For immediate release | November 30, 2016

Modesto, California librarian chosen for national public service honor

Olga Valencia Cardenas recipient of the prestigious 2016 I Love My Librarian Award

NEW YORK – Today Olga Valencia Cardenas, youth services outreach librarian at Stanislaus County Library in Modesto, California, was named a winner of the I Love My Librarian Award. Cardenas is being recognized for her exceptional contributions to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. She is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to receive this national honor. Two additional librarians from California are also recipients of the 2016 award: Sherri Ginsberg from Pasadena and Lia Kharis Hillman from San Francisco.

Cardenas is commended for reaching beyond the walls of the library to deliver valuable library programs and services to underserved residents in the community.

To promote early literacy to parents and caregivers working in agricultural fields, Cardenas visited a plant nursery to offer free books and tips on how to incorporate reading into daily life. She passed out information about storytimes and other free literacy events and services available at the library. She also signed up workers for library cards.

With her visits to the local juvenile hall and juvenile commitment center, Cardenas connects with incarcerated youth through her passion for books and reading. She started a book club that has become so popular that it has expanded to include two books every month.

Cardenas 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

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 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

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.

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Heather Cho

Media Relations Specialist

American Library Association

Public Awareness Office