Photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

May 5, 2020

Nora Wiltse MLIS ’03, teacher-librarian at John C. Coonley Elementary School, was honored with the 2020 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award from the American Library Association (ALA). Nora, a leading advocate for librarians and libraries in the Chicago Public Schools, devotes her time and talent and inspires others to make positive changes in the profession of librarianship.

Fellow teachers, colleagues, librarians, and leaders in the education community praise Nora for her courageous efforts to create awareness about the impact of the severe cuts to library/school media positions and libraries in Chicago’s public schools, especially in less advantaged neighborhoods. She is a founding member of the Chi School Librarians group that advocates for a credentialed school librarian in every public school in the district. Passionately speaking out about the value of libraries for all students while displaying impressive interpersonal skills and leadership, Nora served on the bargaining team of the Chicago Teachers Union in the 2019 labor contract negotiations.

Nora is commended for her many years of mentorship and support for early-career school librarians and library science graduate students. She is a respected colleague in the American Library Association and a member of ALA’s Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness. She is a long-term supporter of the Association of Illinois School Library Educators and former leader of the Monarch Reader’s Choice Book nominations committee, ensuring her love of books and reading extends beyond her school to students throughout Illinois.

Read more: Nora Wiltse receives the American Library Association 2020 Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award