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Grabill Librarian Wins National Movers & Shakers Awards

The Allen County Public Library is pleased to announce that Grabill Branch Manager Rebecca Wolfe has been named a 2024 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal (LJ). LJ’s Class of 2024 Movers & Shakers highlights 50 individuals helping move library work forward. According to the publication, the 2024 Movers & Shakers award recipients represent a “vibrant cohort of advocates, community builders, change agents, innovators, educators, and ban battlers from all corners of the field.”

 

Wolfe’s award was for her work as an educator and specifically with her All-Abilities Club (AAC) through the ACPL. The project has garnered national attention from the library community and has put Wolfe at the forefront of library programming for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

 

These efforts include regular storytimes, book clubs, art/craft activities, and summer learning programs that connect an underserved community to the library’s staff, spaces, services, and collection. She also works with organizations such as the Life Adult Day Academy to provide outreach beyond the library. She was also instrumental in advocating for an All Abilities option for the ACPL’s annual Summer Learning Program.

 

“This is what it’s all about,” Wolfe says, “creating community for everyone in our service area, particularly those from groups who are often overlooked in our society.”

 

It did not take long for other libraries to notice her work and turn to Wolfe for assistance. In 2023, Wolfe launched a Facebook page for librarians serving adults with IDD to provide a space where librarians across the country could connect, share tools and ideas, and support each other. The group has more than 800 members.

 

And in April of this year, Wolfe was invited to present at the Public Library Association’s national conference in Columbus, Oh. Her presentation “We See You: Programming for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” focused on practical strategies and tools for developing inclusive programming and the benefits of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment in their library.

 

“Rebecca’s work is an inspiration to all of us at the Library,” said ACPL Executive Director Susan P. Baier. “She saw a need, sought out resources, and when she didn’t find them – she created them. And now she’s sharing those tools with others. We are so proud of the impact she is having and that she is extending our ability to be a place where everyone belongs.”

 

Beyond Wolfe’s work for people with disabilities, the new class of Movers and Shakers were showcased in Library Journal’s May print 2024 issue and online. The issue represents an inspiring sample of the work being done in and around libraries today including: providing a place to land after school for teens, creating and restoring balance to their boards, connecting libraries with federal funding, helping design sustainable facilities, teaching community members how to archive their collections, battling censorship attempts, and more.

 

“Our 2024 Movers represent a range of innovative, proactive, and supportive work; they are imaginative and kind and brave in a world that needs those qualities—and the results they produce—very much,” said Library Journal Executive Editor Lisa Peet. 

 

To learn more about the 2024 Movers and Shakers, including the ACPL’s Rebecca Wolfe, visit www.libraryjournal.com.


About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal is a trade publication serving librarians and library workers. Sharing important news and perspectives that shape the field, surfacing best practices and innovations to invest in, identifying emerging leaders, guiding purchasing decisions, and acting as an advocate for librarians and libraries, Library Journal has been leading the field through the great changes and innovations required to keep libraries strong for nearly 150 years. 

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