SI alumna Nancy Pearl 2011 Librarian of the Year

Nancy Pearl (AMLS ’67) has been named 2011 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal.

In announcing the award, the Library Journal stated “no one other than Nancy Pearl has so convinced Americans that libraries, books and reading are critical to our communities.” She is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and maintains a popular blog, Book Lust Forever, and Twitter feed. Her career has taken her from the Detroit Public Library to Tulsa to the Seattle Public Library, from which she retired in 2004. She is on the faculty of the iSchool at the University of Washington.

In 1998, while working as executive director of the Seattle Public Library’s Washington Center for the Book, she wondered what would happen if everyone in Seattle read and talked about the same book, and developed the first community read program. The One City, One Book program was so successful it has since been replicated throughout the country.

She teaches collection development, readers’ advisory and booktalking to LIS students at the University of Washington. Her workshops and seminars at libraries and bookstores across the U.S. for staff and readers attract standing room only audiences. In fact, her high profile resulted in her becoming the model of the best-selling librarian action figure produced by the Archie McPhee company.

Read the full story on Library Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images.

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