Senator Sean Ryan Announces Recipients Of 2022 Outstanding Librarian Awards



Librarians from Each Region in New York State Recognized for Exemplary Service to their Communities

ALBANY – Today, April 8, 2022, New York State Senator Sean Ryan, Chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, announced the recipients of the 2022 New York State Senate Outstanding Librarian Awards.

To mark National Library Week, Senator Ryan solicited nominations from across New York for librarians who go above and beyond to serve their communities. Nominations came in from every corner of the state and 10 honorees were chosen, one from each region of New York. Each librarian selected will receive a framed New York State Senate Proclamation. 

Senator Sean Ryan said, “This year’s nominees included a wide range of admirable librarians from libraries of every kind throughout New York. Just being nominated shows how important their hard work has been to members of their community. While the selection process was difficult, the 10 award winners stood out for their noteworthy dedication to their profession and to the people they serve.”

Outstanding Librarian Award Winners (Includes brief excerpts from nomination letters)

Western New York
Jelicia Jimenez
Library and Media Specialist – Elmwood Village Charter School
Buffalo, NY

Jelicia has created a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to learn as she guides students toward a love of reading. In addition to impacting the lives of the students at Elmwood Village Charter School, Jelicia has extended her reach into the Buffalo community. With her latest project, “Black Boys Read Too,” she is fostering a love of reading by partnering with three local barber shops, which now have bookshelves full of inspirational and educational books with protagonists that young Black boys can relate to.

Finger Lakes
Suzanne Macaulay
Deputy Director – Pioneer Library System
Canandaigua, NY

Suzanne has started several incredible programs over the past 12 months, including a “Books by Mail” program that aims to bring reading materials to homebound individuals across the Pioneer Library System’s four counties. She has partnered with local retirement homes to drop off collections of large print books for residents who are unable to visit their library. She also began a “Community Book Distribution” program where she works with local Foodlink partners, dentists’ offices, and other community groups to distribute books to children and families who may not otherwise have a regular opportunity to own books.

Central New York
Tina Nabinger
Teacher/Librarian – Minoa Elementary School
Chittenango, NY

Tina has been a school librarian for 30 years, all at the elementary level. Since she first entered the profession, she has planned lessons to teach her students information literacy, a love of literature, a familiarity with great authors, and an understanding of the craft of writing. As the profession has changed, so has she; Tina was one of the first librarians in Central New York to embrace the maker movement. Through the years, she has worked hard to incorporate the newest technologies into her lessons, but one thing that has not changed is her dedication to her students.

Southern Tier
Maria Johnson
Library Media Specialist – Roxbury Central School
Roxbury, NY

Maria has spent countless hours creating a robust library program for her students and staff. She develops a love of reading in her primary students, who eagerly listen to Maria reading stories or showcasing her storytelling skills. During the COVID closure, Maria created her own library online, and connected with students daily. She read books aloud, and posted daily to make sure students were still able to access good literature.

North Country
Jacqueline Madison
President – North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association/North Star Underground Railroad Museum
Ausable Chasm, NY

Jackie is dedicated to preserving and sharing the lives and stories of Northern New York's Underground Railroad history. She is co-authoring a book on the history of slaves and free people of color in the Lake Champlain area, she contributes to a podcast produced by the Historical Association called The Adirondack Lantern. Aside from her direct work with the historical society and museum, Jackie is active among the network of North Country librarians and serves on the Northern New York Library Network's Board of Trustees.

Capital Region
Karen Bradley
Director – Schenectady County Public Library
Schenectady, NY

In her time at the Schenectady County Public Library, Karen has made providing quality library services to all the focus of her public service. From providing an amazing variety of programs to the community, to opening new branches in depressed neighborhoods, Karen has produced results far beyond what could be expected. Her eager embrace of the “Bridges out of Poverty” initiative is one of many possible demonstrations of her commitment to providing library services to all.

Mohawk Valley
Chris Sagaas
Director – Utica Public Library
Utica, NY

Throughout his career, Chris has been a stellar librarian and supervisor in every possible way. He listens to his staff, advocates for them, and above all, serves any community he is a part of with his whole heart. He speaks to each patron with respect, patience, and a sense of humor that puts all people at ease. Chris has done a tremendous amount of work renovating the beautiful historic Utica Public Library and ensuring it is there for the city to use and enjoy for many years to come. His selfless service to his library and the library community at large speaks volumes about his character and he represents the best that the field has to offer.

Michell Wright Jumpp
Library Media Specialist – Horizons-on-the-Hudson Magnet School
Newburgh, NY

Michell is an extraordinary school librarian, and a champion for family and community engagement. In any given year, Michell’s extraordinary work reaches well beyond the four walls of her library. This year, she is leading a year-long project with students entitled “Newburgh, My Home,” in which students will select a place in Newburgh, research it, and create a detailed collage which will be entered into a 2022 New York State Archive competition.

New York City
Sheryl Ramer Gesoff
Director – Health Sciences Library at Elmhurst Hospital Center
Elmhurst, NY

In addition to creating great programs for the medical professionals at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Sheryl is always thinking of imaginative ways to bring knowledge to the people the hospital serves. She comes in to work every day and brings her all, and this was especially true during the height of the pandemic. Sheryl threw herself into the work that was needed to handle long lines of people who were sick and scared, which was no small effort when Elmhurst became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York.

Long Island
Maria Fernanda Pardo
Librarian – Glen Cove Public Library
Glen Cove, NY

As a charismatic, bilingual librarian, Maria has been able to help thousands of people throughout her career. Her desire to help people is what motivated her to work in a library, where she could assist populations seeking knowledge in important areas. As the head of the library’s literacy department, Maria has helped educate people through a wide variety of programs, including book discussions, immigration programs, ESL programs, technology classes, writing classes, and GED test preparation.