For immediate release | November 30, 2017

Decatur, Georgia librarian receives national public service honor

NEW YORK – Today Marcia Kochel, teacher librarian at Druid Hills Middle School in Decatur, Georgia, was named a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Kochel 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.

Kochel is commended for creating an inclusive learning environment for students, many of whom are new to the country or speak English as a second language. She works to ensure the library is accessible to all students regardless of their English literacy levels.

Kochel engages students by hosting readings and visits with authors and community leaders on subjects they can relate to such as immigration. She started popular book clubs and holds special events in the library, including an overnight read-in with book-related activities.

To educate students about all the resources available in the library, Kochel offers a fun interactive orientation using iPad scavenger hunts. She provides creative spaces where students can develop technology skills using 3D printers, or work on puzzles and build with Legos. She even expanded the library’s hours to give students additional time to use the internet for research or work on projects together.

As a result of Kochel’s efforts, book circulation numbers for the library have tripled in the two years she has been at the school.

Kochel 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 Public Awareness 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 1,125 nominations were submitted by library users nationwide detailing how their favorite librarians have gone above and beyond to improve community members’ lives.

In the United States there are 190,000 librarians working in libraries of all types, and only 100 librarians have been selected for this distinguished honor since the award’s inception in 2008.

This year’s award recipients include three academic librarians, four public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2017 I Love My Librarian Award recipients can be found at To share information about the winners and the importance of their work in the community please use #ILoveMyLibrarian on social media.

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.


Heather Cho

Media Relations Specialist

Public Awareness Office