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I Love My Librarian Award

Nomination Guidelines

The nomination form for the 2023 I Love My Librarian Awards will open in late Spring or early Summer in 2022. Sign up to be notified about future award activity.

Want to nominate a librarian in your community? Check out the information below to start thinking about your nomination.

Nominees must meet certain requirements to be considered for the award. Check out the award's eligibility criteria.

What makes a strong nomination? Check out our tips for telling your librarian's story and making your nomination stand out from the rest.

Can I submit a nomination by mail? Will you share my nomination with my nominee? Answers to these questions and more can be found in our FAQ.

Eligibility Criteria

Each librarian nominee must:

  • Hold a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
  • Be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or a library at an accredited K-12 school, or have been working at one of these institutions as of March 1, 2021.

Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations for the I Love My Librarian Award, but only 10 librarians can be selected per award cycle. Wondering how to write a nomination that stands out from all the others? Read on below for tips about how to make the best possible case for your favorite librarian.

Writing a Strong Nomination

Include stories, facts, and examples.

The strongest nominations provide specific, compelling evidence to illustrate why a particular librarian deserves the award. For example, rather than just stating that the nominee is welcoming, you could share an anecdote about how they went out of their way to make a community member feel comfortable using the library, or cite a policy they enacted to make the library’s services and programming more inclusive.

It can also help to include library statistics if you have them available—if your nominee helped to increase circulation, program attendance, or library visits, sharing those numbers can be a great way to show the concrete impact of the librarian’s work.

Focus on “above and beyond.”

We receive so many wonderful nominations each year, so our selection committee looks for librarians that exceed expectations and truly represent the best of the profession. As you write your nomination, keep in mind that a typical job description for a librarian includes recommending books, organizing programs, and answering reference questions—how can you communicate that your librarian goes above and beyond those duties?

Include a variety of perspectives.

Many successful nominations include input and quotes from several members of the librarian’s community. Including multiple nominators is by no means required, but pooling multiple points-of-view could be a good way to show how wide your nominee’s impact is. If you’re nominating a school or college/university librarian, consider incorporating perspectives from students, instructors, and administrators; for a public librarian, it might be helpful to hear from library users, fellow library staff, and local officials.

If you choose to collaborate with others to nominate a librarian, we strongly recommend working together on a single nomination rather than having several people submit individually.

Resubmit previous nominations.

So many incredible nominations are submitted every year, but only 10 librarians can be honored in a given award cycle. If your librarian isn't selected the first time you nominate them, try resubmitting your nomination in subsequent years—you can add additional details when you resubmit or just send it as-is. Many of our award recipients have been nominated multiple times before receiving the award, so don’t lose hope if it doesn’t work out the first time around!

If you have specific questions about the I Love My Librarian Award nomination process, please email campaign@ala.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nominations must be submitted online via the online nomination form. If you have trouble using the form, please contact campaign@ala.org so we can help troubleshoot.

In the form, you can select whether or not the librarian you nominate will receive a copy of their nomination. (We recommend it - it always brightens their day to see the love in their community!)

Nominees must be employed in a library within the United States.

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