Western Carolina University librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award 

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/10/2022


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



Shamella Cromartie recognized with national public service honor 

CHICAGO – Shamella Cromartie, associate dean of library services at Western Carolina University, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for her inclusive approach to pedagogy and empowering scholarship within her campus community, Cromartie was selected from more than 1,300 nominations from library users across the country. 

Cromartie has centered equity, diversity and inclusion in her programming and service efforts at Western Carolina University, notably in her development and implementation of the library’s Faculty Fellows program. Designed using a competitive application process, the program coaches faculty members in employing inclusive pedagogy in their courses through continuous learning and revision to their approach to teaching and rewards successful applicants with a stipend for their work and funding for inclusive classroom materials. As one of her nominators noted, “Prior to her arrival, I never thought of the library as a space that would lead in diversity and inclusion efforts. She is cultivating faculty pedagogical capacity while simultaneously ensuring our collection is inclusive.” 

Colleagues praise Cromartie’s dedication to supporting the research and scholarship efforts of her campus community. In one story from her nomination letter, a professor researching a Black principal and superintendent of the Negro schools in her hometown from the 1920s-1950s sought the principal’s master's thesis, of which only one copy exists. After the professor hit repeated dead ends in trying to work with other librarians to access the thesis, Cromartie “went the extra mile” to work with the holding institution and contextualized the professor’s need and research focus. As the professor wrote, “A month or so later, she walk[ed] in my office with the bound thesis – as I read the pages, I cried.” 

“Shamella has a keen sense of observation combined with a deep knowledge of literature and resources,” her nominators wrote. “She uses all of her skills to provide the most student-centered experience. She is a champion for integrated learning and resource development.” 

Cromartie 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.