For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Cho
American Library Association
San Francisco librarian chosen for national public service honor
Lia Kharis Hillman recipient of the prestigious 2016 I Love My Librarian Award
NEW YORK – Today Lia Kharis Hillman, fourth floor program manager at the San Francisco Public Library, was named a winner of the I Love My Librarian Award. Hillman is being recognized for her exceptional contributions to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning. Hillman is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to receive this national honor. Two additional librarians from California are also recipients of the 2016 award: Olga Valencia Cardenas from Modesto and Sherri Ginsberg from Pasadena.
Hillman is commended for her ability to extend the role of the library to meet the needs of the community.
Hillman, a former chef, established a garden and food education program in library branches across San Francisco. When Hillman realized underserved families were facing challenges with cooking, she set out to help residents make the connection between self-prepared meals and wellness.
Through a grant, she purchased Biblio Bistro, a mobile kitchen cart on wheels to give demonstrations on cooking with inexpensive and locally grown foods. Hillman’s cooking lessons teach lifelong skills and build nutritional awareness, giving people more confidence about food preparation.
To help children gain hands-on experience growing vegetables, Hillman built a garden on one of the library’s patios. She also started a seed lending library that residents can use to start their own gardens.
Hillman will receive a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception held this evening in New York City. The ceremony is hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, which co-sponsors the award along with The New York Public Library and The New York Times. The American Library Association administers the award through its Public Awareness Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.