Joseph F. Kwapil Memorial Award

To consist of a plaque and a grant (currently $500). This award, the highest recognition of the Division, is given for major achievement in the field of news librarianship and outstanding service to the News Division. The recipient has usually actively participated in the Division’s programs and projects for a continuous period of ten years.

Previous Winners

1978 Agnes C. Henebry, Decatur Herald and Review
1979 Rose L. Vormelker, Cleveland Plain Dealer
1980 Ralph J. Shoemaker, Louisville Courier-Journal
1981 Chester M. Lewis, New York Times
1982 David A. Rhydwen, Toronto Globe and Mail
1983 William D. Chase, Flint Journal
1984 Clement G. Vitak, Baltimore Sunpaper
1985 Lou Thomas. Baton Rouge Times-Morning Advocate
1986 Andrew Ippolito. Newsday
1987 James Scofield, St. Petersburg Times
1988 Joy Hill, USA Today
1989 Homer E. Martin Jr., The Record Hackensack N.J.
1990 Joseph F. Mehr, The Providence Journal
1991 Bob Isaacs, Ft. Lauderdale News Sun & Sentinel
1992 Shirley Mooney Aabjerg, Pacific Press Ltd.
1993 Carol Lindsey, Toronto Star
1994 Benjamin Lightman, Time Warner Inc.
1995 Barbara Semonche, UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication
1996 Catherine Jones, Congressional Research Service
1997 Barbara T. Newcombe
1998 Lany McDonald, Time, Inc.
1999 No Award Given
2000 Sandra K. Hall
2001 Kathy Foley, San Antonio Express News
2002 M. J. Crowley, Star Ledger
2003 John Jansson, The Chicago Tribune
2004 John Cronin, Boston Herald
2005 Richard Geiger, San Francisco Chronicle
2006 Nora Paul, Institute for New Media Studies
2007 Carolyn Hardnett Robinson
2008 Ginny Everett, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
2009 Jim Hunter, Columbus Dispatch
2010 Linda Henderson, Providence News-Journal


Joseph F. Kwapil (1882-1933). Librarian, Philadelphia Public Ledger. Founder of the Newspaper Division of the Special Libraries Association [now the News Division]. Chairman, Newspaper Division SLA (1923-1925; 1929-1930). It was he who in 1923 had the vision to promote the organization of a professional group for newspaper librarians and who gave countless hours to typing hundreds of letters to newspaper librarians and managing editors asking them to join with him in this goal. Six librarians met first in Atlantic City, NJ resulting in the formation of the Newspaper Group of Special Libraries the following year. Kwapil served as the first chairman. He gave leadership to the fledgling organization and continued to promote the profession within the industry. He was an early advocate of microfilming bound files of newspapers. For a few years prior to the establishment of the KWAPIL AWARD, the division gave out the Jack K. Burness Award For Distinguished Newspaper Librarianship The award was established in Memory of the chief librarian of the Washington Post who died in 1963. Recipients were: 1965 Chester M. Lewis, New York Times 1966 David A. Rhydwen, Toronto Globe and Mail.