10 winners announced for 'I Love My Librarian' Award

Jayanti Addleman. Photo: City of Hayward

In Hayward, California, library director Jayanti Addleman was cited for her "inspiring optimism and extensive expertise" during the ongoing pandemic. At Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas, librarian Sean Bird made sure that students now taking all courses online because of the coronavirus received laptops.

Addleman and Bird are among 10 winners of this year’s I Love My Librarian Awards, presented by the American Library Association and sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York. Each honoree receives $7,500, and a $750 donation to their library. The winners are nominated by library patrons for "expertise, dedication and profound impact" on their communities.

"During an unprecedentedly challenging year, librarians have risen to the occasion, providing much-needed resources to their communities from a safe distance," American Library Association President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. said in a statement Monday. The library association received 1,865 nominations for the award, which was established in 2008.

Other winners include Jessica Bell of Boston’s MGH Institute of Health Professions for making the library "a world-class resource for teaching and learning"; Naomi Bishop at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, in Phoenix, for being "a champion for social justice"; and Jesse Braun of Beverly Vista Middle School Library, in Beverly Hills, California, for leadership in providing online and physical resources during the pandemic.

Also cited: Adilene Estrada-Huerta of the Sacramento (California) Public Library for "outstanding outreach services to Spanish-speaking families"; Jianye He at the University of California, Berkeley, for helping Chinese studies scholars; and Jane E. Martellino at the International School at Dundee, in Greenwich, Connecticut, for "creating a vibrant culture of literacy on campus and beyond."

Also: Jennifer L. Newcome at Northeastern High School in Manchester, Pennsylvania, for turning the library into a "community hub," and Elizabeth Nicolai of the Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library for "promoting literacy" and other services "among Alaska’s youth."