For immediate release | January 10, 2022

San Antonio librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award 

Talamantes recognized with national public service honor

CHICAGO – Arnulfo Talamantes, librarian at Sul Ross Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for his innovative approach to encouraging literacy and inspiring a love of reading in his students, Talamantes was selected from more than 1,300 nominations from library users across the country.

Talamantes has transformed the culture of reading at Sul Ross Middle School through a number of innovative programs and initiatives, notably the Rebel Bucks program. Applying a bookstore model, students purchase and keep books using campus currency earned through positive behavior in the classroom, with the goal of empowering students and encouraging independent reading through building their own at-home libraries.

Outside of the library’s walls, Talamantes has worked to connect students and teachers with the benefits of outdoor learning by establishing an urban community garden for the school as part of a program called Ross Roots. Colleagues noted Talamantes’ stewardship of the garden has enormous educational and health benefits for the students, particularly teaching students about healthy food alternatives and fostering team-building activities.

“The beauty of literacy, empowerment, and positivity is what [Arnulfo Talamantes] strives for,” write his nominators, “and he has created an imprint of this among all students, staff, and faculty.”

Talamantes 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