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Appalachian alumna receives I Love My Librarian Award

Updike_t.jpgBOONE—Patricia J. Updike, a school librarian at Webb Street School in Gastonia, was one of 10 librarians recognized for service to their school as a winner of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

Patricia J. Updike right, Molly Raphael.jpgPatricia J. Updike (right) is pictured with Molly Raphael, president-elect of the American Library Association. Updike was one of 10 librarians across the nation to win a Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. (Photo by Paul M. Gaykowski)

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.

Updike is a graduate of Appalachian State University’s Master of Science degree program in library science offered in the Reich College of Education’s Department of Leadership and Educational Studies.

Updike helps students with moderate to severe disabilities, some of whom may not be able to read, write or talk, experience classic literature like “The Odyssey,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Treasure Island,” by adapting content into literary units that students can understand and learn. They also integrate the literatures into subject areas like math, geography and science.

More than 2,000 library supporters nationwide nominated a librarian. Each of the 10 award winners received a $5,000 cash award and was honored at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times Dec. 9.

Nominations were open to librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries.

“Libraries are among those cherished institutions that are most representative of our open society,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “We must, therefore, acknowledge that libraries—and hence, librarians—are indispensable to the strength and vitality of our nation and our democracy. Libraries have and always will contain our nation’s heritage, the heritage of humanity, the record of its triumphs and failures, the record of mankind’s intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements. And more, they are the diaries of the human race and the true instruments of civilization that provide tools for learning, understanding and progress.  We celebrate them as our link to the past, our partner in navigating the present, and our guide to the future.”

“We are delighted to once again join Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Library Association in honoring librarians from across the country,” said Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company. “The New York Times is proud of its commitment to education and is thrilled to pay tribute to these 10 men and women who play such a vital role in the intellectual health of their communities and in our society as a whole. We are truly grateful to them.”

“We are thrilled to honor the 10 winners of this award for their excellence and as a tribute to the significant impact that libraries and librarians have on the lives of people in their communities every day,” said Roberta Stevens, president of the American Library Association (ALA).

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

More information about the award recipients is available at