April 29, 2017

15 Libraries Named IMLS National Medal Finalists

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced its 30 finalists for its National Medal for Museum and Library Service March 20, including 15 public, academic, and special libraries from Maine to Alaska. The depth and breadth of the work of the nominees demonstrate not only the worth of libraries to our social fabric, but also IMLS’s importance for aiding the vital missions of the libraries across the country: a timely reminder, considering that IMLS is one of multiple federal agencies that the current administration’s preliminary budget proposes to dismantle.

Finding and Filling Needs | 2017 LibraryAware Community Award

From books to bikes to banks, Mississippi Valley Library District steps up to address critical service gaps.

Rick Bass Wins The Story Prize

It may have been International Women’s Day, but on the evening of March 8 The Story Prize went to Rick Bass, the sole male author among the three finalists. Bass’s collection, For a Little While, took the $20,000 prize (and an engraved silver bowl), awarded to the outstanding short story collection of the year.

Paralibrarian of the Year 2017: Patricia Pacheco

Just two years after she immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, Patricia ­Pacheco landed a library assistant position as the first bi­lingual staff member at the Sterling Branch of the Loudoun County Public Library system in Virginia. She had been a kindergarten teacher for nearly 20 years and had dealt with children of all ages in her home country. Early on in her time in the States, she volunteered part time in the Ashburn Library of Loudoun County. So when the Sterling branch announced that it sought a bilingual staff member, Pacheco applied and was hired. That was back in May 2015.

Placemaking and the Public Library | ALA Midwinter 2017

“People crave community. Community needs space. Space can create community. If you are not creating community, you are probably not creating places,” explained Michelle Jeske, City Librarian at Denver Public Library (DPL) and a 2005 LJ Mover & Shaker, to an eager crowd gathered for Placemaking and the Public Library on Sunday, January 22. What […]

Not Business as Usual | ALA Midwinter 2017

In spite of intermittent rain, the mild temperatures of Atlanta, GA, made it a welcome destination for the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, held January 20–24. Current events—notably the inauguration on Friday of Donald Trump as the 45th president—drove a series of offerings that were definitely not business as usual.

Lisa Lucas: The National Book Foundation and Libraries

In March, Lisa Lucas will complete her first year as executive director of the National Book Foundation (NBF). Lucas took the reins of the nonprofit, which oversees the 67-year-old National Book Awards (NBA), when Harold Augenbraum stepped down. She has her sights set on further enlarging NBF’s reach; LJ caught up with Lucas to find out more about what she has planned and how libraries fit into the NBF’s vision.

Jill Bourne: LJ’s 2017 Librarian of the Year

When she arrived to direct California’s San José Public Library in 2013, Jill Bourne faced the effects of years of decimating budget shortfalls and service cuts. The effectiveness with which Bourne spearheaded her Library Access Strategy, opened the libraries, built new relationships with and support from San José’s civic leadership, and leveraged partnerships and fostered innovation—and is now reaching beyond the library to a new citywide Education and Digital Literacy Initiative—has won over a newly inspired staff and convinced our judges to name her the 2017 LJ Librarian of the Year, sponsored by Baker & Taylor.

Julie Webb: Tennessee’s Friend of the Year

At their Trustees/Friends luncheon on April 8, the Tennessee Library Association and Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL) jointly honored longtime Friend Julie D. Webb with their Friend of the Year Award, which celebrates a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to a Friends organization and the advancement of libraries in the state.

Jenna Hartel | LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Winner 2016

On her website, Jenna Hartel talks of “a different character of LIS”—one rooted in positivity, curiosity, and proactivity. It’s what she calls “the bright side of information,” a focus on the upbeat aspect of library studies that has won Hartel, associate professor on the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto (U of T), a special spot in the hearts of her students and fellow faculty members—and the 2016 Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by ­Rowman & Littlefield.