I Love My Librarian

I Love My Librarian Award 2018 winner Lindsey Tomsu

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Lindsey, the first winner from Illinois, was nominated by teens from two states–Illinois and Nebraska. She is commended for inspiring youth by creating welcoming environments that help them to learn and grow.

One teen nominator said, “I remember what Lindsey said to us during the first [Teen Advisory Board] meeting–we could make the library anything we wanted it to be. That’s empowering.”
Working with Teen Advisory Boards, Lindsey encouraged teens to develop programs that reflected their interests. Together, they have taken field trips to plays, concerts and comic book conventions to pursue their collective passions. She also helps them establish groups and activities such as the bacon club, a makerspace and teen storytime.  

I Love My Librarian Award 2018 winner Dr. Linda E. Robinson

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I Love My Librarian Award 2018 winner Dr. Linda E. Robinson cultivates a love of literacy and learning in students through creative programming. She has developed a strong school library program to ensure her students have the best chance to succeed.

One such program is the One School, One Read initiative which encourages staff and students to read a book together. Linda helps to bring each book to life with a lunch-time celebration with a meal that reflects the book’s setting, staff dressing up as characters and putting up decorations and playing music from the time period.

I Love My Librarian Award 2018 winner Paula Kelly

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Paula promotes equity and inclusion through her work with underserved populations, particularly immigrants and refugees. One community leader proclaimed, “America needs more Paulas.”

Every month, the library sends a bus to pick up immigrant families to bring them to the library where they can check out materials and socialize. For many displaced Bhutanese families, these visits are important trips to engage with their community and avoid social isolation. Paula also provides information and speakers on topics to help families assimilate to their new area.

2018 I Love my Librarian winner Stephanie H. Hartwell-Mandella

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Stephanie has turned the library into a community hub that is welcoming for all. Through the library’s programs and resources, she helps to bring awareness around diversity, multiculturalism and LGBTQ issues. For example, she created Gospel Fest, where local groups and choirs perform at the library during Black History Month. She put up special displays in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. One of the library’s patrons said, “There is magic in her programs.” Stephanie is commended for her commitment to inclusivity. After vandals carved swastikas into trees and walls at the local middle and high schools, Stephanie worked with the Anti-Defamation League to bring a Holocaust survivor and author to the library. She made sure the library was a safe space where community members could discuss difficult issues. 

2018 I Love my Librarian winner Terri Gallagher

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As reference librarian, Terri develops programs that provide more opportunities for learning and community engagement for students as well as local residents.  Her nominator said, “Terri is, in essence, the heart of the library–the beating, emotional lifeblood of what makes the library at CCBC a special place for all.” She is known for her special ability to engage with students with creative programming. For example, she holds “Game of Thrones” and “Peter Pan” -themed orientations for freshman to highlight all the resources that can be accessed through the library.

By partnering with the local public library system, Terri helped start a community-wide program to encourage everyone to read the same book. Book discussions were held at the college’s library and public libraries throughout the county.

2018 I Love my Librarian Award winner Jennifer Berg Gaither

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Librarian and IB Extended Essay Coordinator
Joseph Meyerhoff Library, Baltimore City College
Baltimore, Maryland

Jennifer’s an unwavering belief in students gives them the confidence to achieve

The first I Love My Librarian Award recipient from Maryland, Jennifer plays an instrumental role in prepping students for the Extended Essay portion of the high school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma program, a rigorous process of research and writing.

She inspires students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, to rise to the challenge. If students need extra help, she meets them at coffee shops in the evenings, on weekends and school breaks. She even provides rides for students who have transportation challenges getting to school.

2018 I Love My Librarian Award winner Nancy Lynn Daniel

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Nancy’s dedication and compassion are felt all over campus

Nancy has broadened the college library’s reach and impact on students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.

Her talent for teaching makes her an invaluable partner in the academic learning process. Through her fun and engaging orientations and classes, she teaches students how to find accurate and reliable data and write citations for papers. She assists faculty and staff by ensuring new resources with the latest research and teaching strategies are available to be used in classrooms.

2018 I Love my Librarian award winner Tamara Lea Cox

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School librarian
Wren High School
Piedmont, South Carolina

Tamara’s work is a testament to the power of forging partnerships

During her tenure, Tamara has transformed the school library into a hub of learning through collaboration between students, teachers and families as well as partnerships with local organizations and other schools.

She developed a summer program to promote reading to incoming freshman. Partnering with the local middle school, she visits students before they arrive at school to get them signed up for new book clubs and check out books. When the students attend high school in the fall, they meet with the teacher facilitator to discuss the books.

2018 I Love my Librarian winner Joy Lynn Bridwell

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Stone Child College Library
Box Elder, Montana

Joy’s devotion to her community shines through her work

Bridwell-Joy-headshot300.jJoy’s devotion to her community shines through her work

Joy is commended for engaging students, many of whom may not be familiar with library resources and services. She also works to continually extend the role of the library to meet the needs of the community of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation as well as the surrounding areas.

She provides library literacy training for students. To make it more fun and engaging, Joy holds scavenger hunts with prizes. And she hosts library tours and trainings for community members who live nearby to introduce them to resources and services that are available through the school. 

2018 I Love My Librarian winner Ginny Norris Blackson

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Ginny is an invaluable resource for instructors and learners alike

Blackson-Ginny-headshot-lg.jpgGinny is an invaluable resource for instructors and learners alike

Due to her deep commitment to service, Ginny has turned the library into a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all students, particularly those with diverse backgrounds and needs.

She established the Family Study Space, a dedicated area in the library that welcomes community members with young children.

Ginny has also expanded the library’s collections to be more inclusive. Through a grant, she acquired library materials dealing with LGBTQ issues. She received additional funding to purchase resources representing Hispanic history and culture.