As one patron put it: Tammi Moe “has dissolved the walls of the library.”
Moe, the director of libraries and museums for the city of Gallup, is among the 10 winners of the I Love My Librarian Award for her work increasing community engagement at the Octavia Fellin Public Library.
The award winners were selected for the American Library Association recognition out of more than 1,300 nominations submitted by library users nationwide.
“Tammi’s leadership is kind, supportive, engaged, and thoughtful,” said one of her nominators as cited in an association news release announcing the winners on Jan. 10. “She has dissolved the walls of the library, creating a community platform for healing and cultural understanding through shared experiences.”
According to the association, “Moe has worked to broaden the library’s programming and service reach beyond the library’s walls in order to reach its majority-indigenous American population.”
The association said Moe has used partnerships with other city departments and community groups to expand the library presence at festivals, health fairs, career days and other events, and that the library “has focused its programming on socially relevant issues, generational experiences and opportunities for open dialogue.”
Programs have taken on a wide range of “historically sensitive” community topics, the association said, such as the involuntary sterilization of indigenous women and the incarceration and murder of indigenous activists.
“Confronting our historical and current, very real issues is exactly what (Moe) has inaugurated, in an unbelievably effective series of instructive installations, displays, and programs,” one nominator said. “The public library has become a center for deeply probing our own history, our own conflicts, and our own individual and collective roles in those conflicts.”
The 10 recipients of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award will receive $5,000 and a $750 donation to their library.
“Even in these unprecedented times, our nation’s librarians continue to empower their patrons, promote inclusion in their space and collections, and provide essential services for their communities,” ALA President Patty Wong said in a statement.