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Fort Worth’s Shorr among Texas Library Association 2021 award winners

Fort Worth Library director Manya Shorr has been selected as Librarian of the Year by the Texas Library Association.

While she has proven herself to be a stellar librarian and director over the years, Shorr truly shined in 2020, the organization said.

In February she traveled to Austin to advocate for libraries to legislators. In August 2020, the new Golden Triangle branch of the Fort Worth Public Library opened. She also oversaw a large-scale project called “Amplify 817” that launched in 2020.

Much of what made Shorr stand out last year was her library’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within days of closing the doors due to stay-at-home orders, the Fort Worth Public Library began streaming library programming. Early on, Shorr began an initiative that had library staff calling senior citizen cardholders to check on them and to help refer them to social services, if needed.

She oversaw a city-wide PPE drive using library branches as drop-off locations. Librarians gathered more than one thousand masks that were distributed to city employees. Her desire for all libraries to be successful, and her passion for public service, is abundant, the association said.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Ana Cleveland, Ph.D., Regents Professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of North Texas.

Cleveland has been a leader in library and information sciences education for more than 40 years, the association said.

She began her career in Texas at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) School of Library & Information Studies in 1977 and moved to the University of North Texas (UNT) Department of Information Science (formerly School of Library and Information Sciences) in 1988.

Throughout her career, she has focused her efforts on recruiting and educating diverse individuals to all aspects of the profession. Her visionary approach has led to innovation in the education of librarians.

UNT also was associated with the Benefactor Award, which went to Cathy Hartman in recognition of her support of the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment.

Established in 2012, the endowment enables the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries to extend the impact of the Portal to Texas History by creating a permanent, sustainable source of income.

Endowments funds help to enhance future technology development, to acquire and support additions to the collections and content in the portal, and to create lesson plans that support new educational initiatives, the association said.

Since its inception, Hartman has donated more than $100,000 to the endowment and she and her husband, Walter, made an irrevocable planned gift to the endowment of nearly their entire estate.

Hartman is a long-time, active member of the Texas Library and spent the last 20 plus years of her career at the UNT Libraries.

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