ST. LOUIS — Librarians aren't only loved for the books they recommend.
This year's winners of the I Love My Librarian were cited for everything from their support during the COVID-19 pandemic to their participation in community baseball. On Monday, the American Library Association (ALA) announced 10 award recipients, each of whom receives $5,000, along with a $750 donation to their library.
Some 1,300 nominations were submitted by patrons nationwide.
“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,” ALA President Patty Wong said in a statement.
One of the 10 winners was Melissa Pillot of the Forsyth School in St. Louis. Pillot was selected for her "outstanding efforts to promote sustainability on her school’s campus." A press release from the ALA said she implemented storytimes for younger students to encourage them to care for the planet and encouraged older students to use information literacy strategies to separate fact from fiction when it comes to recycling and sustainability.
“While the pandemic changed many things in our homes and on our school grounds, Melissa continues to be a champion and a steward for the earth,” one of her nominators wrote. “No topic is too big to tackle, and no task is too small. We love our librarian who loves the earth.”
Winners also included Yuliana Aceves of the Arlington, Texas, Public Library, cited for the virtual programs she has led during the pandemic; William Gibbons of the City College of New York library, whose projects include working with the Harlem Little League; and Renee Greenlee of the Marion, Iowa, Public Library, where she has started a digital archive of communities about COVID-19.
The other recipients are Shamella Cromartie of the Western Carolina University library in Cullowhee, North Carolina; Shannon Horton of the Decorah, Iowa, Middle School and High School library; John Mahofski of the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland; Tammi Moe of the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, New Mexico; George Oberle of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia; and Arnulfo Talamantes of the Sul Ross Middle School in San Antonio, Texas.
The awards were established in 2008 and are sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with support also coming from the New York Public Library.