Through Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, library users can nominate their favorite librarians for the American Library Association’s (ALA) esteemed I Love My Librarian Award at www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian. This national award recognizes outstanding public, school, college, community college, or university librarians who go above and beyond for their patrons and the communities that they serve.
Librarians across the country continue to do exceptional work during the COVID-19 pandemic, from hosting virtual programs and providing remote reference assistance to expanding internet access in underserved areas. Library users are encouraged to submit nominations explaining how their librarians continue to serve their communities during these challenging times.
The ALA will select 10 librarians to receive a $5,000 cash award and $750 gift for their library to recognize their public service. They will also be honored during ALA’s Virtual Midwinter Meeting at an online ceremony on Jan. 23, 2021, and receive complimentary registration to the conference.
Last year’s award winners included a school librarian who helps rural students discover new worlds through virtual reality technology, an academic librarian who leads a first-of-its-kind book club for adults with intellectual disabilities, and a public librarian who created an innovative resource center for refugees and immigrants.
Since the award’s inception in 2008, library users nationwide have submitted more than 20,000 nominations detailing how librarians transformed their communities’ inclusivity, digital access, and literacy. Over the last decade, only 120 librarians have received this prestigious honor.
Eligible nominees must hold a master’s degree in library and information studies from a program accredited by the ALA or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Each nominee must be currently working as a librarian or have been employed as a librarian on March 1, 2020, at a qualifying institution in the United States: public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or library at an accredited K-12 school.
The philanthropic foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York has generously sponsored the I Love My Librarian Award since its inception. The New York Public Library is also a supporter of the award. The ALA administers the award through its Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes libraries and librarians’ value.