Anchorage, Alaska librarian chosen for national public service honor
For Immediate Release
Media Relations Specialist
Public Awareness Office
American Library Association
Dona J. Helmer recipient of the prestigious 2015 I Love My Librarian Award
NEW YORK – Today, Dona J. Helmer, librarian at the College Gate Elementary School library in Anchorage, Alaska, will receive the I Love My Librarian Award for her outstanding public service to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. Helmer was one of only 10 librarians within the United States recognized this year for this esteemed honor.
Helmer provides an invaluable hands-on approach to learning that opens up new worlds for students.
Though grants, Helmer has funded numerous field trips to enhance what students are studying in the classroom. For a farm-to-school program, she organized trips to the botanical garden for tours and lectures about plants and soils. She led field trips to a performing arts center for students to experience live theater, many for the first time.
Helmer also addresses the needs of the school and greater community. She established a library club and store where students can earn “Dewey dollars” to buy supplies they can’t otherwise afford. She developed a program on homelessness. Students research the local problem on the Internet and brainstorm possible solutions. Additionally, the students make fleece blankets to donate to a homeless shelter.
Helmer will receive a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception held this evening in New York City, hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which generously sponsors the award. The New York Public Library and The New York Times are co-sponsors of the award, which is administered by the American Library Association.
As part of the award process, library users nationwide are invited to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year more than 1,300 library patrons submitted detailed stories showing how their librarian had an impact on their communities and lives by connecting people with the information access and critical resources they need to succeed in today’s digital age.
There are a total of 166,164 certified librarians in the United States and more than 200,000 dedicated library workers who are integral to the success of their libraries and communities. Librarians are continually working to meet the changing needs of the library users and communities they serve.
This year’s award recipients include four academic librarians, three public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award recipients can be found at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
The ALA administers the I Love My Librarian Award through the ALA’s Public Awareness Office which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.
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