For immediate release | April 8, 2024

Jennie Pu to receive Ernest A. DiMattia Award

CHICAGO — Jennie Pu has been named the 2024 winner of ALA’s Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession. The award, supported by the DiMattia Family, recognizes a librarian who demonstrates leadership in anticipating emerging trends in services, products and technologies that will enhance the library’s position in its community. The winner also participates in the life of the community using membership and volunteer service through a broad range of community organizations and projects.

Pu is being honored for her leadership in redefining the role of the library in the City of Hoboken, New Jersey. When Pu became director of Hoboken Library in 2021, she stepped into a historic institution that had steadily served the Hoboken community for over 130 years. Since then, she has transformed the library into a vibrant community hub reaching all four corners of its mile square city through robust programming, pop up libraries in schools, and rich partnerships with more than 50 community organizations. From abolishing overdue fines to providing social services, Ms. Pu has championed inclusivity to ensure the library is a welcoming space for all. As part of the multimillion-dollar historic restoration of the main library, she built the first, free makerspace in Hoboken. She added a third library book locker at the Hoboken Historical Museum. This program is the first book locker in the state of New Jersey to be located on a non-library location. In addition, Ms. Pu realized the importance of one of the Museum’s keystone projects, which is called Vanishing Hoboken. It is an ongoing oral history program where the Museum interviews, transcribes, designs, and creates a small, elegant publication, which is called Chapbooks.

Pu’s leadership, Hoboken Public Library has emerged as a beacon for intellectual freedom and the right to read in the state of New Jersey. She led a successful citywide readathon of banned books and, through her efforts, Hoboken Public Library and the City of Hoboken were declared book sanctuaries - the first in New Jersey. Her passion inspired a statewide groundswell, with fifteen other libraries in the state becoming book sanctuaries, and more on the way.

Another initiative that the Hoboken Public Library began under Pu’s leadership is the use of the BookBike! This BookBike has allowed for the resources of the library to be brought across the mile square City of Hoboken, from schools to parks to the Housing Authority Campus to community events.

A recognized leader in her field, Ms. Pu serves on state, regional, and national boards including the New Jersey Library Association and Urban Libraries Council. In 2024 she was appointed to the American Library Association’s Policy Corps, United Against Book Bans cadre. She is among the leaders supporting New Jersey’s Freedom to Read Act, which would protect the right to read in libraries across the state and protect library workers and educators in schools.

“Libraries embody democracy” says Pu. “Few of us imagined we would be front and center in the fight to protect intellectual freedom, but we are taking it on, and we have the American public on our side. And we continue to serve our communities and create opportunities that bring people together. To me this is at the core of the award, and I am so deeply honored to be chosen among so many for the work that all our libraries do, day in and day out.”

­­­The annual award, consisting of $5,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in June 2024.

Members of the ALA Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession Award Committee are Chair Charles Kratz, Dean Emeritus, Weinberg Memorial Library, The University of Scranton, Scranton, PA; Nicole Lamoreaux, Assistant Director, The New School, The New School Libraries, New York, NY; Marcus Lowry, Library Manager, Ramsey County Library in Mounds View, Mounds View. MN; Beth McGuire, Librarian, Harrold School Library, Greensburg, PA; Lance Werner, Executive Director, Kent District, Comstock, MI

More information about the Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession including how to submit a nomination is available at the ALA website (

About the American Library Association
The 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, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Sheryl Reyes