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Indiana and Michigan librarians recipients of “I Love My Librarian” award

An Indiana library, and a Michigan library were honored with the  2014 “I Love My Librarian” award. Cherry Hamrick from the Delta Township Public Library in Lansing, Michigan, and Frances Yates of Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana,  have been named as recipients of the prestigious Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times “I Love My Librarian” award.  Both were honored for their outstanding public service to the community and ongoing commitment to changing lives through education.

10 librarians were honored with this year’s I Love My Librarian Award for demonstrating the critical role librarians play in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. Selected from a pool of more than 1,000 nominations, the 10 winning librarians join a distinguished group of award recipients. To date, only 70 librarians have received the award since its inception in 2008.

“Each day thousands of dedicated library workers have a profound impact on the quality of life in the communities that they serve,” said Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association. “This year’s award winners provide us with a glimpse of how library workers are transforming lives through access to technology, bridging community resources and fostering a love for learning. The I Love My Librarian Award provides a rare opportunity for both library patrons and the profession to recognize invaluable community change agents – our nation’s librarians.”

Library patrons across the country who use public, school, college, community college or university libraries submitted nominations. The nominations detailed stories about how local librarians made a meaningful difference in their lives. One librarian provides literacy resources for underserved populations, including youths detained in a juvenile detention facility, while another established a career center offering tutoring in resume writing, interviewing classes and services to veterans seeking employment opportunities. Another secured a grant to modernize a school library with 21st century technology to help bridge the digital divide for students.

Frances Yates, Indiana University East Library

Frances Yates, director of the library at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana, knows that the library can be an intimidating place to a student body composed of many first-generation students. Sensitive to those needs, Yates has made the library more welcoming by ensuring staff is friendly and patient and providing a reference librarian with the flexibility to accommodate each student’s schedule. Now, students feel more comfortable asking for assistance and also engaging with one another as well as with staff and faculty.

Yates’ innovative “Ask Us!” campaign gives students access to online library resources 24/7. This is important because the school serves students who must balance jobs and families with schoolwork. The school also has a growing distance education program. Yates places a high priority on offering exceptional service for all library users, whether on-campus or online.

Cherry Hamrick, Delta Township District Library, Lansing, Michigan

Cherry Hamrick, library director of the Delta Township District Library in Lansing, Michigan, oversaw the construction of a new library. The new 30,000-square-foot building – the first public green building in Delta Township – earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Hamrick’s patrons say she was the driving force behind the design and building of the beautiful, patron-friendly library, which is described by local leaders as a “well-used, IT-ready community asset.” Today’s new library is teeming with activity – a true community center.

Hamrick has led the library as its director for more than a decade. The library serves a population of 32,408 residents and circulates more than 340,000 items per year. Hamrick directed the organization of 338 youth programs and 258 adult programs that were attended by more than 13,000 patrons. In addition, Hamrick also shares her own experiences with patrons, presenting travelogues showcasing her marathon runs in China and Antarctica. She also is a model for community engagement, as she just recently worked closely with a local Eagle Scout to build a “Little Lending Library” along a three-mile trail next to the library.

Each winning librarian will receive a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception to be held in New York City, hosted by The New York Times.

In the United States, there are a total of 165,986 certified librarians and more than 200,000 dedicated library workers who offer services to the elderly, job-seekers, small business owners, families, students and many others. Librarians are continually working to meet the changing needs of library users and the communities they serve.

For more information regarding the 2014 I Love My Librarian recipients, please visit