PLA recognizes four 'I Love My Librarian' Award winners from public libraries

For Immediate Release
Mon, 12/04/2017

Contact:

Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

ldeutsch@ala.org

CHICAGO – On Nov. 30, ten librarians were honored with the prestigious 2017 I Love My Librarian Award at a ceremony in New York City. Selected from more than 1,100 nominations submitted by library users nationwide, including educators and members of the public, the winning librarians were recognized for their leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. The 2017 I Love My Librarian Award recipients include three academic librarians, four public librarians and three school librarians. In recognition of this national honor, the Public Library Association (PLA) is offering these four public librarians a complimentary full-conference registration to attend the PLA 2018 Conference in Philadelphia, March 20-24. These librarians include:

Annie Cipolla: Cipolla, a senior librarian at the Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library, was commended for her ability to meet the needs of the library’s diverse patrons. She has offered seminars to help families navigate the college admission process, including how to apply for financial aid. Through a local program, Cipolla has also provided job training and work readiness workshops for youth. They learn tips on how to write a résumé and cover letter and practice mock interviews. She has also hosted gardening classes to help patrons living in food deserts to grow their own food.

Rosemary Cooper: Cooper, director of the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, N.Y., was commended for turning an outdated library into a welcoming and vibrant community center that delivers services and programs that connect closely with patrons’ needs.To help support the town’s creative community, Cooper established a monthly program featuring local artists’ work in the library’s gallery space. She developed a special collection focused on mental and emotional health issues and created a safe and nurturing place within the library to help users find reliable and timely resources. She also led efforts to train library staff to better serve patrons with disabilities. After Hurricane Sandy, Cooper extended the library’s hours for residents who needed heat, electricity and internet access.

Laurie Doan: Doan, a young adult librarian at the Tredyffrin Public Library in Strafford, Penn., was commended for empowering local teens. She develops opportunities at the library for youth to pursue projects they are passionate about. When Doan learned students had an interest in theater but were cut from the highly competitive high school musicals in the area, she created a “second theater” in the library where they could bring books to life. Students have produced more than a dozen musicals in the library space. Doan offers the library as a space for teens to hold fundraisers. She helped one teen turn the library into a dance hall to raise money for his Eagle Scout project. With Doan’s assistance, other young adults have raised nearly $10,000 for a range of causes, including buying school supplies for local children and fighting hunger in developing countries.

Timothy Ryan: Ryan, a young adult services librarian/circulation supervisor at the Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library, was commended for being a positive force for change in a community that has high rates of poverty and crime. He works to connect library users to social services, critical technology and opportunities to help improve their quality of life. When Ryan encountered a single mother of three who had left an abusive relationship, he helped her find shelter and medical services through a local agency. Over a two-year period, Ryan continued to assist her with gaining computer skills, establishing credit, finding a job and enrolling in a nursing program at a community college. Today she is a home owner and is working to complete her associate’s degree. To keep underserved teens engaged with learning, Ryan provides technology resources such as 3D printers, coding and game design software and virtual reality. Gaining these types of skills helps youth to see they can have a future working in technology-related fields.

“Communities need public libraries now more than ever," says PLA Executive Director Barbara Macikas. "Through their commitment and hard work, these four award winners are going above and beyond to meet the needs of their communities. They are an inspiration to us all.”
Click here to learn more about the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award recipients.

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About PLA
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or pla@ala.org.