Alston honored by Black Caucus of ALA
Jason Alston, a doctorate student at the University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science, was honored on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, with the Dr. John C. Tyson Professional Development Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA).
Alston, who has served on the executive board of BCALA since 2010, is the fourth person to receive this honor from BCALA since its inception in 1998. The Tyson Award is awarded to a BCALA member who has made a significant contribution to the library and information science profession within ten years of having completed a master's degree in library and information science; Alston completed his MLS in 2008 at North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C. Among Alston's professional highlights is a study examining factors that may prevent African-American undergraduate students from considering librarianship as a career path; this study was completed while Alston was completing master's degree studies. Additionally, Alston delivered a presentation on marketing library services to populations of color at the second Joint Conference of Librarians of Color.
Alston was also part of North Carolina Central University's first cohort of Diversity Scholars students, and the first diversity resident librarian at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has been editor of BCALA's newsletter since 2011 and oversaw the rebranding of the newsletter from a traditional format to a magazine-like publication.
John C. Tyson, associate professor at the University of Tennessee's School of Information Science, died unexpectedly in 1995 at age 44. His distinguished career included four years as state librarian of Virginia and five years as university librarian at the University of Richmond. He was a founding member of BCALA, which presented him with the 1992 Distinguished Service Award. President of BCALA, two-term ALA Library Council member, International Federation of Library Associations supporter, academic librarian, library consultant, professor of library and information science and Virginia State Librarian, John was a consummate professional. In the years since his passing, his influence on BCALA is still very evident.