Jessica Bell recognized with national public service honor
CHICAGO — Jessica Bell, director of the library and instructional design at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for her outstanding contributions to the Institute’s research and instruction, she was selected from 1,865 nominations from library users across the country.
When Bell began working at the MGH Institute in 2008, she was the campus’s only librarian and oversaw an exclusively virtual library. Over the past 12 years, Bell’s leadership, expertise, and innovative vision has expanded the library to include a physical space and a small but mighty team of staff. She has grown to play an indispensable role in student learning and faculty scholarship, from coauthoring academic papers to incorporating information literacy training in 100% of the institute’s programs.
During an unprecedented year, Bell has risen to the occasion, working to meet the unique needs facing health care students and faculty during the pandemic. With students no longer able to receive clinical training on site at local hospitals, Bell invested in top-quality medical database access to ensure learners would not fall behind in their path to licensure. She has also created extensive online instructional content and has hosted virtual community building events to relieve stress and keep students connected.
“She is committed to making the library central to the mission of the MGH Institute, constantly adapting it to address new academic and societal needs,” her nominators wrote. “The array of task forces, committees and working groups Jessica is invited to serve on attest to how much faculty and staff value her input.”
Bell and this year’s nine other honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library and complimentary registration to ALA’s 2021 Virtual Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The virtual award ceremony will take place during the conference at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 and will be available to stream live at
Since the award’s inception in 2008, library users have shared more than 20,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology and support diversity and inclusion in their communities. Information regarding previous award winners can be found on the I Love My Librarian website at
Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library also supports the award. ALA administers the award through its Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves nearly 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.
Originally published at https://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2021/01/boston-librarian-receives-i-love-my-librarian-award