Van Nuys Branch Librarian wins New York Times award

Young Adult Librarian at the Van Nuys Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, Peter Mann, has won the 2006 New York Times Librarian Award for the western region of the United States.  One of 22 public library winners, Mann received $2500 and a commemorative plaque at an awards ceremony in the executive suite of the Times building in New York City December 13. 

A committee of national library leaders selected the award-winning librarians from nomination letters extolling the librarians’ work within their local communities.  Mann won the Times award because he uses library service to change the lives of Van Nuys’s homeless. “The library is a way out,” Mann says. “People learn marketable skills, such as how to set-up a website, by just being in the library. They learn here, and then they teach other people.”

In 2005, a group of girls from a Children of the Night rescue school also nominated Mann for the Times award.  In that year, Mann had done library outreach at the school, acquiring institutional library cards for the girls so they could use their library’s services while studying for their GEDs.

Mann says he is deeply honored to have received the award, but he is not alone in helping people at risk in the Van Nuys community. “Many of my library colleagues are as worthy as I am, if not more,” he says.

 

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