Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai
Youth Services Coordinator
Anchorage Public Library
A creative thinker and gifted collaborator, Elizabeth Nicolai has gone above and beyond to meet the unique needs of Anchorage children and families.
Elizabeth’s accomplishments include a visionary effort to distribute library cards to every child in the Anchorage School District. After years of work and cross-organizational partnerships, families can now automatically opt in to register their child for a library card when they enroll in school; every year since the program launched, more than 90 percent of students have received library cards as a result.
This year, Elizabeth’s leadership has helped the library swiftly adapt its children’s services to the realities of the pandemic. In addition to offering weekly virtual storytimes, she has distributed thousands of STEAM crafting kits to learners of all ages as part of the library’s curbside pick-up offerings. She also successfully secured federal CARES Act funding to give away 3,500 free children’s books to community members in need, knowing that students’ access to reading materials has been limited during school closures.
“We are so very fortunate to have a leader like Elizabeth to move us forward in serving the children of Anchorage and indeed, all of Alaska, by focusing on literacy, community involvement, and responsiveness to the needs of children and caregivers,” her nomination reads. “She is an exemplar of a dedicated librarian whose work has brought many improvements to Anchorage Public Library.”