Interim Innovation and Digital Learning Manager
Evanston Public Library
“Elacsha Madison is not just a librarian. She is first and foremost a community builder and friend to all she meets, and more than that, there’s nothing about this librarian that the community doesn’t love.”
Just north of Chicago, Elacsha Madison is elevating the Evanston Public Library’s teen outreach efforts through her work from and beyond the library’s teen Loft space. She has brought an abundance of innovative STEAM programs and resources to marginalized communities, including building technology, DIY cosmetics, community gardening and more.
In partnership with school librarians in the district, Madison hosted a recurring “Taste of the Loft” event at local schools and parks, where students could sample various library programs and offerings such as drumming, coding and crafts. And in another partnership with Evanston Grows, a local organization focused on addressing food injustice, Madison coordinated book donations for farmstand patrons to take home alongside free organic produce.
Madison was selected from more than 1,500 nominations from library users nationwide for the 2023 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 New Orleans.
The I Love My Librarian Award is sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support from the New York Public Library. Since 2008, library users have shared more than 23,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology, and support diversity and inclusion in their communities.