South Carolinian Dwight McInvaill Honored with the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times 'I Love My Librarian Award'

Dec 03, 2009, 10:00 ET from Georgetown County Library

One of Ten Librarians Honored Nationally

GEORGETOWN, S.C., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- South Carolina's first winner of the "I Love My Librarian Award" presented annually by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and by the New York Times to only 10 librarians nationally is Georgetown County Library Director Dwight McInvaill.

"This award honors the significant relationship between library users and librarians. It also recognizes these 10 librarians for the notable impact they have on the lives of the people they serve and on their communities," said American Library Association President Jim Rettig.

During the past several years, the library has coordinated a unique collaboration with nine other local cultural agencies and created the Georgetown County Digital Library ( to preserve its community's history. This work - underwritten recently by a grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation - has resulted in an online collection with over 17,000 items including historic photographs, maps, and Nineteenth Century newspapers. Images from the collection were used this fall by the television show "Anderson Cooper 360" to assist in the production of a documentary on the Lowcountry ancestors of First Lady Michelle Obama. The site receives about 5,000 hits daily worldwide.

To combat at its roots a county illiteracy rate approaching 30%, the library has established - in concert with Georgetown County First Steps - collections of books in approximately 40 childcare centers. The library has also developed a special curriculum which a library storyteller uses to teach youngsters basic language and motor skills. The library also offers childcare providers quarterly training sessions for accreditation. For this work, the library received in 2003 the first "Counties Care for Kids Award" given by the National Association of Counties.

The library also addresses teen illiteracy and a local high-school dropout rate that has approached 38 percent by having a countywide interactive gaming program at all of its four facilities. To participate in this endeavor - which is funded by a major grant from the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation - teens must register for library cards and check out library materials regularly. They must also attend library programs on topics ranging from culture to technology. Most importantly, they must remain in school and maintain good grades.

In 2007, the Georgetown County Library became South Carolina's first - and so far only - library recognized nationally by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services for a National Medal for Library Service.

Dwight McInvaill has served as the Director of the Georgetown County Library since January 1996.

Each of the "I Love My Librarian" winners will receive a $5,000 cash award at a ceremony and reception at the New York Times Building hosted by the New York Times on December 3, 2009.

More information about the I Love My Librarian Award is available at the

SOURCE Georgetown County Library