Ten fierce advocates for their libraries, their patrons, and their communities were honored as winners of the 2011 I Love My Librarian Award at a ceremony in New York City December 9
"Libraries are the treasure house of civilization" said" Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, at the ceremony. "Librarians are our guides to this treasure house. With their help, we can translate the overwhelming flood of information generated by our hectic, complex world into true knowledge and understanding."
The award recognizes public, school, college, community college, and university librarians around the country for their courage, dedication, and vision. It is sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times, and is administered by the American Library Association. Winners receive $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the ceremony in New York.
As chief of adaptive services for the District of Columbia Public Library, VenetiaV. Demson works tirelessly to improve library accessibility to all patrons, creating the AccessibilityCamp unconference in 2009. She also started a Braille book club that has helped blind children to gain Braille literacy and to participate more fully in the community. Indah Setiowati wrote about how her daughter's membership helped her enter a book review contest at DCPL's Chevy Chase branch. 'Although [my daughter] was not on the winners list, she 'won' confidence from Venetia to participate."
Martha (Marty) Ferriby, director of Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, Michigan, was recognized for her efforts to provide and increase service to a city that badly needs it. The county's unemployment rate is more than 14%, and under her tenure, programs that aim to help patrons find careers have grown dramatically. "Ms. Ferriby takes the library into the community and brings the community into the library," wrote one Friends board member in her nomination.
Jennifer O. Keohane, business outreach librarian at Simsbury (Conn.) Public Library, "has positioned the Business Resource Center as the vibrant center of business resources for the Farmington Valley area," wrote nominator Ellen Cart-ledge. Programs Keohane has created offer support to the unemployed, entrepreneurs, and established local businesses. The BRC also offers opportunities for collaboration and networking.
Rhonda Rios Kravitz, dean of the Learning Resources Division at Sacramento (Calif.) City College, was recognized for fighting for the rights of low-income and first-generation students to fully use the college's resources. "She was instrumental in helping to create humane, fine policies that recognized the hardships that many urban inner city youth face on an everyday basis," nominator Victoria Henderson noted. Another nominator, Roberto Guzman, thanked her for advocating for his right to work on campus when his immigration status prevented it.
Teachers at Myrtle Grove Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina, recognize Teacher Librarian Jennifer LaGarde as a true partner in the education of their students. …