Senator Sean Ryan Announces Recipients Of Outstanding Librarian Awards



Librarians From Across New York State Nominated For Exemplary
Service To Their Communities

BUFFALO – Today, April 9, 2021, New York State Senator Sean Ryan, Chair of the State Senate Libraries Committee, announced the recipients of the 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 Senator Ryan selected a total of 11 winners. Winners will receive a framed New York State Senate Proclamation.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “To mark National Library Week, I wanted to take time to honor our outstanding librarians from across New York State. Libraries are pillars of our communities and our librarians are dedicated public servants who work every day to keep all of us informed, educate young people, and ensure our libraries are centers of knowledge and learning. During the past year, being a librarian has been especially difficult. Our Outstanding Librarian Award winners have gone above and beyond to serve their communities. I congratulate our outstanding librarians and thank them for all they have done to make our state a better place.”

Outstanding Librarian Award Winners (Includes a description from nomination)

Salamah Adjoua-Mullen, Northern Parkway School – Lead Library Media Specialist Uniondale, NY

Salamah embodies the leadership and instructional qualities of excellence in numerous capacities including serving on multiple teams, managing the library budget, serving as the technology help desk, and leading professional development sessions throughout the year. She has helped to create programming to build the cultural competence and critical consciousness of her students, faculty staff, and the greater community.


Josselyn Borowiec, Hollwedel Memorial Library – Director
Pavilion, NY

Josselyn has led many improvements in the library, including innovative programming, improving technology use and knowledge, updating the library’s social media presence, and connecting with the Pavilion community, including partnering with the local high school. She has established a great rapport with her staff, board, and community groups, and has worked tirelessly to maintain services for patrons throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grace Frenzel, Livonia Public Library – Youth Services Coordinator
Livonia, NY

Grace has demonstrated great passion for Youth Services and made these services accessible throughout the pandemic by quickly pivoting to a virtual format and creating diverse programming, including story time, singalongs, art projects, and science experiments using things children could find in their homes while learning remotely.

Ben Gocker, Goff-Nelson Memorial Library – Director
Tupper Lake, NY

Ben has ensured the safety of his patrons throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has gone above and beyond to continue to offer services to the community by implementing a book drop box and curbside pick-up, and maintaining ongoing communication with the Tupper Lake community.

Scott Jarzombek, Albany Public Library – Director
Albany, NY

Scott has maintained Albany public library services while keeping staff and patrons safe throughout the pandemic by instituting cautious measures and keeping up with public health directives, while ensuring patrons could still enjoy library programming.

Maureen McLaughlin, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System – Assistant Deputy Director for Technical Services & Information Technology
Buffalo, NY

Maureen has demonstrated innovation and tireless commitment to library services throughout her long career and was critical in creating a virtual library infrastructure to maintain services throughout the pandemic. Maureen’s work, as well as her poise, professionalism, and ability to lead her team is truly outstanding.

Fabio Montella, Suffolk County Community College – Assistant Professor of Library Services
Riverhead, NY

Fabio has addressed the needs of his students and provided training for faculty members as they transitioned to online education during the pandemic. He has dedicated countless hours and efforts that have both inspired and benefited his community.

Jonathan Pryer, Sayville Library – Head of Outreach Services
Sayville, NY

Jonathan exemplifies the true meaning of collaboration, dedication, and compassion, providing numerous programming opportunities for the community throughout this pandemic and beyond. He has gone above and beyond in his efforts as an outreach librarian and uses his fluency in Spanish to assist community members with citizenship and language learning inquiries.

Susan Rohrmeier, Clinton Community Library – Assistant Program Coordinator
Rhinebeck, NY

Susan has gone above and beyond during the pandemic – faithfully continuing unique programming for all ages virtually and socially distanced. She is passionate about getting books and educational projects in the hands of young children and the greater community.

Heather Turner, Fabius Pompey School District 6-12 – Teacher Librarian
Fabius, NY

Heather has a very strategic and student-centered approach to her work. She is a dynamic, passionate leader and an indispensable asset to her community, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She has fostered a culture of literacy that serves students and community members alike.

Amy Vilz (posthumous), University at Buffalo – University Archivist
Buffalo, NY

Amy was a remarkable, creative, and courageous person. She worked tirelessly to make the UB libraries a more effective service organization. She demonstrated leadership, guidance, and innovative efforts that will have a lasting impact on UB, particularly her implementation of a thorough digitization effort of the UB Archive’s vast and unused audiovisual holdings.

About National Library Week

National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021) is a time to celebrate our nation's libraries, library workers' contributions, and promote library use and support. The theme for National Library Week 2021 is “Welcome to Your Library.” During the pandemic, library workers continue to exceed their communities' demands and adapt resources and services to meet their users' needs during these challenging times. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer endless opportunities to transform lives through education and lifelong learning. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries – school, public, academic, and special – participate.