I Love My Librarian Award Nomination Tips

Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations for the I Love My Librarian Award —but only 10 librarians can win in a given award cycle. Wondering how to write a nomination that stands out from all the others? Read on below for tips about how to make the best possible case for your favorite librarian.

1. Include stories, facts, and examples.

The strongest nominations provide specific, compelling evidence to illustrate why a particular librarian deserves the award. For example, rather than just stating that the nominee is welcoming, you could share an anecdote about how they went out of their way to make a community member feel comfortable using the library, or cite a policy they enacted to make the library’s services and programming more inclusive. It can also help to include library statistics if you have them available—if your nominee helped to increase circulation, program attendance, or library visits, sharing those numbers can be a great way to show the concrete impact of the librarian’s work.

2. Focus on “above and beyond.”

We receive so many wonderful nominations each year, so when our selection committee choses winners, they look for librarians that exceed expectations and truly represent the best of the profession. As you write your nomination, keep in mind that a typical job description for a librarian includes recommending books, organizing programs, and answering reference questions—how can you communicate that your librarian goes above and beyond those duties?

3. Include a variety of perspectives.

Many successful nominations include input and quotes from several members of the librarian’s community. Including multiple nominators is by no means required, but pooling multiple points-of-view could be a good way to show how wide your nominee’s impact is. If you’re nominating a school or college/university librarian, consider incorporating perspectives from students, instructors, and administrators; for a public librarian, it might be helpful to hear from library users, fellow library staff, and local officials. If you do choose to collaborate with others to nominate a librarian, we recommend working together on a single nomination rather than having several people submit individually.

4. Review past winners’ nominations.

Looking for concrete examples of what makes a strong nomination? Visit the I Love My Librarian website to read the full nomination forms for all our winning librarians. Different nominators take different approaches, but all of the winning nominations include thoughtful details and compelling evidence for why the librarian goes above and beyond in their community. Read a few to get inspired for how you might write your own nomination for a librarian in your life.

5. Resubmit previous nominations.

So many incredible nominations are submitted every year, but only 10 librarians can be honored in a given award cycle. If your librarian doesn’t win the first time you nominate them, try resubmitting your nomination in subsequent years—you can add additional details when you resubmit or just send it as-is. Many of our award winners have been nominated multiple times before receiving the award, so don’t lose hope if it doesn’t work out the first time around!

If you have specific questions about the I Love My Librarian Award nomination process, please email campaign@ala.org.