2023 “I Love My Librarian” Award Honorees Announced
Today the American Library Association (ALA) announced 10 recipients of the coveted I Love My Librarian Award. Honorees are exceptional librarians from academic, public and school libraries who were nominated by patrons nationwide for their expertise, dedication and profound impact on the people in their communities.
“Even in these unprecedented times and as our nation’s library workers face historic levels of intimidation and harassment due to an ongoing wave of book censorship, librarians continue to empower their patrons, teach critical literacy skills, promote inclusion in their space and collections, and provide vital services for their communities,” said American Library Association President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “Congratulations to this year’s I Love My Librarian Award honorees, who positively impact the lives of those they serve every day.”
ALA received more than 1,500 nominations from library users for this year’s award, which demonstrates the breadth of impact of librarians across the country. Hundreds of nominations focused on librarians’ outstanding service in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against censorship that continues to roil communities across the U.S. This year’s award recipients include three academic librarians, three public librarians and four school librarians.
Honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize as well as complimentary registration and a $750 travel stipend to attend ALA’s LibLearnX event in New Orleans. The award ceremony will take place during the LibLearnX welcome reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.
The 2023 honorees are:
Kathryn Blackmer Reyes
San José State University, San José, California
Blackmer Reyes has created a unique and welcoming space and given visibility to untold stories at San José State University through the library’s Africana, Asian American, Chicano, and Native American Studies Center. Among her many accomplishments is her oversight of the library’s annual Día de los
Muertos celebration, which highlights the history and cultural tradition of the Mexican holiday with an exhibit featuring altars created by local artists, educational programming, performances and food.
Highlands County Library System, Sebring, Florida
As manager of the Highlands County Library System and coordinator for the Heartland Library Cooperative, Brown has ramped up the library system’s outreach efforts to serve its largely rural population area. One of her signature accomplishments is securing a grant for a mobile library, which travels to multiple cities across the cooperative’s service area and provides materials for check out, WiFi and computer access, and printing services.
Lafayette Public Library, Carencro, Louisiana
Chance is on the front lines in the fight against book censorship as manager of the Lafayette Public Library’s North Regional Branch. Her efforts to erect inclusive book displays featuring books with LGBTQ+ themes have put her at odds with the library’s conservative Board of Control as she has spoken in defense of inclusive materials in the library, and her local community has responded with overwhelming support.
Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
Coleman has spearheaded Kansas State University’s campus-wide common reading initiative. Known as K-State First Book, the first-year experience program has grown into a massive success and core element of campus culture since its inception in 2010, and now includes an array of campus events throughout the academic year including author talks, panel discussions, awards and incorporation into course curricula.
George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia
With his expertise in international affairs and political science, David Ettinger is supporting and helping shape the research mission of George Washington University. His student-centered and engaging approach to research assistance and instruction is improving student learning while highlighting the library’s critical role in advancing student success.
Julie Marie Frye
Childs Elementary School, Bloomington, Indiana
Frye is creating a more hopeful and just future through literacy, inclusivity and building understanding of current events at Childs Elementary School. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she designed a museum-style inquiry room for students to learn and ask questions about Ukrainian culture and the war, as well as write letters to students in Ukraine.
Wright Brothers School, New York City, New York
Ginsberg-DeVilbiss is leveraging outside partnerships to engage the students at the Wright Brothers School in New York City, with a strategic focus on sustainability. The library has received a digital beehive from the Savannah Bee Company to spark conversations and lessons about the importance of bees, and is working to grow a community garden in partnership with local organization Harlem Grown.
Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville, South Carolina
Gregory is equipping upper school students at Christ Church Episcopal School with strong news and media literacy skills as well as a critical understanding of censorship and intellectual freedom. In one collaboration with a history teacher, she incorporated the school’s location in a rural-suburban area with previously functioning mills to connect student lessons and various resources about labor unions with family stories.
Highbridge School, Bronx, New York
Highbridge School librarian Roseanna Gulisano is working to ensure students and their families have access to books and more in an underserved district in the Bronx. Splitting time between the school’s two libraries while simultaneously teaching a full schedule of elementary classes, she has worked to secure funding for a variety of student needs including books that students keep to build their own home libraries, groceries and coats for struggling families, and library technology and furnishings.
Evanston Public Library, Evanston, Illinois
Elacsha Madison is elevating teen outreach efforts and bringing innovative STEAM programs to marginalized communities at the Evanston Public Library. From hosting a “Taste of the Loft” event at local schools and parks to give local students a sample of the library’s teen programming to a partnership with a local organization addressing food injustice, she is serving as a mentor, advocate and community builder.
Since the award’s inception in 2008, library users have shared more than 23,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology, and support diversity and inclusion in their communities. Information regarding previous award recipients can be found on the I Love My Librarian website at https://ilovelibraries.org/love-my-librarian/.
Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library also supports the award. The award is administered by the American Library Association.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.