Columbiana, Alabama librarian receives national public service honor

For Immediate Release
Thu, 11/30/2017

Contact:

Heather Cho

Media Relations Specialist

Public Awareness Office

312-280-4020

hcho@ala.org

NEW YORK – Today Sheikla Blount, library media specialist at Columbiana Middle School in Columbiana, Alabama, was named a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Blount is being recognized for her leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. She is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to receive this national honor.

Blount is commended for turning the school library into a welcoming and inclusive place for students to learn and grow.

Blount expanded the library’s hours to accommodate students’ schedules. Through the library, she makes available for checkout e-readers, tablets and other technology resources to students who may not have access to such tools at home.

As an African American, Blount is a role model for the school’s students of color. She ensures diverse books are included in the library and works with teachers to increase equity in their book selections.

Blount also helps develop programs and sponsors events that engage the student body. She established the “Read More, Read Better” campaign, which offers students incentives for reading by earning points to use for prizes in a silent auction. She also hosts special speakers in the library to help students relate to class research projects about such topics as the Vietnam War.

Blount will receive a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception to be 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, library users are invited to nominate librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year 1,125 nominations were submitted by library users nationwide detailing how their favorite librarians have gone above and beyond to improve community members’ lives.

In the United States there are 190,000 librarians working in libraries of all types, and only 100 librarians have been selected for this distinguished honor since the award’s inception in 2008.

This year’s award recipients include three academic librarians, four public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award recipients can be found at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian. To share information about the winners and the importance of their work in the community please use #ILoveMyLibrarian on social media.

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.