CORVALLIS, Ore. — Natalia Fernández, curator and archivist at Oregon State University Libraries and Press, was named a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award from the American Library Association. She is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to garner this national honor. She is also the first librarian from Oregon to earn the award.
Fernández received a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception held on Nov. 30 in New York City. The ceremony was hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which co-sponsors the award with the New York Public Library and the New York Times. The American Library Association administers the award.
A nominator, who does not work at the OSU Libraries, noted that Fernández has led projects that have benefited hundreds of families in rural communities.
“Faculty across campus speak in glowing terms of Natalia’s breadth of knowledge about archival materials,” the nominator wrote, “and her expansive imagination in working with faculty to come up with creative and engaging materials and activities to help students understand and explore the complexities of history.”
Fernández is being recognized for her leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. She engages students from diverse backgrounds who have often felt excluded from library and archival spaces, and she uses outreach strategies to expand the boundaries of the library to reach underserved communities in rural Oregon.
Fernández also preserves and shares the histories of the LGBTQ community members in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, helping to foster socially just archives.
“I am so honored and grateful to my incredible colleagues and community partners for nominating me for this award,” Fernández said. “It is such a joy to collaborate with OSU’s and Oregon’s LGBTQIA and communities of color to empower them to preserve, share and celebrate their stories.”
The OSU Libraries enhance and support the university’s instructional and research programs with traditional and innovative services and collections. More info is at osulibrary.oregonstate.edu.