Library System Manager/Coordinator
Highlands County Library System
“Vikki’s commitment to her staff, patrons, and community is admirable. Her dedication is the stuff that dreams are made of.”
Brown is the manager of the Highlands County Library System and coordinator for the Heartland Library Cooperative, a cooperative of five county library systems that serves the residents of the largely rural-agricultural area in the heart of Florida. It’s a role her nominators say she’s dreamt of having since before she began volunteering at the Sebring Public Library at age 12, and one she stepped into just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To provide services for the library cooperative’s rural population area, Brown has worked to ramp up its outreach efforts, including securing grants for a mobile library, internet hotspots, storytime events and more. The mobile library, which travels to multiple cities across the cooperative’s service area, provides materials for check out, WiFi and computer access, and printing services.
Brown 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.