Senator Chu Library Week Resolution Passed State Senate and Announces Recipients of 2023 Outstanding Librarian Award

New York State Senate unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing Library Week introduced by NYS Senator Iwen Chu, Chair of the Libraries Committee. Library Week, observed April 23-29 in 2023, celebrates the contributions of our community’s libraries and librarians, raises awareness of library resources, and builds support for investing in libraries.  

The theme for National Library Week 2023 is "There's More to the Story." Libraries are not just a place of books, there's more to their value for communities—providing internet and technology access, literacy skills, and support for businesses, job seekers and entrepreneurs, and offer programs for all ages. Libraries are community driven with services and librarians are the foundation of libraries, providing access to a lifetime of learning, building intercultural understanding and the programming which makes libraries an immense resource to New York State's communities.  

To mark Library Week, Senator Chu solicited nominations from across the state for librarians who go above and beyond to serve their communities. Nominations came in from every corner of the state and Senator Chu selected a total of 10 winners.  


Library Week is a time to recognize and celebrate what libraries mean to our communities. As chair of the libraries committee, it is my great honor to introduce this resolution marking Library Week on April 23rd to 29th. I thank the work of all librarians and library workers for the support they provide communities.” said NYS Senator Iwen Chu. “For this Library Week, it is my honor to recognize 10 outstanding librarians that go above and beyond the job for New Yorkers. They have demonstrated commitment and passion for their work. With their staff, these librarians provide a great service and value to communities across New York State.”  


Information from Nominee 

Britt Buckenroth, New Lebanon Jr/Sr High – Library Media Specialist New Lebanon, NY 

Britt is a current librarian at New Lebanon Jr/Sr High, where she inspires to create a safe and welcoming environment for all. In her time as a librarian for New Lebanon, she has made her mark in the community by teaching students how to navigate an expanding digital world. Fan of all the genres, one of her greatest joys is matching students with the perfect book. 

Jenna Landon, Cato-Meridian Middle School – Library Media Specialist Cato, NY 

Jenna has created several dynamic spaces for children to embrace reading, try new things, and share their learning with each other and the school community. Jenna also devotes her time to volunteering on school committees to help broaden the opportunities for our students and has helped our staff with understanding and utilizing new technology. Jenna shares an open-mind and a message of acceptance and kindness with our students every day. 

Becky Leathersitch, SUNY Genseo Fraser Hall Library – Research Instruction Librarian Geneseo, NY 

Becky has been active in helping school librarians make good choices about diverse reading and AAPI books especially. She is a co-author of the APALA Rubric to Evaluate Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Literature, which is incredibly helpful. She organized "Shake Up Your Shelves with Authentic Voices" which brought many librarians, faculty and authors to discuss and teach how to incorporate diverse voices in the library. 

Kelly Harris, John Jermain Library – Executive Director, Sag Harbor, NY 

Kelly understands the challenges libraries face and works every day to meet those challenges to keep libraries relevant. Her push for a more diversified and welcoming library culture is admirable. As a leader, she believes in giving her staff the tools they need to succeed and the encouragement to reach their career goals. She puts people first. 

Giovanna Fiorino-Iannace, Harrison Public Library – Adult Programming and Outreach Librarian Harrison, NY 

When COVID shut down the world, Giovanna provided the community with outstanding programming that was inclusive and well thought out. Giovanna did a wonderful job in scheduling and facilitating these classes. Giovanna is the epitome of a librarian, developing engaging programs aimed at broadening people's horizons and knowledge. 

Michael Burnett, Northville Public Library – Library Director Northville, NY  

Michael supervised tremendous advances in library service in the small Adirondack town of Northville. Since his start, the library has more than tripled its footprint, and includes meeting spaces, an art gallery, a working fireplace, and a beautiful location right on Great Sacandaga Lake. Michael has made the Northville Public Library a model for what a library can be for a small community. 

Susan Rollings, Indian Lake Public Library – Director Indian Lake, NY 

Ms Susan creates a calendar full of events each month for the community and school. She visits the local daycare to do a weekly book reading and craft with those kids. Ms. Susan goes above & beyond for the students at Indian Lake Central School the community members from birth to adults, this is only a snapshot of the amazing programs she brings to the small community of Indian Lake. 

Roxana Benavides, Sunset Park Library – Branch Manager Brooklyn, NY 

Roxana wants you to love reading and wants your kids to love reading even more. She wants to remove every barrier there is between your child and the lifelong joy of reading. She loves kids, and she loves seeing kids read. She is always so welcoming and never shames anyone if their books are late. She will try to help with whatever you are doing, whether it's getting the printer to work or entertaining your one-year-old while you check out books. 

Rebecca Rosas, Oxford Academy Middle School – Librarian Oxford, NY 

Becky builds solid connections with kids through literacy. She talks with kids about their favorite stories, characters, settings and then orders books that appeal to those kids. She puts together "Book Bags" for the summer for kids to take home and read.  When kids need new Book Bags throughout the summer months, she puts them together and makes sure they are delivered to our kids. 

Ashley Cassidy, Hamburg Public Library – Librarian Hamburg, NY 

Ashley has produced innovative programming to meet the needs of the community. She does this by talking with parents and through social media. Ashley also does monthly outreach at a daycare reading to two classes of preschool students and provides three classroom collections of 50 books each. She is a big reason the Hamburg Library is so successful! 

To view Senator Chu’s full remarks:  

To view the resolution: J810 - Resolution on Library Week in NYS