I Love My Librarian Award Celebrates the Best of the Best in Librarianship

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2012 winners will be announced the week of December 17.

Each year, the American Library Association and Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times honor the efforts and achievements of librarians.

The week of Dec. 17, the winners of the 2012 I Love My Librarian Awards will be announced, although the winners will already have been notified by Thanksgiving.

Ten librarians each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.

The award celebrates excellence in librarianship, as demonstrated by last year's winners.

Venetia DemsonFor instance, the nomination for Venetia V. Demson, chief, adaptive services, with the DC Public Library and regional librarian for the DC Regional Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped DC Public Library, adaptive services division, Washington, D.C., notes her partnership with Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.

That partnership produced the Braille Book Club for Kids, Grades 1-6, Chess Club and Camp Lighthouse at the library.

Shahinaz Gadalla, mother of book club participant Nesma Aly, said, "Joining the Braille book club was an eye opener for me, and a great help for my daughter. I learned for the first time that my daughter has a long way to go, but seeing other children her age reading Braille so well was encouraging for her. The supportive environment throughout the book club helped my daughter to identify some role models. This was the right start for her."

Martha FerribyIn the nomination for Martha (Marty) Ferriby, director of the Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, Mich., her work on behalf of children and the poor was highlighted.

Free programs for children grew from 155 in 2001/2002 to 185 in 2010/2011, a year when 4,763 children and teens attended.

The topics for those programs included gardening, family spelling bees, crafts and author visits. She has also encouraged Friends to subsidize two writing contests and a Black History Month Calendar contest.

The programs are especially important to a community experiencing 14.3 percent unemployment. Many of those who are unemployed live close to the Library and visit it daily. They are able to get help with resume writing, job searches, and interview techniques.

Free adult programs are offered by her library on subjects ranging from parenting to healthy cooking to a series of computer training classes offered twice each year.

In the nomination, it is noted, "A visitor to the Library never gets the feeling that anyone is unwelcome, even those who have come into the Library just to get warm. Patrons seem to have a sense of purpose. Marty acknowledges them all."

So who will win this year's awards? It may be your librarian.

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