Kansas City Librarian Receives National Award

Monday, December 8, 2008
Henry Fortunato

Librarians in our nation’s 123,000 libraries make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans every day. 

Today, local librarian Carol Levers  was named one of 10 librarians nationwide recognized for service to their communities, schools and campuses as a winner of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

Levers is a community services librarian at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library and a weekend supervisor at the Plaza Branch Library of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library.

More than 3,200 library users nationwide nominated a librarian.  The other award recipients are:

  • Linda Allen, Libraries Director, Pasco County Library System, Hudson, Fla.
  • Jean Amaral, Reference Librarian, Antioch University New England, Keene, N.H.
  • Amy J. Cheney, Librarian, Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall, San Leandro, Calif.
  • Jennifer Lankford Dempsey, Library Media Specialist and Technology Coordinator, Wrights Mill Road Elementary School, Auburn, Ala.
  • Dr. Margaret “Gigi” Lincoln, Library Media Specialist, Lakeview High School Library, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Iona R. Malanchuk, Associate University Librarian and Head of the Education Library, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Elaine McIlroy, Director, Wellfleet Public Library, Wellfleet, Mass.
  • Paul McIntosh, Library Media Specialist, Wadleigh Secondary School For The Performing and Visual Arts, New York, N.Y.
  • Arezoo Moseni, Senior Librarian, The New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, The Art Collection, New York, N.Y.

Each of the 10 award winners receives a $5,000 cash award and will be honored at a ceremony and reception in New York at TheTimesCenter, hosted by The New York Times on Dec. 9.

“Librarians are even more important to their communities in this digital age,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.  “They are the people many turn to for help in navigating the complex and information-rich world of the web where the quality of the research and reports is not always clear. These ten librarians deserve applause because their professionalism has won the attention and respect of their neighbors.”

The New York Times is proud to collaborate with the American Library Association and Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognizing the role of librarians in society,” said Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company.  “Literacy and public access to knowledge are critical to our democracy and the work of these librarians quite simply, enriches us all.”

“This award honors the significant relationship between library users and librarians.  It also recognizes these 10 librarians for the notable impact they have on the lives of the people they serve and on their communities,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Rettig.

Nominations were open to librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries.  In order to be eligible, the nominee had to have received a master’s degree from a program accredited by the ALA in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational institution accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The selection committee is comprised of Dr. Loriene Roy, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Information; Dr. Rookaya Bawa, program officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York; Annalisa R. Crews, library media specialist at Homewood High School, Homewood, Ala.; Karen Danczak Lyons, first deputy commissioner of Chicago Public Library; Diane McNulty, executive director of Community Affairs and Media Relations at The New York Times; and Dr. Laverna M. Saunders, university librarian at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

The ALA administered the award through the Campaign for America’s Libraries, its public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

The award, which began as The New York Times Librarian Awards in 2000, is now a collaborative program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times and the American Library Association.  More information about the award recipients is available at www.ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian

Carnegie Corp. of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." For more than 95 years, the corporation has carried out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy by building on his two major concerns: international peace and advancing education and knowledge. As a private grant-making foundation, the corporation will invest more than $100 million this year in nonprofits to fulfill Carnegie's mission, "to do real and permanent good in this world." The corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $3 billion on Sept. 30, 2007.

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2007 revenues of $3.2 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 16 other daily newspapers, WQXR-FM and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 67,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.