It’s usually the books getting the awards around here, but this time, we’re turning the spotlight on librarians. While I have no official award to give (look to the I Love My Librarian Award for that prestigious honor!), we asked readers on social media to share a story about their favorite library worker to celebrate these heroes of the literary world.
These public servants not only select and shelve our books, but continue to evolve and adapt along with ever-changing technology and social needs, offer 24/7 access to books through apps like Libby, advocate for our right to read freely, provide classes and tools to improve our lives and are always on hand to help.
Librarians deserve recognition every day, but this month, with National Library Week celebrations taking place April 23-29, it felt like the time to drop a love note to those that made an impact on our lives and share some favorite memories of a time that a library staff member made us feel welcome, taught us something or gave that perfect book recommendation.
Personally, I’ve never met a librarian I didn’t love, but there are a few that deserve my fullest gratitude. To the librarian in first grade who told me with a wink that I could check out as many books as I’d like; thank you for the warm encouragement that gave a shy kid confidence to explore. To the librarians that have scanned every book I’ve ever laid on the circulation desk without so much as a wince of judgment; thank you for the privacy. To the librarian who gave me interview advice: It helped me to land my first job and a career in books. To the librarians I visited in the summer of 2020, desperate for new books to entertain my toddler during lockdown, your presence and that open sign on the door gave me a much-needed moment of normalcy.
One reader reached out to us (who also happened to be an author!) to share more about their favorite librarian. She also happened to write a book about her: Dear Librarian by Lydia M. Sigwarth.
This beautiful story is heartfelt tribute to a librarian that offered more than just books to a little girl who looking for comfort and a welcoming space. With a foreword by Ira Glass, Dear Librarian is a "thank you" to anyone who has offered a child love and support during a difficult time.
Whether a small act of kindness or a long-lasting impact, here are more librarians that deserve a big thank you for all they do to keep us reading, learning and exploring every day.
I actually had a bookmark I left in my book I returned last week! It was a book tracker with all the books I have read so far in 2023 on it. I thought it was lost forever. A librarian called me and held it at the circulation desk for me.* ❤️ - chapter5cami
At the library with my sons, my youngest asked me to read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I thought surely I can get through this without crying since I was in public! Wrong. I went to get a Kleenex and explained to our librarian. He simply said, “The power of literature.” - shellykinsella
@shidoburrito always has great book recommendations! - royseecup
Growing up in Brooklyn, I just love libraries in general. It’s a place that’s home to more books than I could ever have at home and you’re always welcome. Librarians are always there to help. Appreciate you guys to the moon and back. - brendag990
Ms. Beal. My elementary school librarian. She chose me to be a library helper in 6th grade. She left us candy bars in the drawer behind the desk where students checked out books. She taught me the Dewey Decimal System and the card catalog when it was index cards in drawers. She was one of my favorite people and helped me continue my love for books. - valerier6671
Favorite librarians were some of my ex-bosses in public libraries. The ones who got down and mucked in with shelving, etc. The ones who encouraged all staff to try all aspects of library work and who treated the public with warmth. - pat78727840
When I was trained by an 18-year veteran librarian, it was very evident her love of libraries, her love of children and her love of putting the right book in the hands of the right student. From day one, she modeled what a librarian is—a person who feeds each unique person the tools to expand their learning and passions. Thank you, Jo Bardole, for being you and entrusting me to continue the work and relationships you built over the years. - Juneau Public Library
I was a teen in a turbulent household and the library was my safe space. Katie gave me and others at the school a safe space where we could play video games, talk, laugh and absolutely nerd out about our favorite anime. She did so much for us, and I will forever be grateful for the years that she gave us that love and space. - ink_drinker_reads
Mrs. Fannin and Mrs. May were my librarians. They got to know me when I was in sixth grade and made it my goal to read out of the AR colors so I could read whatever book in the library I wanted to (which I did). By seventh and eighth grade, they had me helping in the library as my elective class. For a teenager who didn’t exactly fit, being able to go there, shelve books and recommend books to other kids made those years so much easier for me because I had found where I belonged. - cozybooksandgoldenembers
Do you have a story to share about your favorite library worker, or a time they were a hero to you?
Shout out your gratitude on social! 👇
*Reader submissions have been lightly edited for length and clarity. We kept the love in tact.