Professional Awards


Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award

Honorary Membership



Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award

Theatre Library Association celebrates the excellence of our profession by bestowing the Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award on individuals who embody its best qualities.

Louis Rachow had a long and distinguished career in performing arts librarianship, highlighted by a quarter century as Curator/Librarian of the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library at The Players, followed by another decade as Library Director of the International Theatre Institute of the United States. His publications, as author and editor, helped to educate several generations of performing arts librarians in the practices and history of the field. Over the course of more than 50 years as a TLA member, he has served as an executive board member, President, Vice President, chair of the nominating committee, editor of the newsletter, and liaison to the Special Libraries Association, the Council of National Library Associations, and the Library/Information Network-New York. He remains active in the organization to this day, attending events and board meetings whenever he is able. He currently holds the post of TLA Historian.

In recognition of his exemplary record of service, the Distinguished Service Award was renamed in honor of Louis Rachow in 2013.


Call for Nominations


The Theatre Library Association wants to celebrate the excellence of our profession by selecting an individual who embodies its best qualities. Please take a moment from your busy schedule to identify that person. Your Distinguished Service nominee should be a performing arts librarian, archivist, curator, or scholar-- a dedicated professional who has made significant contributions to our field, and whose energy and creative intelligence have made a difference in the vision of our profession. Preferably, the nominee should be a TLA member. You need to be a TLA member in good standing in order to nominate.

A list of past winners can be viewed here.

As part of your nomination, please submit:

  • Your name and affiliation
  • Nominee’s name
  • Justification statement for nomination (400 words maximum)
  • Short biography of Nominee, plus a CV or link to professional webpage

Please submit nominations electronically to Dr. Francesca Marini, Chair, Professional Awards Committee by May 16, 2014.

The Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award will be presented at Theatre Library Association's Annual Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony on October 17, 2014.

By nominating an outstanding individual, you help celebrate and enhance esteem for all performing arts professionals.

For more information about the Louis Rachow Distinguished Service Award, contact Professional Awards Committee Chair,
Dr. Francesca Marini.


2013 Louis Rachow Distinguished Service Award Winner

Marti LoMonaco

Marti LoMonaco, Professor and Chair, Visual and Performing Arts, Fairfield University; TLA President

Marti LoMonaco is the recipient of the 2013 Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award. Marti has been active in every conceivable area of TLA's activities, including committee assignments, conference plenaries and seminars, publications, strategic planning, and more. She played a key role in each of TLA's past symposia and co-chaired the 2007 event, "Performing Reclamation: Research, Discovery, and Interpretation." Marti distinguished herself during two busy and productive terms as TLA President. Among her accomplishments were bringing our newsletter into the electronic age, hosting the first Executive Board meeting outside New York City, and increasing memberships outside the NYC area. Marti came to this role following two terms as Vice President following service on the Executive Board. While the TLA membership includes many non-librarians, not all have stepped up to play a leadership role in the organization. Marti, as an academic and theatre practitioner, not only talks the "library talk," she walks the "library walk." While she is active in other professional organizations, Marti's passion for TLA's work has made her one of its stalwarts. Marti's transformative leadership has greatly supported TLA's development and we are happy to recognize her many contributions to our beloved association.

Marti LoMonaco is Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University. She is the author of numerous publications; her last title, Summer Stock! An American Theatrical Phenomenon, was published in 2004.

2013 Professional Awards Committee: Francesca Marini, Chair; Susan Brady; Phyllis Dircks; Abigail Garnett; Karen Nickeson; Kevin Winkler


Louis Rachow Distinguished Service Award Winners, 1994-Present

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Honorary Membership

Honorary Membership is conferred by the Board of Directors upon individuals who have demonstrated longstanding dedication to TLA.


Marian Seldes, Marti LoMonaco, and Louis Rachow
Marian Seldes, Marti LoMonaco, and Louis Rachow, TLA Awards Ceremony, 2009 (Photo: Angela Weaver)


Louis A. Rachow

Bruno Walter Auditorium, Tnew New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
October 9, 2009

Louis A. Rachow served as President of the Theatre Library Association from 1967 to 1972, and from 1981 to 1983. In the years in between, he was Editor of BROADSIDE. Prior to his position as Library Director of the International Theatre Institute of the United States, he was Curator/Librarian of the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library of The Players from 1962 to 1988. His published works include editorship of the Gale Information Guide Performing Arts Series and Theatre and Performing Arts Collections published by Haworth Press. A long-time member of the American Library Association, American Society for Theatre Research, the New York Library Club, and Archons of Colophon, he is currently a Vice President of the Episcopal Actors Guild and Co-chair of its Archives Committee. He received his MS in Library Service from Columbia University.


Marian Seldes

Bruno Walter Auditorium, Tnew New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
May 30, 2003

"Dr. Marian Seldes--she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Julliard one week ago today--is popularly known in the theatre community as the "actor's actor," a consummate professional at her art and a wonder to behold in any role she cares to undertake. She has just been nominated for her fifth TONY award--as Best Featured Actress in a Play--for her performance in the recent revival of Dinner at Eight here at Lincoln Center--and on Sunday she will receive the prestigious Edwin Booth Award bestowed annually by the Players Club. Dr. Seldes has won numerous awards honoring her excellence as an actor but I hope, today, she is about to earn her first for excellence as a researcher, bibliophile, and great and true friend to the Theatre Library Association. In our 66 year history, she is only the second person to be honored with a Lifetime Membership Award, so we do not bestow this award lightly. She frequently has graced the book awards with her elegance, intelligence, and savoir faire as an awards presenter; in fact, she's done it 4 times in the past 10 years, and many times before that, sometimes pinch-hitting at the last minute for a presenter who has fallen ill. No matter how late the call, she still manages not only to read the book but also to have incisive, engaging, and often moving commentary to share." - Marti LoMonaco


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Last updated: April 9, 2014