For immediate release | November 30, 2016

San Francisco librarian chosen for national public service honor

Lia Kharis Hillman recipient of the prestigious 2016 I Love My Librarian Award

NEW YORK – Today Lia Kharis Hillman, fourth floor program manager at the San Francisco Public Library, was named a winner of the I Love My Librarian Award. Hillman is being recognized for her exceptional contributions to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. Hillman 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: Olga Valencia Cardenas from Modesto and Sherri Ginsberg from Pasadena.

Hillman is commended for her ability to extend the role of the library to meet the needs of the community.

Hillman, a former chef, established a garden and food education program in library branches across San Francisco. When Hillman realized underserved families were facing challenges with cooking, she set out to help residents make the connection between self-prepared meals and wellness.

Through a grant, she created Biblio Bistro, a program which uses a mobile kitchen to give demonstrations on cooking with inexpensive and locally grown foods. Hillman’s cooking lessons teach lifelong skills and build nutritional awareness, giving people more confidence about food preparation.

To help children gain hands-on experience growing vegetables, Hillman built a garden on one of the library’s patios. She also started a seed lending library that residents can use to start their own gardens.

Hillman 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 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