NEW YORK, NY – March 6, 2018 – Monterey County Free Libraries’ (MCFL) Orquidea Olvera has been named LJ’s 2018 Paralibrarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by DEMCO, Inc., of Madison, Wisconsin, recognizes the essential role of paralibrarians in providing excellent library service. Paralibrarians, or those working in libraries who do not hold the professional degree, make up the largest pool of employees in the field. Olvera will receive a $1,500 cash prize and is featured in Library Journal’s March 1, 2018 issue, available in print and online.
Children and teachers alike love Olvera, who consistently goes the extra mile in her service to the community as a key member of the MCFL Outreach team. Selected from a national field of library workers, Olvera is the driving force behind The Reading Safari van, MCFL’s Early Literacy Mobile Outreach (ELMO) program’s mini bookmobile which carries literacy and science programs to preschool classroom, branches and sites throughout the school year. Her passion for sharing the joys and benefits of reading and science with children shines through the curriculum of learning activities such as story time and real-science experiments.
Nominated for the award by MCFL Managing Librarian Berenice Astengo, Olvera has maintained the Early Literacy Outreach programs vibrant curriculum for the past five years.
“Orquidea Olvera is a superlative paraprofessional who regularly goes above and beyond in her service to the community,” said Astengo.
When Olvera’s not behind the wheel of the safari van or playing the role of “mad scientist” to perform entertaining experiences during the MCFL Summer Science Extravaganza, you can find her and the bookmobile attending community activities, neighborhood block parties, health fairs, art festivals, and school programs countywide. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Olvera has been critical in improving MCFL’s ability to empower and educate the county’s large Spanish-speaking population.
“She epitomizes what you want customer service to be,” said MCFL director Jayanti Addleman. “For her it doesn’t matter if you are a four-year-old child or an aging retiree, or if you are someone who doesn’t speak English, she will give you that very high level of customer service all the time.”
“Orquidea has reached far beyond the confines of the library walls to help bring voice to all in the Monterey community,” said Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal. “Her dedication and creativity on behalf of her community illustrates the depth and range of contributions from this critical workforce in libraries around the country. We are proud to name her LJ’s 2018 Paralibrarian of the Year.”
For award guidelines, visit https://lj.libraryjournal.com/awards.
About Library Journal
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8,000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and websites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visiwww.libraryjournal.com. Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book, and Junior Library Guild.
About DEMCO, Inc.
With a history of serving libraries and librarians for over 100 years, DEMCO is the leader in creating spaces and providing solutions that help librarians better serve their customers.