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Andrea Bernard is the library director at Tyler Memorial Library in Charlemont, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires, and she is one of just 10 winners of the 2016 "I Love My Librarian Award." The award is given in recognition for exceptional accomplishment and service to the community.
The annual honor and $5,000 award is given by the Carnegie Corp. and the American Library Association. Bernard joined us now from New York, where she accepted the award Wednesday night.
Why She Became A Librarian
"I was working as a child development specialist with children and families who were exposed to violence, and were at risk for developmental delays, and I had done that for my whole adult career. I knew I needed a change — I wanted to continue doing public service, and I started thinking about all the ways that libraries had been important to me in my life, and it felt like such a good natural fit. Being in a public library as a solo librarian just suits my personality — I like to be involved in everything. If I worked in a larger library, I'm sure I would love that too. But I would probably be doing a very specific, defined job description. And in this small public library, I get to do everything. And I love that."
The Needs Of Her Community
"Many people in western Massachusetts don't have access to high speed internet, and also don't have access to TV, as a result. So the library becomes a great place to get news, but also to access their own Gmail accounts, or email generally, so it's a great way for people to stay in touch with family, with friends, with neighbors, to access all of the news that they need to keep in touch with events happening here in the U.S. and globally. So it's a really important way for people to be connected."
Andrea Bernard, library director for the Tyler Memorial Library in Charlemont.
This segment aired on December 1, 2016.
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