For immediate release | December 4, 2018

Terri Gallagher and Paula Kelly receive 2018 I Love My Librarian Award

Two Pittsburgh-area librarians recognized with national public service honor

NEW YORK – Today Terri Gallagher, reference librarian with Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) library in Monaca, Pennsylvania, and Paula Kelly, director of the Whitehall Public Library in Pittsburgh, were named winners of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Both are recognized for their leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. Gallagher and Kelly are two of only 10 librarians selected this year to receive this national honor.

Recognized for her commitment to students and staff, Gallagher plays an active role in library and classroom activities. She has conducted 238 classes, ranging from orientations for CCBC High School Academies to evidence-based research training for nursing majors. Gallagher also co-sponsors and supports various student clubs and campus committees, such as the Writer’s Club and Diversity Committee, and she regularly provides training opportunities for faculty through convocation presentations and other professional development events.

“I am bowled-over, touched-to-the-soul and humbled by the I Love My Librarian Award,” Gallagher said. “Librarianship is service, a rewarding service of the first ilk. Whether you are delivering a book to a shut-in, hugging a student for the A on their paper or doing the dance to celebrate a graduate’s job, being able to serve them through the library is my motivation.”

Kelly is a multi-award winning librarian who is committed to inclusion, partnerships and collaboration. She is a recognized leader throughout her county’s consortium of libraries and readily shares her education, programming and advocacy strategies with peers locally and beyond. She is known for her support of library programs that make the library immigrant-friendly and accessible to diverse populations, including Pittsburgh’s substantial population of Bhutanese refugees. As a volunteer literacy tutor, Kelly helped enhance literacy rates within local refugee communities and has fostered understanding by working to offer multicultural potluck dinners. Her nominators also noted Kelly’s contibutions to creating resources that better the lives of special needs children.

“Winning this award is a tremendous personal honor and a reflection of the amazing support that I receive from my staff and board,” Kelly said. “Public service is rewarding, and nothing is more rewarding than being a librarian.”

Gallagher and Kelly will each 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 their favorite 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 190,000 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.

For more information regarding the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award recipients, please visit . For event highlights and additional information regarding this year’s winners and the importance of their work in the community please follow #ILoveMyLibrarian.

Photos of the award recipients are available 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

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 To contribute to support ALA’s work, visit


Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Communications and Marketing Office