Local Queens librarian wins national award

A Queens librarian will receive a national award for creating positive changes in her profession.

Loida Garcia-Febo will receive the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award at the American Library Association’s national conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, June 29.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Garcia-Febo laughed. “I was pleasantly surprised that my colleagues were kind enough to nominate me.”

Born and educated in Puerto Rico, Garcia-Febo has been with the Queens Library since 2000. She is the assistant coordinator of the Queens Library’s New Americans Program and the special services unit of the Queens Library, which promotes programs for seniors; the disabled and medically underserved; job seekers and other groups that require more attention.

“Loida Garcia-Febo is one of the talented staff members whose insight and efforts serve Queens residents and provide cutting edge library service,” said Thomas W. Galante, CEO of the Queens Library.

In addition, Garcia-Febo ensures there are book and magazine collections in every language that is spoken in Queens communities. She organizes job fairs; Braille and sign language classes; older Adults Day at the library; autism and Alzheimer’s support groups, as well as educational programs such as cancer awareness, oral health, nutrition and yoga classes.

She also established the Queens Library Health Link, which works with the Queens Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society to have vans sent to different communities in Queens to provide free pap tests and breast exams for the uninsured, and colon cancer detection.

Her job frequently sends her out in the field, too. “I distribute flyers on the streets, I reevaluate our book collections, I ask the community what they’d like to read and try to contact vendors in other communities if we don’t have what they want,” Garcia-Febo said.

Garcia-Febo is also the president of REFORMA – the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking community. REFORMA’s goals include recruiting multicultural library personnel and advocating on behalf of the information needs of Latinos.

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