Whitehall librarian honored for impact on community
Paula Kelly, Whitehall Public Library director, has been named a 2018 I Love My Librarian Award winner.
More than 1,000 library patrons from across the country submitted detailed stories regarding how their librarians have an impact on their communities and lives. The 10 award recipients were selected for their dedicated public service and the valuable role they play in transforming lives through education.
Kelly was recognized for her efforts to promote equity and inclusion through her work with underserved populations, particularly immigrants and refugees.
Every month, the library sends a bus to pick up immigrant families to bring them to the library where they can check out materials and socialize. Kelly also provides information and speakers on topics to help families assimilate to their new area.
Working with other local organizations, Kelly also helped create a book project to preserve refugees’ stories. To date, eight books have been published.
With the help of a grant, Kelly created the Second Chapter Café, a cozy space for older residents to learn about technology, discuss current events and watch movies.
She also brings pop-up library services to outdoor movie nights, farmers’ markets and other community events.