The Louis Rachow Distinguished Service in Performing Arts Librarianship Award for 2017 will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony in New York on October 13, 2017. Read about the 2016 event and the list of winners.
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.
For more information about the Louis Rachow Distinguished Service Award, contact Professional Awards Committee Chair,
Dr. Francesca Marini (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Rob Melton was first bitten by the theater bug at the age of eight, when he saw college productions of Oklahoma! and Carousel in the small Southern Appalachian town where he grew up. As an undergraduate at Duke University, he majored in English with an emphasis on dramatic literature, was active in Duke Players, and was an apprentice assistant manager for Summer Theater. After completing a master’s degree at Duke, he decided to attend the Columbia University School of Library Service.
Rob spent 37 years building collections, teaching, and providing reference assistance and research consultations for faculty and students at two institutions that offer both Ph.D. degrees in theater and B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in a full range of performance, design, directing, choreography, play- and screen-writing, and stage management specializations. From 1979 until 2001, he worked at the University of Kansas, where he also acted in, directed, and dramaturged several productions. He moved to the University of California, San Diego, in early 2001. There, he revived and for almost a decade convened the University of California Performing Arts Bibliographers Group; in 2002, he was appointed Curator of the Archive for New Poetry, an internationally known repository of manuscripts, recordings, books, little magazines and broadsides documenting experimental movements in U.S. poetry since 1945.
Rob joined TLA in 1979. His activities within TLA have included two terms on the Executive Board (2002-2007), co-chairing and later chairing the Publications Committee (starting in 2004) and continuing as a member since, and serving for 4 years on the George Freedley Book Award Jury (2010-2013).
Rob retired on July 1, 2016 and is enjoying opportunities to see even more productions, and traveling and attending concerts with his husband, Vic Cardell, who had a distinguished 40-year career as a music librarian.
2016 Professional Awards Committee: Members: Francesca Marini, Susan Brady, Karen Nickeson, LIsbeth Wells-Pratt, Kevin Winkler
Theatre Library Association is pleased to sponsor the Brooks McNamara Performing Arts Librarian Scholarship in memory of the achievements of this beloved theater historian, scholar, educator, and mentor.
Brooks McNamara – beloved theater historian, scholar, educator, and mentor – was Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and founder of the Shubert Archive.
The Brooks McNamara Performing Arts Librarian Scholarship acknowledges outstanding professional accomplishments of promising students currently enrolled in MLIS or archival training programs specializing in performing arts librarianship.
The winner receives a $500 check and a one-year complimentary TLA membership. The winning essay is published on TLA’s website.
The scholarship is offered every other year. The next call for applications will be issued in 2018.
For more information about the McNamara Scholarship, contact Dr. Francesca Marini (email@example.com), Chair, Brooks McNamara Performing Arts Librarian Scholarship Award Committee
Megan Mitchell, University of Washington
Scholar of experimental and electronic music forms, Megan Mitchell got her start in all things music as a young jazz and musical theatre vocalist. Over the years, her passion for music exponentially morphed into an all-encompassing lifestyle. She composes music under the moniker, Cruel Diagonals, makes field recordings, DJs around Seattle under the name, DJ Degenerate, and collects vinyl. She has also been working on the project, Many Many Women, which indexes left-of-field female, non-binary, and trans composers. She plans to develop this index into a fully searchable database to improve visibility of marginalized composers in the experimental genres. Mitchell has worked for the greater part of 2016 in the Ethnomusicology Archives at the University of Washington as an archives assistant, and has recently accepted a contract position as audio archivist for the renowned Seattle producer, Randall Dunn. Mitchell is pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
2016 Professional Awards Committee: Francesca Marini, Susan Brady, Karen Nickeson, LIsbeth Wells-Pratt, Kevin Winkler
Honorary Membership is conferred by the Board of Directors upon individuals who have demonstrated longstanding dedication to TLA.
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.
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