As an institution serving a wide range of people, neighborhoods, and interests, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is lucky to have the support of a diverse group of community members and organizations alike. Some of these supporters are nominated by library staff (or other advocates!) to receive our annual Community Advocate Award. We wish we could give each and every nominee an award, but because there can only be one, we decided to use this post to give some honorary superlative awards in order to highlight contributions that have been made to CLP in the last year. If you want to wish these advocates well or see who was selected as the Advocate of the Year, you’re welcome to attend the Library’s Annual Public Meeting at CLP-Squirrel Hill on March 31 at 6:30 p.m.
Advocate of the Year Nominees:
Name: Rebecca Altes
Honorary Award: Library BFF
How they’ve contributed: A long-time member of the Friends of CLP-Lawrenceville, this Vice President of the Friends Council and member of the External Relations Committee of the Board of Trustees can always be counted on to work tirelessly to ensure library access for all.
Name: Andrea Coleman-Betts
Honorary Award: World’s Greatest Grandma
How they’ve contributed: When Andrea Coleman-Betts saw a need for a grandparents support group, she didn’t sit around and wait, she started one at CLP-Hazelwood. Andrea’s nominator put it best: “When CLP-Hazelwood needs community support, we reach out to Andrea; when Andrea needs resources, she finds them at CLP-Hazelwood”
Name: Jennifer Duffy
Honorary Award: Library Super Mom
How they’ve contributed: Jennifer is an online advocate, a supporter of CLP, and a cheerleader for other parents who want to make sure their children utilize the library’s resources to the fullest extent possible.
Name: David Hills
Honorary Award: Shelving Machine
How they’ve contributed: David volunteers twice-per-week at CLP-Squirrel Hill and makes such an impact that he’s been described more than once as a “shelving machine.” His attention to detail and dedication to the Library has made him an invaluable part of the team.
Name: Michael Janakis
Honorary Award: Most Likely to Know About Advocacy Options
How they’ve contributed: An active member of the Library Outreach and Community Advocacy Leaders (LOCAL) team, Michael is always ready to volunteer for an outreach event or to tell his teammates about advocacy initiatives through the American Library Association or the Pennsylvania Library Association. He’s also a devotee of CLP-Hill District! His nominator described him as “one of the most passionate library advocates I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting!”
Name: Julia Jordan
Honorary Award: Children’s Reading Advocate
How they’ve contributed: Julia is a power volunteer who helps out at CLP and the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. Julia’s been known to get more than 100 books prepped and ready for the shelves in one afternoon of volunteering at the Children’s Department at CLP-Main.
Name: John B. McNulty
Honorary Award: Biggest History Buff
How they’ve contributed: As the president of the West End History Club and a member of the Friends of CLP-West End, John recognizes community in the library. He believes in the importance of libraries and through his tireless advocacy, he has helped to expand the scope of CLP-West End’s renovation so that it will remain an anchor in the West Pittsburgh community for years to come.
Name: Emily MacIntyre
Honorary Award: Most Likely to DIY
How they’ve contributed: Emily is an invaluable presence within teen programming ant CLP-Carrick. A talented and creative person, Emily has helped with everything from redesigning the teen space, co-directing a teen movie project, leading designing work on the annual haunted house, teaching knitting to an inter-generational audience, and more!
Name: Amosizinna Scott
Honorary Award: Homewood Hero
How they’ve contributed: Amosizinna has been an outspoken supporter of the Library, is an active in the community, and constantly draws attention to the Library in community meetings. Her second honorary award might be “Most Likely to bring Cake,” because we all look forward to the treats she contributes to events.
Name: Michael Smilaek
Honorary Award: Most Likely to Support Pittsburgh Veterans
How they’ve contributed: Mike’s taken his extensive career in technology and funneled his skills into providing outreach at Veterans Place alongside CLP librarians. He’s become a necessary piece of the puzzle of providing needed skills to local homeless veterans, empowering them to move forward.
You know how actors always claim it’s an honor just to be nominated? Truly, it’s an honor that we have so many people to nominate. Thanks to these Advocate of the Year nominees and everyone else who adds their voice to the chorus of Library supporters in Pittsburgh.