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Bloomington elementary librarian wins national award, $5,000

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — An elementary school librarian in Bloomington has been named one of 10 winners of the national “I Love My Librarian” awards.

Julie Marie Frye, who works as the Primary Years Program school librarian and tech coordinator for Childs Elementary, was chosen from more than 1,500 nominations submitted from around the country to the American Library Association.

Julie Marie Frye, one of 10 librarians to receive “I Love My Librarian Award.” (Provided Photo/American Library Association)

Frye and the other nine honorees will each receive $5,000 cash and a $750 travel stipend to attend the library association’s event later this month in New Orleans.

“Julie Marie approaches students of all ages with a keen devotion to their unique inquiries and literacy needs,” the association posted on its website. “She meets challenges and opportunities with professional integrity and dignity, and we are grateful for the gift of her generous spirit.”

According to the nomination of Frye: “Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Frye designed an inquiry room for students to learn and ask questions about Ukrainian culture, the war, and conflicting media messages surrounding the conflict. Set up like a museum gallery featuring Ukrainian artwork, clothing, music, maps, statistics and more, students could engage with the gallery in a variety of ways, among them writing letters to students in Ukraine. After sending the letters to ten schools in Poland and Ukraine, Fry created a public exhibit with the correspondence and photos from one school that responded, reminding students that small actions make a difference in the lives of others, even across the world.”

“Even in these unprecedented times and as our nation’s library workers face historic levels of intimidation and harassment due to an ongoing wave of book censorship, librarians continue to empower their patrons, teach critical literacy skills, promote inclusion in their space and collections, and provide vital services for their communities,” said American Library Association President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “Congratulations to this year’s I Love My Librarian Award honorees, who positively impact the lives of those they serve every day.”