Dana Gordon Award

The Dana Gordon Special Librarian of the Year Award was created by the SLA NY Executive Board in 2012 to honor the memory of Dana Gordon (1961-2012). The award recognizes a professional librarian for outstanding achievement and accomplishments reflecting the shared purpose and goals of the library profession. Dedicated to projects and programs that enhance library service and strengthen the role and position of the library for their community, college or university, school, company, or corporation.

Dana was a long-standing SLA-NY and SLA News Division member. A consummate professional, she was well known for her expertise, creative talent, and enterprising spirit. Dana’s professionalism was rivaled only by her tremendous enthusiasm for the profession and her generosity in sharing her great store of knowledge with colleagues, staff and students. Dana spent 13 years at Newsweek and rose to the position of Deputy Director of its Library Research Systems. Subsequently she was the Research Editor for Crain’s, and also worked as a consultant for BST America.

We mourn the passing of Dana and honor her dedication to enthusiastically bringing her brand of innovation and forward thinking to the profession. This award truly celebrates Dana’s sense of innovation by allowing for a broad range of nominees each year.


To nominate a member of the SLA-NY Community for the 2021 Dana Gordon Award, please submit a brief bio of the nominee, contact information (email and/or phone number), a paragraph outlining why they should be considered, and any relevant supplementary material such as a website or LinkedIn profile. The SLA-NY Award Committee is accepting nominations and awards will be presented at an upcoming Community event. Nominations should be submitted through the online submission form by April 30, 2021.

Award Criteria

  • Do you know a librarian who deserves special recognition this year? Who lights the way for patrons and colleagues? Tell us about a librarian you know who’s shown exceptional leadership, creativity, and innovation this year.
  • Or…talk to us about a library that’s doing interesting, groundbreaking work in their profession or community.
  • Who is Eligible? Any SLA-NY member and professional librarian or knowledge manager in any type of library is eligible. “Professional” means a person with an advanced degree in Library or Information Science, or someone holding a position designated “professional” in a library or library service. Current employment is not a requirement – the person can be recently retired, between positions, or involved in volunteer, mentor, or advisory roles.
  • Examples of winning achievements can include but are not limited to:
    • Exceptional leadership or mentorship to other information professionals
    • Creation of innovative services
    • Building, rebuilding, and/or strengthening a library’s role in a community or organization
    • Inspired promotion of the library’s resources and services
    • Or any other relevant, unique contributions

Congratulations to the 2020 Winner: Paulette Toth

Paulette is the Associate Director of Research Services at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, NYC and a longtime member of the SLA NY Chapter. She received a number of nominations from SLA members and current and former colleagues. Below is a sample of the many recommendations she received:
  • A special librarians' librarian.
  • Her humor, openness and kindness are all the best qualities in a manager, a library professional, and a human being.
  • Respected in New York and through the country as a leader in law librarianship.
    A mentor like no other I have ever met, she has mentorship in her character and looks to fill needs and spread knowledge universally.
  • Demonstrates a superior combination of research skill and acumen.
  • A generous and knowledgeable colleague willing to spend time with a fellow librarian thoughtfully helping them think through a vexing research question or management issue. 

Please do take the time to read Paulette's Bio, "My Brilliant Career, with Apologies to Judy Davis", on the Community Discussions Board.

Previous Recipients of the Dana Gordon Award

  • Clara Cabrera, 2017
  • Kara Masciangelo, 2016
  • Marcy Winkler, 2015
  • Rachel Finn, Chris Lillis Meatto, and Helen Sobolik, 2014
  • Donna Severino, 2013
  • Pam Rollo, 2012