When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, people across the US found themselves quite suddenly without many essential services—including those offered by their local libraries. When Arlington (Texas) Public Library (APL) closed its doors due to the pandemic, APL community programming librarian Yuliana Aceves stepped up to help her community, leading her to be chosen as a 2022 I Love My Librarian (ILML) Award winner. Awarded annually, the ILML honor recognizes exceptional academic, public, and school librarians.
Colleagues and community members praised the live virtual programs that Aceves led each week on the library’s social media platforms to engage Spanish speakers during the pandemic. Her ILML nominators noted that her Spanish storytimes were the most popular of all the library’s children’s programs, writing: “She has truly been the face of the library for our system and has filmed hours of programs and videos to help us communicate to this audience.”
Aceves’ other programming efforts at APL also received accolades. She helped implement the Stories to Our Children program, which gives parents an opportunity to write and decorate books to give to their children; led the Little Art program, which provides families with an opportunity to explore different art materials each week; and organized two programs to encourage dietary wellness and address health concerns in the community.
“[Aceves’] commitment to community and bringing relevant programs to the community is amazing,” her nominators wrote. “She is truly a gem here in Arlington, and we love that our parents have someone like her as a resource to promote early literacy in the community.”
Aceves and nine other ILML Award winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library, and complimentary registration to the American Library Association’s LibLearnX. The ILML Award ceremony will take place virtually during LibLearnX at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 22. Watch it here!
Since the ILML 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 on previous award winners can be found here.