” Written for an “Issues in Children's and Young Adult Services” class, the paper served as a way for Scott to argue that “there are ways to encourage children and youth to read without reinforcing narrow gender norms.”

The Braverman Memorial Prize is awarded annually to a student in Library and Information Science or Archival Studies for an essay submitted on the theme of progressive or activist librarianship. As winner of the prize, Scott receives a $500 stipend toward expenses at ALA Annual, and her essay will be published in an upcoming issue of Progressive Librarian: A Journal for Critical Studies and Progressive Politics in Librarianship. Additionally, she will be given the opportunity to apply her perspective in writing about the conference for the PLG Bulletin.

The award honors Miriam Ruth Gutman Braverman (1920-2002), who was a socialist, writer, activist librarian and longstanding member of the Progressive Librarians Guild, a founder of the ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table, and a proponent of the social responsibilities perspective. The award is intended to celebrate Miriam's spirit of activism and faith in the power of people's collective social justice efforts and inspire future generations of librarians. The award has been given annually since 2003, most recently to Emily Lawrence, in 2013, for her essay "Loud Hands in the Library: Neurodiversity in LIS Theory & Practice." Scott is the 11th Braverman Memorial Prize winner.

For information about the Braverman Prize, contact 2014 Braverman Prize Committee Chairs Kelly McElroy or Margaret Browndorf.  If you are at ALA Annual meeting in Las Vegas, plan to join members of PLG at their meeting Sunday, June 29, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center, N211.

Past Winners