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North Carolina Library Association

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women in libraries

Our Mission:

  • To unite in this group, North Carolina Library Association members who are interested in women’s issues in libraries
  • To provide a forum for the discussion of the concerns of women in libraries and how these concerns affect the profession as a whole
  • To provide for exchange of information among all components of the North Carolina Library Association with the goal of increasing understanding of current issues affecting women within the profession
  • To give stimulus, support and information to the Association and its various components in encouraging library policy and decision makers to be more aware of and responsive to these issues and concerns
  • To present programs and carry out other appropriate activities
  • To see to fulfill the objectives of the North Carolina Library Association

Board Members

Kate Budries, Chair

Glenn McNairy Branch Library, Greensboro Public Library

Soni Philip, Chair Elect

West Regional Library, Wake County Public Libraries

Michelle Hildreth, Past Chair 
Franklin County Library 

Meghan Webb, Secretary/Treasurer
Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University

Jenny Barrett Boneno, Herstorian
Reynolda Branch, Forsyth County Public Library

Joan Sherif, Director
Northwest Regional Public Library

Anna Booraem, Director

Leicester Library, Buncombe County Public Library

To contact the board please email:

HerStory - How We Came To Be

The organizational meeting of the NCLA Roundtable on the Status of Women in Librarianship occurred on March 20, 1981, at Meredith College in Raleigh, but groundwork for the event began much earlier. Two of the women most instrumental to the group's founding, Judith Sutton of Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC), and Patsy Hansel, then of Onslow County Public Library, "decided it was time to try to do something about the blatant discrimination we so frequently saw" in hiring of library directors. According to Patsy, "we had ideas of helping boards of trustees learn how not to discriminate when they were hiring directors." Sutton and Hansel met with Patrice Ebert and Nancy Massey, both then with the Hyconeechee Regional Library System, and Mary Hopper, also with PLCMC, to discuss organizing a group that would provide training and support from other women, as well as a forum for discussion. After agreeing to form a roundtable within NCLA, they circulated petitions throughout the state, easily acquiring the necessary two hundred signatures. Funding for the organizational meeting in Raleigh arrived part from the Public Library Section of NCLA, but not without flack. One male librarian at the time complained about the lack of such a group for men. Louise Boone, then director of the Albemarle Regional Library, quipped that he could start one himself; "then, we can have a dance." Over one hundred people attended the Meredith College meeting in 1981 which featured a welcome by NCLA president, William O'Shea and a keynote address by library trustee, Alice Ihrig. A brief business session established a steering committee to guide the new roundtable until the NCLA Fall conference. This committee consisted of Patrice Ebert, Judith Sutton, Nancy Massey, Patsy Hansel, Lynne Henderson (Meredith College Library), and Valerie Lovett (Wake County Library). Since the group was established, the name has evolved into Women in Libraries Roundtable.

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Documents and Links

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Marilyn L. Miller Award for Professional Commitment

Sponsored by Women in Libraries Roundtable

The purpose of this award is to recognize a professional librarian in North Carolina who has provided outstanding support of women colleagues in the workplace and/or leadership and 
service in enhancing the library mission.  

Individuals nominated should have demonstrated achievement in ONE OR MORE of the following criteria:

  • Contributions as a role model in the mentoring process.  (Consider for example activities that have supported women in the library workplace, such as encouraging employees who wished to further their education, championing women’s productive endeavors, supporting their efforts for career advancement.)

  • Significant contributions to library development or library service. (Consider for example activities that have created new or enhanced services, pioneered new methods of delivery/access to information, championed services to unserved/underserved populations in the community.)

  • Contributions to examining women’s issues in librarianship.  (Consider for example activities such as support for equity; participation in local, state, national, professional and/or government and voluntary activities that support women’s concerns; publications.)

Members of the WILR Executive Committee are ineligible for nomination.

Submit a one page letter that describes how the nominee meets any of the criteria 
and offer any information about the nominee’s career.

Members of the WILR Executive Committee are ineligible for nomination.


The Executive Committee will review the nominations and select the recipient.  A plaque and $200 will be presented at the NCLA Conference to the award recipient.


2003 - Sandy Neerman, Greensboro Public Library

2004 - Linda H, Stone, Central Carolina Community College

2005 - Barbara Baker, Durham Technical Community College

2007 - Rose Simon, Salem College

2009 - Bryna Coonin, East Carolina University

2011 - Dale Cousins, Wake County Public Library

2013 - Eleanor Cook, East Carolina University

2015 - Margaret Miles, New Hanover County Public Library

2017 - Wanda Brown, Winston-Salem State University

2019 - Marian Fragola, North Carolina State University

2021 - Irene Owens, North Carolina Central University

2023 - Mollie Peuler, Appalachian State University

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