Stephanie Hartwell-Mandella receives 2018 I Love My Librarian Award
Today Stephanie Hartwell-Mandella, librarian at Katonah Village Library in Bedford, New York, was named a winner of the prestigious I Love My Librarian Award. Hartwell-Mandella was selected from a pool of more than 1,000 nominations and is recognized for her leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. She is one of only 10 librarians in the U.S. selected for this year’s national honor.
Since 2011 Hartwell-Mandella has served as the head of Children’s Services at the Katonah Village Library. She is a catalyst who is committed to empowering the community to celebrate its differences by bringing patrons together in a safe, welcoming space to address such divisive issues as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, physical abilities, religious or political beliefs. Hartwell-Mandella is commended for her commitment to fostering empathy and understanding and ensuring that all stories are recognized as important and meaningful.
“This award means the world to me because it comes directly from the words of the community. It makes me feel like they really understand what I am trying to do,” Hartwell-Mandella said. “My favorite thing about being a librarian is making connections, whether I am helping a child who is a reluctant reader, helping someone find services they need or providing programming to support marginalized members of the community.”
Hartwell-Mandella will receive a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception to be held this evening in New York City. The ceremony is hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which co-sponsors the award along with The New York Public Library and The New York Times. The American Library Association administers the award through its Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.
As part of the award process, library users are invited to nominate librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year library users submitted 1,083 nominations detailing how their favorite librarians have gone above and beyond to improve community members’ lives.
In the United States there are 160,000 librarians working in libraries of all types, and only 110 librarians have been selected for this distinguished honor since the award’s inception in 2008.
This year’s award recipients include four academic librarians, three public librarians and three school librarians. A complete list of the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award recipients can be found at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian.