Powhatan County, Virginia, librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/10/2019


Lindsey Simon

Content Strategy Manager

Communications and Marketing Office


Melissa Glanden recognized with prestigious national public service honor

CHICAGO –Melissa Glanden, school librarian at Powhatan High School in Powhatan County, Virginia, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized for her leadership in her school and commitment to transforming lives, she is one of only 10 librarians in the country to receive this national honor.

Known by faculty as an “evangelibrarian,” someone who seeks to convert students and teachers alike into staunch patrons of the school library, Glanden draws all types of users to the library, successfully influencing reluctant readers to develop a love of reading, learning and creating.   

Glanden’s work has transformed the Powhatan High School library. Her introduction of new technologies, a maker-space and dedicated zones within the library sparked an uptick in visits and material circulation. Now, her nominators say, reluctant readers willingly visit the library to check out books for leisure reading. Students reading below level continue to build their reading skills by having access to teen-friendly materials such as Hi-Low books, novels in verse, graphic novels and manga. 

Thorough a collaboration with the school’s English classes, Glanden conducted reader surveys and delivered bookcarts filled with materials based on students’ interests, reading styles and attitudes. The carts included books with LGBTQ+ themes and multicultural characters to ensure that all students could see themselves reflected in the materials.    

Glanden has used local partnerships to empower students to build relationships with their community. Glanden partnered with the school’s carpentry classes to build Little Free Libraries for local businesses and schools. Students were tasked with identifying potential locations, soliciting and interviewing local businesses willing to sponsor a Powhatan Little Library and working with local community groups to keep the libraries well stocked. 

The American Library Association (ALA) receives I Love My Librarian Award nominations from the general public that showcase the lasting contributions of dynamic librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year library users nationwide submitted 1,974 detailing how their favorite librarians have gone above and beyond to improve community members’ lives.

Since the award’s inception in 2008, ALA has selected up to 10 librarians from a pool of hundreds of nominations. This year’s award winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony in Philadelphia on Jan. 25, 2020, at 3 p.m. during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The event will be streamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLibraryAssociation/
Over the last decade, library supporters have shared more than 19,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to connect them to information, educational opportunities and critical technology. Information regarding previous award winners, can be found on the I Love My Librarian website at http://www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian

Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library and the New York Times are award co-sponsors. The ALA administers the award through ALA’s Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians. 

 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 nearly 17 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 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, the 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.