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2020 Awards Nominations

Dear Guild of Book Workers Members.

In this time of upheaval and uncertainty it is even more important to recognize and honor those who have played a critical role in our lives and careers and who have elevated our field, given their time and shared their vision. We are so fortunate to belong to a unique group of people who represent a wide range of talents, who are visionaries, leaders, mentors, teachers, creative inventors and exceptional craftspeople.

To this endeavor, we the awards committee, are seeking nominations for the two awards granted by the Guild of Book Workers.

First, the Laura Young Award: This award is given in recognition of sustained commitment to the Guild; that is, service to the Guild “above and beyond”. This is awarded to a current or former member of GBW. Previous recipients are: Jennifer Rosner, Jim Reed Cunningham, Bill Minter, Julia Miller, and Signa Houghteling.

Second, the Lifetime Achievement Award: This award is given to an individual "in recognition of significant contribution to the goals of the Guild, which can be external or internal, with the implication that it would be a contribution to the scope of the book arena rather than just to the Guild." This individual does not need to be a member of GBW. Recipients of this award will be granted lifetime membership, with no obligation to pay dues. Past recipients of this award are: Donald Glaister, Cathleen Baker, Peter Verheyen and Jan Sobota.

To see more award recipients please go to:

We are asking you as members of GBW to take a moment and reflect on those of us who make our Guild a worthy and special organization. We owe them our time and consideration to acknowledge their contributions to our community. Think about someone you would like to nominate for either award and send their name along with a short letter of support to the Chair of the nominating committee. You can also solicit additional letters of recommendation from others who you feel would also support your nomination. Please reach out to Deborah Howe, Chair, if you have any questions. All nominations and supporting letters need to be received by May 18th, 2020.

Deborah Howe: Chair

Donald Glaister:

Jeanne Goodman:


About Laura Young: From the Abbey Newsletter: Volume 8, Number 1a: Feb 1984. Laura Young retired at the end of December 1983. Mrs. Young's career spanned a period of 40 years, during which time she was active as a hand bookbinder, conservator and teacher. She has run a well-equipped and well-organized custom shop in New York City, where she accepted commissions and welcomed private students. A warm welcome always awaited anyone who crossed her threshold. She has executed a wide variety of commissions, including presentation copies, restoration/conservation of valuable books, protective cases and many items of lesser note. Her clients, or recipients of her work, included foreign and domestic dignitaries, corporate executives, professors, book collectors, lovers and users of specific books, and institutional rare book collections. She never turned a client away because the job did not seem worthy of her abilities; and she seldom lost a client because her prices seemed unreasonable. Her teaching activities included 15 years in the School of General Studies at Columbia University, along with Gerhard Gerlach, end 15 years in the Graphic Arts Department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she was the Department's first instructor in bookbinding. She organized the first bookbinding class in Yale University's School of Fine Arts, Department of Design, end was its first teacher; she taught short courses in various institutional arts and crafts programs; and she has had a great number of private students. In addition to her insistence on sound construction and quality materials, she is probably best known to her students for her infinite patience and her attempts to instill in them the importance of executing a job that is appropriate for the book at hand. Over the years she has had more then 500 students; presently she has more former students working in the field professionally than any other teacher in the country. She served as president of the Guild of Book Workers for 19 years (1949-52, 1958-74), during which time the Guild enjoyed one of its greatest periods of growth and expanded services to its members. She is the author of a number of articles in the field, and her book Bookbinding and Conservation by Hand: A Working Guide was published by Bowker in 1981.