The award is given to a librarian who has been a longtime TLA member, has been recognized as having an exemplary career in librarianship, is active in professional organizations and has demonstrated creative leadership and service to the library profession.
"Barbara exemplifies commitment to her profession like few others and has long championed the cause of literacy and access to information for the least-served members of society," said Andrew Dillon, dean of the School of Information. "She is a great choice for first-recipient of this new award."
Immroth began her career as a library assistant while completing a bachelor's degree in Spanish at Brown University. She has a master's degree in librarianship from the University of Denver, a teaching certificate from Duquesne University and a doctor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
She worked as a freelance indexer, an instructor, a children's librarian and a high school librarian before joining the faculty at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (now the School of Information).
Immroth for many years was councilor at large for the American Library Association. She has been a representative of the International Federation of Library Associations, a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation, president of TLA and a mentor for the Tall Texans program. She has authored numerous books and articles about librarianship.
"Barbara's leadership, energy and mentoring skills have directly influenced the lives and careers of hundreds of school librarians across the state, nation, and even internationally," said Pat Smith, executive director of TLA.
The award was presented at the annual TLA conference in Houston.