August 18, 2017

Tracy Crawford | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Advocates

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Tracy Crawford, Mover & Shaker

Heritage Queen

As curator of the Black Heritage Reference Center (BHRC) of Queens County, Tracy Crawford puts her love for literature and interest in the history of the African Diaspora to work for her diverse community.

By preserving books, artwork, microfilm of newspapers and magazines, and other materials, as well as organizing programs, the reference center in the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center of the Queens Library helps people explore black history and culture.

“It is easy to take for granted that the material has always been there and will remain, but it takes a certain knowledge and dedication by librarians and libraries to ensure that it does,” Crawford says.

In her almost three years at BHRC, going beyond her reference desk and customer-facing responsibilities, Crawford has organized the center’s first Author and Publishers Book Fair, as well as an event to honor Ralph McDaniels, hip-hop personality and creator of the Video Music Box.

More than 20 authors, illustrators, and small press publishers participated in the inaugural fair in 2009, where established and emerging writers met, networked, and discussed issues relevant to black literature and fans learned about their favorite writers’ newest works and were exposed to emerging talent.

Even with her funding sliced in half in 2010, Crawford nearly doubled book fair attendance, from 130 people in 2009 to 250 in 2010, and authors went from 20 to 40, says Andrew P. Jackson, executive director of the Langston Hughes center.

Her talents resulted in her recent appointment to the Literary Awards Committee of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, making her part of a team that recognizes the endeavors of African American authors. That’s probably just the start. As Crawford says, “You find that the passion of your work can take you to places you never imagined.”

Vitals

Tracy Crawford, Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County, Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, Queens Library, Corona, NY

CURRENT POSITION Curator

DEGREE MSLIS, Pratt Institute, 2004

PASSIONISTA Art and music lover; Food Network addict

WEBSITE Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County

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