Chang Liu wins Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession
For Immediate Release
American Library Association
CHICAGO – Chang Liu, director, Loudoun County Public Library (Leesburg, Virginia), has been named the 2018 winner of ALA’s Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession. The award, supported by the DiMattia Family, recognizes a public librarian who demonstrates leadership in anticipating emerging trends in services, products and technologies that will enhance the library’s position in its community. The winner also participates in the life of the community using membership in and volunteer service through a broad range of community organizations and projects.
Liu is being honored for her vision for the Loudoun County Public Library which “builds community by nurturing an environment where the Joy of Reading and Learning is celebrated; People and Ideas flourish; and The Golden Rule is a way of life.” With this vision and the lead-by-example culture which Ms. Liu has brought to the library, she has empowered the library staff to undertake thoughtful risk, daring innovation and meaningful change.
Ms. Liu is a member of Loudoun 100, one hundred community members selected from over 600 nominees, who have made a positive and lasting impression on the people they encounter and who help to unite the Loudoun community. She is a member of the local Rotary Club, serves as a docent for the George C. Marshall International Center, and both she and the library system she directs are active partners with the Loudoun Literacy Council which operates in a county where one in four residents was born outside the United States. She has been recognized by her profession by being selected as a Public Library Association Leadership Fellow and has been active in the Urban Libraries Council.
Residents of Loudoun County are attracted to the library by the wide range of programming encouraged and supported by Ms. Liu. Over 9,000 programs a year take place both inside the libraries which make up the system, as well as outside, with community partners ranging from local malls, to local breweries and to the George C. Marshall International Center. A Harry Potter Night for over-21 millennials attracted 600 people and more than 200 people turned out for a recent Science on Tap program which combines lectures on cutting-edge scientific topics by world-renowned scientists with the relaxed atmosphere and good food of a brewery pub.
In nominating Ms. Liu for the award, library staff cited the trust she places in her staff and her commitment to involving staff in making a difference when it comes to how customers experience the library. The Library Task Force System she initiated gives every staff member an opportunity to be involved; the first year saw 23 task forces formed involving 200 staff members who addressed issues ranging from improved staff training, to handling mental health issues among teen patrons, and issues related to opioid addiction.
The annual award, consisting of $5,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in June.
Members of the 2017-2018 ALA Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession Award Committee are: Chair Barbara A. B. Gubbin, retired; Clara Bohrer, director, West Bloomfield Township Public Library, Michigan; Siobhan Reardon, director, Free Library of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; John Szabo, director, Los Angeles Public Library, California; and Nancy Bolt, Nancy Bolt and Associates, Colorado.