Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai recognized with national public service honor
CHICAGO — Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai, youth services coordinator at Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for her exceptional service to local children and families, she was selected from 1,865 nominations from library users across the country.
Nicolai’s accomplishments include a visionary effort to distribute library cards to every child in the Anchorage School District. After years of work and cross-organizational partnerships, families can now automatically opt in to register their child for a library card when they enroll in school. Every year since the program launched, more than 90 percent of students have received library cards as a result.
This year, Nicolai’s leadership has helped the library swiftly adapt its children’s services to the realities of the pandemic. In addition to offering weekly virtual storytimes, she has distributed thousands of STEAM crafting kits to learners of all ages as part of the library’s curbside pick-up offerings. She also successfully secured federal CARES Act funding to give away 3,500 free children’s books to community members in need, knowing that students’ access to reading materials has been limited during school closures.
“We are so very fortunate to have a leader like Elizabeth to move us forward in serving the children of Anchorage and, indeed, all of Alaska, by focusing on literacy, community involvement and responsiveness to the needs of children and caregivers,” her nomination reads. “She is an exemplar of a dedicated librarian whose work has brought many improvements to Anchorage Public Library.”
Nicolai and this year’s nine other honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library and complimentary registration to ALA’s 2021 Virtual Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The virtual award ceremony will take place during the conference at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 and will be available to stream live at
Since the award’s inception in 2008, library users have shared more than 20,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology and support diversity and inclusion in their communities. Information regarding previous award winners can be found on the I Love My Librarian website at
Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library also supports the award. ALA administers the award through its Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves nearly 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.