I Love My Librarian

American Libraries, January-February 2009 | Go to article overview

I Love My Librarian


More than 3,200 individual library users nationwide nominated a librarian for the inaugural Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times "I Love My Librarian" Award, to show their appreciation for the services library professionals offer their communities, schools, and campuses. Ten of those nominees rose to the top and received the prestigious honor and a $5,000 cash award at a ceremony and reception at the Times Center, hosted by the New York Times December 9 in New York City.

"Librarians are even more important to their communities in this digital age," said Carnegie President Vartan Gregorian. "They are the people many turn to for help in navigating the complex and information-rich world of the Web where the quality of the research and reports is not always clear. These 10 librarians deserve applause because their professionalism has won the attention and respect of their neighbors."

"The New York Times is proud to collaborate with the American Library Association and Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognizing the role of librarians in society," said Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the New York Times Company. "Literacy and public access to knowledge are critical to our democracy and the work of these librarians quite simply, enriches us all."

"This award honors the significant relationship between library users and librarians, and this special feature in American Libraries offers a glimpse into their achievements and responses," said Jim Rettig, president of ALA, which began administering the awards program this year. Read more at www.ilovelibraries.org.

Linda Allen

Libraries Director Pasco County Library System Hudson, Florida

Hiring good people and letting them shine is my favorite part of the job," says Linda Allen. "It is such a joy to watch my staff discover the depth and breadth of their talents and to see them grow into a truly phenomenal team." A Pasco Tribune editorial recently observed, "The best thing going on in Pasco County is its library system, which according to some users would be the envy of some states. That's mighty high praise, and it's richly deserved, thanks to Director Linda Allen, her staff, and county officials who have made library service a priority." Allen sums it up: "We are not a big library system, but I think we have made a big difference to the quality of life for the citizens of Pasco County and have added to the value of public libraries in Florida as a whole."

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Jean Amaral

Reference Librarian Antioch University New England Keene, New Hampshire

Libraries are, among other things, rockin' places for life -long learning. And I love that!" says Jean Amaral. "I want my students to be jazzed about research-it's exciting, fun, hard work. I want them to know that they can change the world and that their library can help them do it." To make that happen, Amaral relies on "my complete belief in the students and faculty of Antioch University New England and the work they are engaged in." Asked what gives her the most satisfaction as a reference librarian, Amaral says it's watching her students become "smart, savvy information consumers and producers. Information is power, and librarians are information wranglers!" Of her work she says, "I couldn't imagine doing anything else."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Amy J. Cheney

Librarian Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall San Leandro, California

I love being the librarian at the Juvenile Hall," says Amy J. Cheney. "I love that this award acknowledges someone who serves teens and the multicultural population that I serve." The lock-down institution in which she works leaves little opportunity for youth to have free choice, says Cheney, but at the library "youth have the freedom to choose and pursue what they're interested in and to explore and experience otherworlds and lives. …

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