The Marky Award was inspired by founding member Mark Hillsamer, the librarian at St. Albans School, Washington DC for 36 years. Mark helped to establish AISL in 1987 and fostered its growth for 14 years. It very well may have been “Mark’s smiling face, soothing voice, and wry sense of humor” that kept the organization going during those years. Walter DeMelle formally announced Mark’s retirement at the Skip Anthony Lecture Banquet in 2001 and presented Mark with a special gift: a mask from Thailand of a lady who holds her index finger gently to her lips in a familiar shushing gesture.
The Marky Award has been given annually since 2002, honoring AISL members who have made a significant contribution to the organization over a long period of time. A mounted replica of Mark’s gift is given to the winner to be displayed in his or her library until the next conference, together with a small unpainted replica of the mask for the honoree to keep. The honoree is chosen by the past Marky winners and is presented with the award at the annual Skip Anthony banquet.
Recipients of the Marky Award: