The American Library Association (ALA) this week announced the 10 winners of the 2022 I Love My Librarian Award. The annual honor recognizes exceptional librarians from libraries of all types (academic, public, school) who were nominated by the patrons they serve for making an impact in the community.

ALA officials said they received more than 1,300 nominations from library users for this year’s award, with hundreds of nominations focused on librarians’ swift and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from “hosting virtual programs to distributing books and technology safely to those in need.”

Honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library, and complimentary registration to ALA’s LibLearnX. The virtual award ceremony will take place during the conference at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 and will be streamed live here.

“Even in these unprecedented times, our nation’s librarians continue to empower their patrons, promote inclusion in their space and collections, and provide essential services for their communities,” said American Library Association president Patty Wong. “Congratulations to this year’s I Love My Librarian Award winners, who impact the lives of those they serve every day.”

The 2022 Winners

Yuliana Aceves, Arlington Public Library, Arlington, Texas. After the library space closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aceves led weekly virtual programs on the library’s social media platforms, including a popular Spanish storytime program for children.

Shamella Cromartie, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina. Cromartie has helped make Western Carolina University a leader in diversity and inclusion efforts, including her development and implementation of a program that coaches faculty to employ inclusive pedagogy in their courses and provides funding for classroom materials.

William Gibbons, City College of New York, New York City, New York. Through his service at the City College of New York and across Harlem, notably with his involvement with Harlem Little League Baseball and his work with the City University of New York’s Black Male Initiative, Gibbons is forging partnerships with local organizations.

Renee Greenlee, Marion Public Library, Iowa. Following a devastating derecho, Greenlee provided vital services to the community, including assessing the structural safety of homes, staffing temporary technology locations across the city, and starting a digital archive to collect and preserve stories of how the community was affected. Greenlee has currently moved to a position with Vinton Public Library in Vinton, Iowa.

Shannon Horton, Decorah Middle School and High School, Iowa. Horton has transformed the libraries at Decorah Middle School and High School into more welcoming environment, working to diversify the collection with the addition of books featuring LGBTQ characters and topics addressing racism and celebrating differences so all students can see themselves represented in the books available in their libraries.

John Paul Mahofski, Eastern Correctional Institution, Westover, Maryland. During his time at Eastern Correctional Institution, Mahofski introduced an array of programs to help the prison population he serves, including creative writing, typing and summer reading programs, and a “bookmobile” service to deliver books to and from people in the institution.

Tammi Moe, Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup, New Mexico. Moe has greatly expanded the library’s reach, including educational and thought-provoking programs covering historically sensitive topics to the city’s majority-indigenous American community.

George D. Oberle, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. A dedicated historian, Oberle has worked to uncover the hidden racial histories of George Mason University and its namesake through his work establishing the university’s Center for Mason Legacies.

Melissa Pillot, Forsyth School, St. Louis. Pillot has centered sustainability in the library’s programming and instructional initiatives, featuring storytimes focused on caring for the planet, teaching students to use information literacy strategies to evaluate recycling facts and myths, and planning a multi-week educational event focused on single-use plastics and plastic bag usage.

Arnulfo Talamantes, Sul Ross Middle School, San Antonio, Texas. Talamantes’ innovative programs have transformed the culture of reading at Sul Ross Middle School, including the Rebel Bucks program which implements a bookstore model under which books can be purchased through campus currency earned through positive behavior in the classroom.

The I Love My Librarians Award is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the New York Public Library, and administered by the ALA’s Communications and Marketing Office. For more, visit the I Love My Librarian website.

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