Hurt is one of only 10 to receive Carnegie Corporation/New York Times-sponsored award
On Tuesday at a ceremony in New York, Virginia Western Community College librarian Lynn Hancock Hurt received the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award for her outstanding public service to the community and ongoing commitment to changing lives through education. Hurt is one of only 10 librarians within the United States recognized this year for this esteemed honor.
"This is an amazing award, and I could not think of an individual more deserving than Lynn," said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. "In her 26 years at the college, Lynn has consistently shown dedication to improving our students' education. Her work at Brown Library has been integral to the success of many of our graduates."
Hurt has transformed the Brown Library into a positive force at the community college by modernizing the facility to meet the needs of 21st century learners. Efforts began from the ground up, as she worked with contractors on the new library renovation, while continuing to serve the school’s students, faculty and staff. Improvements include a technology center and collaborative study spaces.
Maintaining the vision of the college as a “student-oriented center for lifelong learning,” Hurt is known for her ability to identify ways the library can engage more with student life, and is an active member of the book selection committee for “Roanoke Valley Reads,” a community-wide reading experience that promotes reading on campus.
Hurt also works to provide outreach to traditional and distance-learning students who previously have had little library interaction. One creative way was by assisting on a fun infomercial explaining the library resources and services available to all students.
Hurt received a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception hosted by The New York Times.
"What an amazing night! This has been an experience that I will never forget," Hurt said. "I am proud to represent Virginia Western and help spread the word about the great work being done at the college."
As part of the award process, library users nominate librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year more than 1,000 library patrons submitted detailed stories regarding how their librarian had an impact on their communities and lives.
There are a total of 165,986 certified librarians in the United States and more than 200,000 dedicated library workers who connect people with the information access and critical resources they need to support lifelong learning.
A complete list of the 2014 I Love My Librarian Award recipients can be found at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian.