Westover librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award 

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/10/2022


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



John Paul Mahofski recognized with national public service honor  

CHICAGO – John Paul Mahofski, librarian at the Eastern Correctional Institution for the State of Maryland (ECI) in Westover, Maryland, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for his dedication to providing exceptional library and information services to incarcerated library users, Mahofski was selected from more than 1,300 nominations from library users across the country. 

Mahofski leads by example, going above and beyond to deliver information and resources to the prison population he serves. His nominator, a person who is incarcerated at ECI, notes that Mahofski consistently puts his patrons’ welfare first, even purchasing materials with his own funds if they are unavailable using the library’s resources. 

Over the course of his tenure at ECI, Mahofski has started or helped start several programs on behalf of his patrons, including creative writing, typing and summer reading programs and a book discussion group in conjunction with Salisbury University that rewards participants with a certificate of completion. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the library space closed to patrons, Mahofski pivoted library services to a “Bookmobile” model, delivering books and information requests to and from people in ECI three times a week. 

“To Mr. ‘M,’ which is what most men call him…we all were valued patrons of the library,” his nominator shared, “and he does everything in his power to make the brief time we have in the library an enjoyable and useful experience.” 

Mahofski 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.