Jennifer Berg Gaither chosen for 2018 I Love My Librarian Award
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
American Library Association
Baltimore librarian receives national public service honor
NEW YORK – Today Jennifer Berg Gaither, librarian at the Baltimore City College (BCC), was named a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Gaither 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.
Gaither is commended for going above and beyond what is typically expected of an instructor. For example, she has driven children with transportation challenges to school, even if it meant driving across the city in the early morning hours. She spends late nights and early mornings at school with her students and sometimes meets her students at coffee shops and book stores to provide extra help in the evenings and during school breaks.
At BCC, Gaither coordinates the extended essay portion of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program; Gaither is committed to empowering all students, including those from underrepresented background, to complete these rigorous process of research, writing, and revision. She launched several critical initiatives, including the BCC Extended Essay library, a collection of student essays, bound and published, both as models and inspirations for junior students and to honor the work and achievements of graduates. She also designed a video series featuring student advice, student accomplishments and student-created tutorials in English and Spanish. Since 2014, the number of BCC students passing the extended essay requirement has risen from 28 to 109, an increase that community members attribute to Gaither’s leadership.
Gaither 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 Communications and Marketing 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 library users submitted 1,083 nominations detailing how their favorite librarians have gone above and beyond to improve community members’ lives.
In the United States there are 160,000 librarians working in libraries of all types, and only 110 librarians have been selected for this distinguished honor since the award’s inception in 2008.
This year’s award recipients include four academic librarians, three public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2018 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.
Photos of the award recipients are available at https://bit.ly/2JPOfZp.
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
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. To contribute to support ALA’s work, visit ala.org/donate.