Miller Honored as Pennsylvania New Librarian of the Year

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WARREN, Pa. – Warren Public Library Librarian Julie Miller was named Pennsylvania Library Association New Librarian of the Year in a ceremony Thursday.

(Photo courtesy Kelli Knapp. Pennsylvania Library Association New Librarian of the Year, Julie Miller, accepts her certificate from Warren Library Association Director Kelli Knapp following a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.)

Miller has been instrumental in revamping the Interlibrary Loan department, increasing the cohesion of the marketing department and managed the library’s Keystone Grant application. Those efforts, and more, helped her earn the state recognition.

“Julie always goes the extra mile to volunteer and provide well-thought out insight in everything she does,” Warren Library Association Director Kelli Knapp said. “She works hard, efficiently, and with a positive attitude and is always assisting others with their projects.”

Miller found out about the honor, then nearly wasn’t able to accept it. All due to what she calls, “Miller Luck.”

“In my family, we have this thing called ‘Miller Luck,'” she said. “The weirdest, not always wonderful, but always strange things seem to happen to us. For example, I found out that I’d won this award and three days later, a tree almost landed on me during a microburst of wind.”

Even during a pandemic, Knapp said, Miller continued to find ways to innovate.

“She continues to come up with innovative ideas and is a guiding force for the rest of the staff,” Knapp said. “Because Julie is such an asset to the library, she makes the library a better place for our patrons and our community. I don’t know what we would do without her. She definitely deserves this statewide honor.”

The New Librarian of the Year award honors “a librarian who has been in the profession for fewer than six years. It recognizes the originality and inventive ability of a new librarian who devises new and improved methods in library service on a statewide or local level and who demonstrates promise for continued growth in librarianship.”

Librarians were nominated in late summer and a committee of association members selects the winners. Awardees are also invited to the PaLA annual conference for recognition.

“The Pennsylvania Library Association is able to do what we do thanks to the unwavering efforts of our volunteers and our members,” said Christi Buker, PaLA Executive Director. “These awards are just our small way of shining a light on what all librarians, library staffs and our volunteers do to continue promoting the value libraries bring to the communities they serve.”

Miller, a Warren native, learned a love for the library through her grandmother.

“My grandma Judy Nobles was my kindred spirit and was always a staunch Warren Public Library supporter,” Miller said. “She showed me the value of a library card, encouraged my love of the written word and shared my love of really twisted mystery novels. I know that she’d be over the moon about this honor.”

Though the Warren Public Library isn’t able to keep it’s normal business hours, patrons may still come to the library by appointment. Those wishing to make an appointment should call the library at 814-723-4650.