LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2014) — Jessica Elaine Holmes, a 2006 alumna of the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information’s School of Library & Information Science (UK SLIS), has been announced as one of the 2014 “I Love My Librarian” award winners. She is one of 10 librarians nationwide to receive this year’s award, which recognizes librarians for outstanding service.
Holmes, who currently works at Westridge Elementary School Library Media Center in Frankfort, is a graduate of UK SLIS’ Library and Information Science (LIS) master’s program where she studied school librarianship and completed her certification. This year’s “I Love My Librarian” Awards were presented by the American Library Association (ALA), the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times. Library patrons across the country submitted nominations with stories of how their local librarians have inspired them and made an impact in their communities.
Holmes’ nomination (PDF available here) demonstrates the positive changes she has brought about in her school and its media center. Assistant Superintendent Charley Preston said, "Ms. Holmes inherited a dismal library at Westridge that was only minimally used by students and staff. In less than one year, she transformed the library into a warm and inviting place for all.”
A few years prior, Holmes was chosen by colleagues as the recipient of Westridge Elementary School’s “Teacher of the Year” award, an honor not regularly bestowed upon school librarians according to Westridge social studies teacher Joe Lovell, who submitted her nomination for the “I Love My Librarian” award.
Holmes, who was honored at an awards ceremony for the recipients held Dec. 3 in New York City, said, “It was an unforgettable trip and I am truly honored to have been selected. It was inspirational to hear the backgrounds of the other winners and to learn about the contributions those librarians are making in their libraries and communities.”
“It is such a rewarding profession,” Holmes said about her career in librarianship. “I treasure each and every day with my students.“
Just as Westridge Elementary has shown their love for their librarian, Holmes notes how her school is a shining example as well. “I am fortunate to work at a school where my creativity is supported by the administration and where my teachers are flexible and willing to try new things,” she said. “I do not know if I would have been as successful at any other school. My Westridge family has helped me to be the best librarian I can be.”
The ALA issued a news release announcing Holmes' honor.
“We’re very proud of Ms. Holmes for her well-earned recognition and the outstanding work she continues to do at Westridge Elementary, for Kentucky librarians and educators, and for her excellent representation of LIS professionals at the national level,” says SLIS director Jeff Huber.
More information on the 2014 I Love My Librarian Award recipients may be found at http://www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian/2014/14winners.