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ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY


Alexander J. Skrzypek Award

The Alexander J. Skrzypek Award is presented by the Illinois Library Association (ILA) and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service to any Illinois resident who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library services for the blind and physically disabled in Illinois. The recipient will receive a plaque and his or her name will be added to the permanent plaque on display at the State Library Talking Book and Braille Service in Springfield.

Nominations are solicited from librarians, ILA members, library board members, or any other Illinois resident. For more information on the selection process and criteria for nominations, visit ILA's Alexander J. Skrzypek Award website.

About Alexander J. Skrzypek

Alexander J. Skrzypek (1905-1976) was the first librarian for the blind at the Chicago Public Library. Skrzypek's career in libraries began in 1919, as a part-time page at the Central Library. In 1952, he was named head librarian for the blind. Skrzypek was instrumental in publicizing the passage of Public Law 89-22 in 1966 that allowed the Library of Congress to extend its services for the blind to include the physically handicapped and the visually impaired.

Earning numerous awards and citations for his dedication and long service to the blind, Skrzypek maintained memberships in professional organizations servicing the blind and visually handicapped. Skrzypek, a recognized authority on the education of the blind and physically handicapped, was regularly consulted by the Library of Congress as well as other national and local organizations. He served the Chicago Public Library for 51 years and the blind for more than 47 years. One of the first librarians for the blind in the United States, Skrzypek had served longer in that position than anyone in the United States at the time of his retirement.