Berkeley Public Library Foundation

Berkeley Public Library Foundation

The Cody Award

The Cody Award is presented by the Berkeley Public Library Foundation to honor outstanding work to shape, broaden, and illuminate Berkeley’s literary landscape and enrich public libraries. Presentation of the award is a highlight of the Foundation’s annual Authors Dinner.

The award is named for Fred and Pat Cody, founders of Cody’s Books and pioneers in bookselling, supporting small presses, and fighting censorship. The first Cody Award was presented to Pat Cody in 2004, recognizing both her and her late husband Fred.

Photo courtesy of: UC Berkeley Library, HoltUncensored, and Wikipedia.

Dave Kent of Berkeley Mills crafts the award each year from rare, but carefully conserved, exotic woods. Its shape is inspired by the chevron-crowned windows of the historic Reading Room in Berkeley’s downtown Central Library.

The 2020 recipient of the Cody Award is Pegasus Books.

Receiving the award at this year’s Authors Dinner is owner Amy Thomas.

Since it opened in 1969 as Pellicular Fine Books (later renamed Pegasus Books) on Shattuck Avenue and Pendragon in 1970 at College and Ocean View, it has expanded its operations to three stores and continues to grow and thrive today. Pegasus is a much-loved Berkeley institution, and their dedication to both bookselling and the health of Berkeley’s business districts makes a great impact on our city and region.

Amy Thomas bought the Pegasus and Pendragon bookstores from founder Matt Wyss in 1995. Amy currently serves as board member for two Berkeley Business Improvement Districts and is the past and current president of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.

Their Bookseller’s Manifesto highlights the commitment Pegasus Books has made to free speech and the importance of sharing the printed word with others. Along with these values they maintain a steadfastness to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment and a long-held belief in the value of libraries and the right to read freely.

We greatly respect and share these values and are pleased to be able to honor and recognize Pegasus Books as the 2020 Cody Award recipient from the Berkeley Public Library Foundation.