James Cook was well known in the Ohio and national library community as a man who was passionate about what he did. He was the Teen Specialist at the Dayton Metro Library and a strong advocate for teens, diversity, and teen literature. James was actively involved in the American Library Association and the Ohio Library Council (OLC). He served on the Newbery, Printz, and Teen Buckeye Book Award committees. James died suddenly on August 1, 2005. The James Cook Book Award is intended to carry on his memory and celebrate everything he believed in so strongly.