UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Andrea Pritt, STEM librarian in the Madlyn Levine Hanes Library at Penn State Harrisburg, has been named the 2021 New Librarian of the Year by the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA).
Each year, PaLA honors the service of their members and community volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty to support the work of libraries throughout the commonwealth. The New Librarian award honors a librarian who has been in the profession for fewer than six years, devises new and improved methods in library service on a statewide or local level and demonstrates promise for continued growth in librarianship.
During her three years at Penn State Harrisburg, Pritt has worked to build positive relationships with students and better engage them in innovative STEM projects. She worked to secure grant funding for an initiative that allows students to learn about rapid prototyping and create their own inventions. Her research on the inclusion of historically marginalized people in STEM literature led to scholarly publications on understanding diverse representation in collections.
Pritt contributed to creating a research data management program to help ensure compliance for federal grant recipients, to building a foundation for open scholarship, and to transforming library spaces for collaborative use. She serves as an Open Educational Resources liaison for Penn State Harrisburg, where she teaches faculty and other librarians to identify high-quality free or affordable resources that can replace expensive traditional textbooks and teaching materials.
“As a STEM expert, Andrea is establishing herself within both the campus and the Libraries as a whole,” said Glenn McGuigan, head librarian at Penn State Harrisburg. “One of her notable qualities is her desire to grow professionally and take every opportunity to learn more about various aspects of her job and subject areas. In turn, she seeks to share her knowledge and expertise. She is an energetic, thoughtful and collegial professional.”
In addition, Pritt has been active as a member of and volunteer for PaLA, for which she currently serves on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee and as the publicity chair for the College and Research Division.
“Each year these awards allow us to celebrate individuals who have gone above and beyond to make significant contributions to libraries and their communities,” said Tom Reinsfelder, head librarian at Penn State Mont Alto and 2021 PaLA president. “Their accomplishments are valued by their peers and recognized by the PaLA awards selection committee.”
Pritt served as an information resources and services support specialist at Penn State Mont Alto before moving to Penn State Harrisburg.
Founded in 1901, PaLA is the state’s oldest professional library organization serving libraries, library employees, library trustees and Friends of the Library groups. PaLA represents more than 1,300 personal, institutional and commercial members affiliated with public, academic, special and school libraries throughout the commonwealth. The association represents the profession with the state legislature and provides opportunities for professional growth, leadership development and continuing education for librarians.