There are over 166,000 certified librarians in over 122,000 libraries across the nation. Some push books across the circulation desk and others touch the lives of people they serve every day. In an effort to honor the latter group, the Carnegie Corporation presented ten librarians with a $5,000 cash award, a plaque, and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York City. (Read Carnegie Corporation of New York: New York City Grants).
Some librarians were given the award for being relentless researchers. Others for modernizing libraries by being innovators on digital media projects. And still others for being inspirational mentors for children and teenagers. These awards were based on nominations from over 1,100 library patrons across the country. They were sponsored by both the Carnegie Corporation and the New York Times.
The I Love My Librarian Awards have only been around since 2008, and just 60 librarians have won the awards since that time. The American Library Association made it easier for patrons to participate in the nomination process by providing web buttons to post a blog, sample Tweets, and sample Facebook updates. According to a Carnegie press release, “The nominations detailed how local librarians provided life-changing resources for multicultural communities and new Americans, created fun and educational safe havens for youth, and strived to preserve local history.”
Libraries working in public libraries, K-12 school libraries, community college libraries, and university libraries were all eligible for the award. Nominees were also required to hold Master's degrees in library and information studies or library media.
This year’s “I Love My Librarian Award” recipients were:
1. Julia Allegrini - Covington (Ky.) Branch of the Kenton County Public Library
- “makes all members of our community feel welcomed and respected in our library”
2. Dr. Shahla Bahavar - University of Southern California Libraries, Los Angeles
- Made a transformative contribution to the the student learning environment
3. Holly Camino - Buckeye Library, Medina (Ohio) County District Library
- Brought together staff and community stakeholders to create a fun and nurturing after-school environment for teens
4. Kathy Meulen Ellison - Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
- “Essential is exactly the word that defines our librarian."
5. Harold M. Forbes - West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries, Morgantown, W. Va.
- “opened the minds and hearts of thousands of students to the wonders of rare books and special collections”
6. Caroline "Xiaofang" Han - Cleveland Public Library
- “the bridge between us, American society, culture and the world”
7. Jennifer J. Jamison - Atlantic City (N.J.) High School
- “made the library a place where students want to be whenever they have a spare moment”
8. Julie Kane - Sweet Briar (Va.) College
- “a campus leader in incorporating digital learning initiatives into our academic program”
9. Molly Ledermann - Missoula (Mont.) Public Library
- “brings tremendous creativity and a spirit of collaboration and fun”
10. Charlotte Carr Vlasis - Chattanooga (Tenn.) School for the Liberal Arts
- “makes my lesson dreams come to life”