TROY - Dr. Christopher A. Shaffer, dean of university libraries at Troy University, is one of only 10 librarians in the United States selected to receive the I Love My Librarian Award.
Shaffer, who was honored for his outstanding public service to the community and ongoing commitment to transforming lives through education and lifelong learning, received a $5,000 prize at an award ceremony and reception, hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Thursday in New York City. The New York Public Library and The New York Times are co-sponsors of the award, which is administered by the American Library Association.
As a part of the award process, library users nationwide are invited to nominate their favorite librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year, more than 1,300 nominations were received.
Shaffer has transformed the libraries at Troy University into a positive force by providing more opportunities for dynamic learning and community engagement for students as well as local residents.
"The library is the heart of the University," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. "Dr. Shaffer's leadership ensures that our libraries are not only valuable resources for our students, faculty and staff, but also centers for educating and engaging the communities served by Troy University. The national recognition Dr. Schaeffer has earned is a testament to his leadership and his commitment to students."
By partnering with local, national and international organizations, Shaffer created a series of lectures and educational programming on topics such as Islamic culture, Black History Month and the Holocaust. In addition, he started a film festival featuring independent works and movies from around the world.
Through grants, Shaffer expanded the library's collection to include materials on Turkish and Middle Eastern history and Japanese culture. He was also able to purchase children's and young adults books. The new collection is not only used by the education department's students and faculty, but also the city's children and families, many of whom have checkout privileges and are also able to borrow the new books.
Shaffer has drawn support for programs from partners, including Alabama Humanities Foundation, Smithsonian Institute, National Endowment for the Humanities, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Association of Asian Studies, Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Kennesaw State University, National Endowment for the Arts, American Library Association, Nippon Foundation, National Institute of Health and the National Library of Medicine, Northeast Asia Council for Asian Studies and the Korea Foundation, Pragda, Target Foundation, Temple Emanu-El, Institute of Turkish Studies, Tournees Film Festival and the US Capital Historical Society.
Shaffer, who joined the Troy University staff in 2005, was named dean of university libraries in 2014. He completed his undergraduate studies in history at Auburn University, earned a master's in education from Georgia Regents University, an education specialist degree at Albany State University, a master's degree in library and information science at the University of Alabama and his doctorate in educational leadership, policy and law from Alabama State University.