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Two California librarians honored by New York Times

Two California librarians, one at Santa Monica Public Library and the other at Los Angeles Public Library, are among 27 librarians from 13 states who were selected to receive $2,500 awards from The New York Times. Sylvia Anderle, a children’s and Latino outreach librarian at Santa Monica Public’s Fairview Branch, and Katie Rao, a young-adult librarian at L.A. Public’s Pio Pico Koreatown Branch, won the awards for excellence of service. They received their awards at a ceremony in New York City on November 16.

New York Times honoree Sylvia Anderle, Santa Monica Public Library.

- Photo courtesy Santa Monica Seascape
 
Anderle decided to go into library work after rearing a family. She earned her master’s degree in librarianship at Long Island University in New York. She and her husband moved to California in 1989, and she joined the staff of Santa Monica Public Library that same year.

In 1991 Anderle introduced Spanish-language story times at the Fairview Branch library. These continue to be enthusiastically attended by Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish-speaking families. In August 2005 she completed her eleventh year of offering a summer reading tutorial for children in grades two through five who are performing below grade level. The majority of these children come from homes in which Spanish is the dominant language. The tutorial has extended into the school year, and Anderle actively recruits, trains, and places tutors with children. As an outreach librarian she also works with local Head Start programs and serves as their distribution coordinator for Reading Is Fundamental.

New York Times honoree Katie Rao, Pio Pico Koreatown Library.

- Photo courtesy Katie Rao
 

Susan Annett, a librarian at Santa Monica Public’s main branch, writing to nominate Anderle for the award, said that thanks to this one librarian, the Fairview Branch is considered by many to be Santa Monica’s most “family-friendly” branch. “To see how Sylvia welcomes children and caregivers to her programs…is to see a great librarian in action.”

Katie Rao earned her master’s at Dominican University in Chicago four years ago. She and her husband moved to California so that he could enter the medical residency program at UCLA Medical Center. She has been working at the Koreatown Branch of Los Angeles Public Library for two and a half years, organizing a variety of programs for students at the junior high and high school levels. She works with a teen advisory group and organizes summer reading programs for teens. She led one group of teens through a pinhole camera project in which the youth “made” cameras on-site last summer. During the school year she provides three activities per month for teens. During the summer there is one activity per week.

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