Patricia (Patty) M.Y. Wong, county librarian/chief archivist of the Yolo County Library (Calif.) is the 2012 recipient of the American Library Association Equality Award. The annual award, $1000 and a framed citation of achievement donated by Scarecrow Press, a member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, is given to an individual or group for outstanding contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession.

From the beginning of her career Patty Wong has been a consistent and diligent champion of library services to the whole community. Growing up in a culturally and ethnically diverse community herself, she has made it her mission to reach out to underserved groups in order to put libraries at the heart of the community.

She is known for her work for the California State Library on initiatives for service to diverse communities, including the writing of several seminal publications.  She was APALA president (1999) and has been an active and member and advocate of the five ethnic caucus associations since 1990.

The Equality Award jury noted Patty Wong’s outstanding efforts in teaching and mentoring students. As an instructor at the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University since 2006, a participant on many Spectrum scholarship committees and a mentor for many students from diverse backgrounds, she reaffirms on a daily basis her commitment to making libraries more diverse and a core part of the communities they serve.

In 2006, she received the JCLC Advocacy Award from APALA for being a “steadfast advocate for communities of color”. In recognition of her strong commitment to the communities with which she has worked, she was selected as Yolo County’s Woman of the Year in 2009 by California’s 5th Senate District. She has been active within the American Library Association for many years serving in a leadership role on numerous ALA Committees including elected roles as a member ofALA Council and ALA Executive Board.

In the words of Roberto C. Delgadillo, humanities and social sciences librarian, University of California, Davis, “She is the consummate library activist, and her career exemplifies someone who is a tireless proponent of library services that reach everyone. Patty’s passion and commitment to the profession only strengthens the role librarians and libraries can play in the lives of individuals as well as in a given community.”

The award will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. in June.

Members of the 2012 Equality Award Jury are Eva M. Davis, Canton (Mich.) Public Library; Samantha Hines, College of Technology Library, Missoula, Mont.; Diane Hughes, Morrisville Free Library Association, Morrisville, Pa.; Alanna Aiko Moore, University of California – San Diego Library, San Diego;  and Chair John A. Moorman, Williamsburg Regional Library, Williamsburg, Va.

More information about the Equality Award including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.