EUCLID, Ohio — At 3News, we are huge advocates for reading. And for so many of us, librarians played a large role in fostering our love for books.
One local librarian has gone above and beyond in her role, resulting in a distinguished honor- Librarian of the Year.
"We do quite a bit at the local public library. So it's not just about reading books," said Kacie Armstrong, director of the Euclid Public Library.
Armstrong has been walking the isles of libraries for more than a decade.
"I became a teen librarian for the Cleveland public library and was there for about four years and moved on to the Cuyahoga county public library where I was a manager," she explained. "And then I accepted the position here as a director, and I've been here for nine years."
Her hard work is now paying off. Armstrong made history this year, being named the 2022 Ohio Librarian of the year.
"Oh, I'm just, absolutely thrilled. So very surprised and honored," said Armstrong of the recognition. "But I'm also thrilled to be the first African American woman to be recognized with this award."
The distinguished award is presented by The Ohio Library Council to librarians whose recent accomplishments have impacted the library profession or library services to the community.
"I think of course the pandemic, of course, that was a huge hit to everyone, uh, across the nation. But I was so thrilled that even though it was hard, it was a lot of challenges that libraries really rose to the occasion," said Armstrong.
During the pandemic, Kacie and her staff at the Euclid Public Library took charge and were able to provide critical census information, bridge virtual learning gaps, help students with college prep testing and even provided meals to students in need-- a vital resource for the community.
"You know, the library is not just a place where you just come and sit and read. We were really making change in our community, which I'm most proud of," said Armstrong.
And it takes a village for change to be sustained, that's why Armstrong is hoping to usher in more youth and diversity to the profession.
"We want young people to know that they can become a librarian or they can go into technology or marketing. We have so many different roles at public libraries that young people can get into."
Armstrong is also proud of something else and that's the legacy she’s creating.
"It is truly an honor to serve in this role and be the first African American director here, but I don't wanna be the last and I'm hoping to crack that door open, uh, so that others will say, Hey, I can be a library director."
For more information on the programs and services offered by the Euclid Public Library, click here.
*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.