LOS ANGELES, November 30, 2016 -- Sherri Ginsberg, the librarian for Hillsides, a Los Angeles County foster care charity headquartered in Pasadena, has been named one of the top 10 librarians in the country by the American Library Association. Ginsberg will receive the 2016 I Love My Librarian Award tonight during a reception and ceremony hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York in New York City.
The I Love my Librarian Award recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. Ginsberg and the other nine honorees were selected out of some 1,100 nominees. For this honor, she receives a $5,000 cash award, a plaque, and a travel stipend to New York City. Now in its ninth year, the I Love my Librarian awards have honored only 80 librarians out of more than 15,000 nominations since 2008.
“Anyone who knows Sherri is not surprised to learn she has received this very prestigious honor,” said Hillsides Chief Executive Officer Joseph M. Costa. “For the 10 years she has been the Hillsides librarian, she has turned the library into a safe haven for children in foster care and made it a hub of creative endeavors, from poetry writing to song writing to arts and crafts. Her dedication and talent working with an underserved but most deserving population of children is unparalleled.”
Ginsberg serves as the librarian at Hillsides Education Center in Pasadena, California, an accredited therapeutic residential and day school offering individual education for students with social-emotional, learning, and/or behavioral challenges for children in kindergarten through 12th grade In addition, she offers library services for children who live in the Residential Treatment Services program located on the same campus, which serves children in the foster care system or who are unable to live at home for other reasons. She personally curates the library’s collection, reading 10 – 20 books a week, and has built up the library to 11,000 books.
When Ginsberg first arrived in 2006, the Hillsides library was essentially not being used except for twice-a-week after-school programs for the children who lived at Hillsides. Ginsberg immediately expanded library services to Hillsides Education Center with a personalized curriculum for each class. Previously, many children had very little or no exposure to books due to their chaotic childhoods spent in foster care. She also started several enrichment programs for all the children, such as a Poets Program where local poets regular visit the library, and the MUSE-IQUE music series, where a local nonprofit exposes the children to different musical styles. In addition, Ginsberg has brought in hundreds of speakers and professional writers, such as Henry Winkler, Marlee Matlin, Kristi Yamaguchi, Laura Numeroff, and Catherine Linka, and Shannon Messenger.
Ginsberg received her master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and a Bachelor of Arts from Kean University in Union, New Jersey. She also served in the U.S. army for two years.
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
Hillsides provides high quality care, advocacy, and innovative services that promote safe, permanent environments where children and youth can thrive. Headquartered in Pasadena, the agency and its affiliation with Bienvenidos serves 13,000 children and families in Los Angeles County throughout its 35 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoptions services in approved resource family homes serve families in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. To learn more about both agencies, visit www.Hillsides.org and www.Bienvenidos.org. Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.