For immediate release | January 10, 2022

Decorah librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award 

Shannon Horton recognized with national public service honor 

CHICAGO – Shannon Horton, teacher librarian at the Decorah Community School District in Decorah, Iowa, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for her efforts in creating a welcoming environment for all library users, Horton was selected from more than 1,300 nominations from library users across the country.

Horton has demonstrated a commitment to making sure all of Decorah’s students see themselves represented in the books available in the school’s libraries and bringing that representation into the classroom. She helped the high school’s Gay/Straight Alliance create a traveling display to appear in classrooms for a week at a time and in the library the remainder of the year. Horton has been intentional about purchasing books with LGBTQ characters and has posted signs in the library designating the space a safe zone.

Colleagues highlight Horton’s work as an adviser to the high school’s “Racial Equality Union,” a racially diverse student group that works to educate students’ peers about their experiences as part of a minority. Under her guidance, members of the group created lessons for third-grade students addressing racism and celebrating differences, then built classroom libraries for teachers in the district covering slavery and modern anti-racist work. Books were carefully chosen to be independent reading choices for students as well as read-aloud options that could be led by classroom teachers. As her nominators noted, “The project was a resounding success on many levels, and we could not have pulled it off without Shannon’s expertise and guidance throughout.

“Shannon Horton embodies the energy and dedication of all the essential roles a teacher librarian can serve,” her nominators wrote. “She is fiercely dedicated to best practice in all areas of library science, whether that be teaching media literacy, finding ways for students to connect to books, adding more current titles to the collections, or vetting new technology tools to help teachers and students get the most out of their learning experiences.”

Horton and this year’s nine other honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library, and complimentary registration to ALA’s LibLearnX. The virtual award ceremony will take place during the conference at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, and will be available to stream live at

Since the award’s inception in 2008, library users have shared more than 20,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology and support diversity and inclusion in their communities. Information regarding previous award winners can be found on the I Love My Librarian website at 

Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library also supports the award. ALA administers the award through its 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: education, international peace, and a strong 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 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 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



Macey Morales

Deputy Director

American Library Association

Communications and Marketing Office

(312) 280-4393