Belmont Hills, Lower Merion Township, PA — The head Librarian for the Belmont Hills Library, part of Lower Merion's Library System, received the Librarian of the Year award that was presented by Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach (D-17).  Elizabeth Barrie received the award from Leach who has sponsored the event for the last ten years.

I was surprised and flattered that I was nominated to receive the award, stated Barrie. "I am thankful to be at Belmont Hills, where I work with excellent people, and we enjoy great community support."  

Barrie was not told of her award until she arrived at the annual awards luncheon yesterday.  The event was held in Radnor Township at Pietro’s Coal Oven Pizzeria.

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Elizabeth Barrie, who goes by the moniker of Lizzie, is the head librarian at the Belmont Hills Library. She came to Belmont Hills after a 13-year stint at Lower Merion's Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr.  She came to the Lower Merion Library System right out of college. Somewhere between 40-50 people attended the event which included board members of the Library, former workmates from Ludington and co-members of her book group.

Barrie was honored by Leach for her "compassionate leadership and her work in organizing a Drag Queen Storytime at the Library, which helped to normalize drag culture for children, stated Leach in a press release. “Barrie has created an accepting and positive space for the community through the various programs and events she has arranged in the Library.”  

Leach's Librarian of the Year event honors two outstanding librarians from the 17th Senatorial District each year – one school librarian and one public Librarian. This year the event was hosted by Pietro's Coal Oven Pizzeria in Radnor and sponsored by the American Reading Company and UGI Utilities. Winners received a special plaque and a $50 gift card to Pietro's Pizzeria.

Leach awarded this year's School Librarian of the Year Award to Jennifer McKinnon of Gotwals Elementary School. McKinnon was recognised for her fantastic work with both students and their families. McKinnon inspires her students to step outside of their comfort zones through their reading, and she has helped to create parent workshops ranging from reading to coding. McKinnon has worked creatively to support her students and provide them with instructional activities, despite the limited funds available to her.

"I am honored to recognize Jennifer and Lizzie this year with my Librarian of the Year Award," Leach said. "The work librarians do in the community is so important to children and adults alike. Librarians have the ability to make people feel at home and create a welcoming environment for all. These librarians have certainly done that for their community, and I am thrilled to be able to celebrate them."

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