By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Two alumnae from the School of Information Studies’ (iSchool) library science program have been honored with the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian award.

Sue Kowalski of Pine Grove Middle School in East Syracuse, and Julie Hatsell Wales of McNair Magnet School in Rockledge, Florida were presented with the awards at a reception in New York City, and will each receive $5000 and a plaque for their library.

Kowalski was nominated for the award by Pine Grove Middle School student Zach Collins, who wrote that Kowalski ensured that the library was equipped with the essential technology for a 21st century learning environment. At the center of Kowalski’s efforts is her i-Staff program – 40 to 50 students who commit to ongoing roles in programming, upkeep, and library functions. The effort began with students doing routine tasks, but soon morphed into an energetic team of students offering additional skills and grasping new opportunities to help.

Wales’ nomination came from Shereen Luchten, an eighth-grade science teacher at McNair Magnet School. Her nomination highlighted the mentoring she provides to teachers across all areas, including technology integration in the classroom, as well as the use of technology to meet professional responsibilities.  Wales was also selected by the school district as a trainer for their staff development initiative.

“Only 10 librarians from across the country will receive the award this year and fewer than half will be school librarians,” said Barbara Stripling, Assistant Professor of Practice at the iSchool. “Two of them are our grads – that’s a pretty big deal!”

The I Love My Librarian award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians.  It is a collaborative program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times and the American Library Association.

In order to be eligible, each nominee must be a librarian with 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 unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must be currently employed at a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.