Houston librarian chosen for national public service honor

For Immediate Release
Wed, 11/30/2016

Contact:

Heather Cho

Media Relations Specialist

Public Awareness Office

American Library Association

312-280-4020

hcho@ala.org

Roosevelt Weeks, Sr. recipient of the prestigious 2016 I Love My Librarian Award

NEW YORK – Today Roosevelt Weeks, Sr., deputy director / chief of staff at the Houston Public Library, was named a winner of the I Love My Librarian Award. Weeks is being recognized for his exceptional contributions to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. He is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to receive this national honor.

Weeks is commended for his ability to reach beyond the walls of the library to deliver services and programs that meet the needs of the community, even in times of crisis.

Weeks connects the library to people where they live, work and play. To promote early literacy, he established storytimes for children and families inside of grocery stores. He takes the library’s Mobile Express unit to office buildings, community centers and parks to provide computer training, afterschool programs, workforce development help, English as a second language classes and many other services.

After natural disasters such as Hurricane Ike, Weeks led efforts to have Mobile Express travel to hard-hit neighborhoods to help residents fill out FEMA and other government assistance forms. For library and city employees who were affected, he turned the library into a daycare center for their children. He worked to reopen closed library branches as quickly as possible so residents could have access to power. He also provided educational activities for children and families staying in emergency shelters.

Weeks will receive a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception held this evening in New York City. The ceremony is hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which co-sponsors the award along with The New York Public Library and The New York Times. The American Library Association administers the award through its Public Awareness Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

As part of the award process, the public is invited to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year nearly 1,100 nominations were submitted by library users nationwide detailing how librarians connected them to information, opportunities and critical technology to help improve the quality of their lives.

There are a total of 166,000 librarians in the United States who are experts in helping people access information and resources they need to succeed in today’s digital age. Librarians are continually working to meet the changing needs of the library users and communities they serve.

This year’s award recipients include three academic librarians, four public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2016 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 is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 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.

# # #