Forsyth School librarian wins national award, with efforts that go beyond books | Books






Melissa Pillot, Forsyth School Librarian


Courtesy of Mélissa Pillot


Not everyone knows that a librarian’s job can include making a string of plastic bags and packing play equipment in them.

But from the moment Melissa Pillot started working at Forsyth School, recycling meant more than putting books back into circulation.

“I want people to see that it’s not just your science teacher who cares about the environment,” she says. She tells stories every day, of course. But she also wants students to know that librarians aren’t just about books.

This week, Pillot took home one of 10 annual I Love My Librarian Awards, an award that not only recognizes exceptional efforts but comes with a handsome $5,000.

The award was launched in 2008 by the American Library Association, but Pillot appears to be the first recipient from the St. Louis area.

“I was surprised,” she said. “I was dazzled.” She views her collaborations with teachers as “exactly what librarians do.”

The award, however, states that “recipients are outstanding librarians from academic, public and school libraries who have been nominated by patrons nationwide for their expertise, dedication and profound impact on people in their communities” .

This year, the association said in a press release that 1,300 librarians across the country had been nominated, with hundreds focusing on “the rapid and effective response of librarians to the COVID-19 pandemic, from hosting from virtual programs to distributing books and technologies safely to those who need them.”

About Joey J. Hott

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