George Mason University librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
ALA Media Relations
George Oberle recognized with national public service honor
CHICAGO – George D. Oberle, director of the Center for Mason Legacies, history librarian, and assistant term professor at George Mason University (GMU), is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for his amplification of historically underrepresented voices and the dedication he brings to uncovering and teaching about hidden histories, Oberle was selected from more than 1,300 nominations from library users across the country.
Applying his dedicated scholarship in history and his commitment to social justice, Oberle has transformed his campus community and its understanding of GMU’s and its namesake’s racial history through his work establishing and leading the Center for Mason Legacies (CML), an interdisciplinary and collaborative research center housed in the university’s Fenwick Library that seeks to preserve and examine the legacy of George Mason IV, his ancestors and heirs, and the people he enslaved.
Oberle’s work with the CML has culminated in numerous educational resources for the GMU community, including a robust website with an array of primary source materials and a memorial recognizing the individuals enslaved by George Mason in the center of campus. As his nominators note, “By his example and his accomplishments, George has shown that what starts as a small library project can indeed grow into an important asset supported by the entire university.”
“Dr. Oberle’s work with the Center is remarkably pointed and relevant to these times as he and the team work towards uncovering our hidden histories, expanding our historical record and knowledge of both the past and the present, documenting current racial tensions, and seeking a more just future,” his nominators wrote. “He works directly in the spaces combatting erasure and suppression and inspires students and faculty alike as he does so. In these efforts, he embodies not only the time-tested tradition and unique role of libraries in society as knowledge-preservers, but also the knowledge-creation and discovery-learning traditions of research universities.”
Oberle 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 https://www.youtube.com/user/AmLibraryAssociation.
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: 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 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.