The American Library Association (ALA) presented Northside Elementary School’s Media Specialist, Kathryn Cole, with its prestigious 2016 “I Love My Librarian Award” at a ceremony in New York City on November 30. The award recognizes “the public service of exceptional public, school, college, community college or university librarians who have transformed lives and communities through educational opportunities and lifelong learning.” Kat Cole was nominated by Nancy Zeman, program services manager at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation.
The ALA selected nine librarians nationwide, from the almost 1,100 nominations, to receive the award in 2016. Only three recipients represented elementary school libraries – including Ms. Cole. Each honoree received a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the “I Love My Librarian Award” ceremony and reception in NYC, hosted by the award sponsor, Carnegie Corporation of New York.
“Kat Cole is a shining example of an extraordinary school librarian,” said Nancy Zeman in her nomination for the award. “She helps all students in this diversely populated school build literate lives by creating opportunities to identify as readers by encouraging curiosity and exploration through literature. I have been particularly impressed with her work with underserved students within the school community and with her dedication to encouraging those children to build a positive literacy identity. One of the things that sets her apart is that her reach goes beyond her school as she advocates for best practices in library services at not only her school but also at the school district level to ensure all students have equal access to resources and services.”
Principal of Northside Elementary, Coretta Sharpless said, “Ms. Cole’s overall mission is to keep literacy and the library a focal point in the school. In order to do this, she ensures that staff members know and understand the critical role the library plays to equalize the playing field in education and how important it is that all children across the school have access to the library and its resources at point of need. She shares school-wide circulation and library usage data with staff to illustrate the importance of library use and academic growth. In addition, she helps cultivate a love of literacy across the school.”
CHCCS congratulates Kat Cole on this prestigious award and thanks the Public School Foundation for nominating this outstanding media specialist.