Associate Professor and Program Services Coordinator
Kansas State University
“Tara has helped make a reading practice one of the signature things one does at Kansas State, and she has done so in a way that welcomes the new students to campus and lets them know they belong here.”
Tara Coleman is the mastermind behind Kansas State University’s K-State First Book program, a campus-wide common reading initiative that serves as a centerpiece of the university’s first-year experience program. Since its inception in 2010, K-State First Book has grown into a massive success and a core element of campus culture, with 80-85% of new students reporting having read all or part of the book.
Through Coleman’s efforts, the program has grown to include a wide array of campus events throughout the academic year including author talks, lectures and panel discussions. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the book into their curricula, and the program offers multiple awards to students, faculty and staff for engagement with each year’s book.
Coleman 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.