Queens College alumna named 2019 Librarian of the Year for contributions to the profession

Photo courtesy of Queens College

A Queens College alumna has been named 2019 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal in recognition of her significant contributions to advancing the profession and its mission. 

Lauren Comito earned her master’s in library science from Queens College in 2007. She shares this year’s designation with her colleague and business partner, Christian Zabriskie, with whom she founded Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) — an advocacy group that supports libraries and librarians in urban environments. 

Comito and Zabriskie were cited for their belief in the possibility of making a difference and for having the patience and professional alliances to bring their vision to fruition. Comito is the neighborhood library supervisor at the Leonard Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. 

“We congratulate alumna Lauren Comito. We’re proud of the work she does at Brooklyn Public Library and as a co-founder of the advocacy organization, Urban Librarians Unite,” said Queens College Interim President William Tramontano. “This honor confirms what we already know: that our Graduate School of Library and Information Studies prepares students for meaningful, community-oriented careers.” 

While at Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Comito took a job as a librarian trainee at QPL and moved through the ranks for the next 11 years — as a YA librarian, doing outreach for the library’s Job and Business Academy, and serving as an assistant branch manager. 

Comito and Zabriskie’s energetic grassroots activism have encompassed causes ranging from annual funding advocacy for the three New York City library systems to services and resources for unaccompanied minors and immigrants across the country to an inclusive, innovative conference aimed at front-line library workers, according to the Library Journal. 

“When we get mad, at ULU we do things,” Zabriskie told Library Journal, “because we can.” 

Nick Buron, chief librarian and senior vice president of QPL, who indirectly supervised both Zabriskie and Comito, said, “Lauren and Christian’s dedication to libraries, librarians and all those who support our institution is beyond bounds. For 10 years, I have witnessed them spending long nights, rallying in the rain, and literally using a megaphone to scream the values and necessity of libraries and their dedicated workers.”

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