10 winners receive prestigious I Love My Librarian Award for outstanding public service

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/11/2021


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



CHICAGO – Today the American Library Association (ALA) announced 10 winners of the coveted I Love My Librarian Award. Honorees are exceptional librarians from academic, public and school libraries who were nominated by patrons nationwide for their expertise, dedication and profound impact on the people in their communities. 

“During an unprecedentedly challenging year, librarians have risen to the occasion, providing much-needed resources to their communities from a safe distance,” said American Library Association President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. “Congratulations to this year’s I Love My Librarian Award winners, who have worked tirelessly to assist, engage and empower the people they serve.” 

ALA received 1,865 nominations for this year’s award, which showcases the incredible achievements of librarians across the country. Hundreds of nominations focused on librarians’ swift and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from hosting virtual programs to distributing books and technology safely to those in need. This year’s award recipients include four academic librarians, three public librarians and three school librarians. 

Honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library, and complimentary registration to ALA’s 2021 Virtual Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The virtual award ceremony will take place during the conference at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 and will be available to stream live at https://www.youtube.com/user/AmLibraryAssociation.

The winners are:

Jayanti Addleman

Hayward (California) Public Library  

As library director, Addleman has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic with inspiring optimism and extensive expertise. Her efforts include removing barriers to online library card registration, distributing technology to community members in need, and purchasing a bookmobile to distribute resources throughout the area.

Jessica Bell

MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston

Bell’s leadership has transformed the MGH Institute library into a world-class resource for teaching and learning, offering information literacy training for all students, open access course materials and considerable expertise in instructional design.

Sean Bird

Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

Bird is recognized for his tireless dedication to Washburn’s students, many of whom are from underserved and underrepresented communities. During 2020’s emergency shift to online learning, he led a technology lending program that distributed laptops to every student who needed one.

Naomi Bishop

University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix

Bishop is a champion for social justice, raising much-needed awareness about racism in health sciences literature and leading the College of Medicine - Phoenix to develop more equitable and inclusive curricula. She has also contributed valuable research and reference expertise to the local medical community during the pandemic.

Jesse Braun

Beverly Vista Middle School Library, Beverly Hills, California

During the pandemic, Braun has been a lifeline for students and teachers, leading online lessons, transitioning clubs to virtual meetings, offering remote reference assistance and disseminating bags of textbooks to 900 students, all while maintaining social distancing.

Adilene Estrada-Huerta

Sacramento (California) Public Library

Estrada-Huerta is recognized for her outstanding outreach services to Spanish-speaking families, providing bilingual storytimes, a traveling literacy program and a partnership with the Mexican Consulate.

Jianye He

University of California, Berkeley

Chinese studies scholars in Berkeley and beyond rely on He for expert assistance locating hard-to-find sources. Her vast network of research contacts, welcoming demeanor and extensive subject knowledge have made her indispensable to the scholarly community.

Jane E. Martellino

International School at Dundee, Greenwich, Connecticut

Martellino is recognized for creating a vibrant culture of literacy on campus and beyond; efforts include launching the school’s Battle of the Books and “one book, one school” initiatives, as well as founding Connecticut’s first K-3 book award program.

Jennifer L. Newcome

Northeastern High School, Manchester, Pennsylvania.

Newcome has transformed the Northeastern library into a community hub. Learners of all kinds, from struggling students seeking out tutoring to dual-enrollees who need somewhere to focus on college assignments, feel welcome in the space.

Elizabeth Nicolai

Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library

Nicolai is honored for promoting literacy and STEAM education among Alaska’s youth. Her accomplishments include partnering with the Anchorage School District to register more than 90 percent of local students for a public library card.

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 http://www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian

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: 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 nearly 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. 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 nypl.org/support.

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 ala.org.