I Love My Librarian » Claire Dannenbaum
Photo of Claire Dannenbaum


Reference & Instruction Librarian
Lane Community College
Eugene, Oregon

“Energetic, caring, sleeves rolled up, and moving our profession and library forward!” is how one nominator described Claire Dannenbaum, reference and instruction librarian at Lane Community College.

For the school’s approximately 15,000 students—many from varied, non-traditional backgrounds—Dannenbaum is making positive, lifelong impacts, particularly in the college’s Honors Program, where she engages with students working on challenging research projects. Her dedication to supporting students’ scholarly efforts has inspired many to pursue advanced degrees after graduating. Dannenbaum’s efforts also extend internationally: her research has explored ways in which libraries in the US and abroad support new citizens and refugees, and she is currently serving as a Fulbright Specialist for libraries through 2025.

Dannenbaum brings her passion for art and creativity into her library service, from helping develop and oversee the library’s makerspace to creating an exhibit space featuring rotating displays. This passion shines through in her student mentorship, which was highlighted repeatedly by alumni. As one recalled, a simple conversation in the library about the student’s art and a nudge to use the makerspace sprouted a journey into scientific research. “I learned over the years that I attended Lane that Claire Dannenbaum was much more than a librarian. She became my teacher and mentor and showed a supportive, empathetic, and welcoming spirit that always went beyond my expectations.”

Dannenbaum was selected from nearly 1,400 nominations from library users nationwide for the 2024 award. As part of her award, she will receive a $5,000 cash prize as well as complimentary registration and a travel stipend to attend ALA's LibLearnX event in Baltimore.

The I Love My Librarian Award is sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support from the New York Public Library, and is administered by the American Library Association. Since 2008, library users have shared more than 24,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology, and support diversity and inclusion in their communities.

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