Hoboken Wins Library Champion Award; Director Jennie Pu named NJLA Librarian of the Year

Photos Courtesy of Hoboken Public Library

The Hoboken Public Library has reason to celebrate.  The City has announced that the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) has awarded the City the prestigious Library Champion Award for its unwavering support of public libraries and intellectual freedom.

According to a press release from City Hall, Hoboken earned the award following the unanimous adoption of a resolution declaring the City as a Book Sanctuary City in September 2023.   In addition, Hoboken Public Library Director Jennie Pu has also been named the NJLA 2024 Librarian of the Year.  Pu is the first recipient from Hudson County to receive the distinguished accolade.  The Library Board of Trustees also won the Trustee Service Award.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla stated, “Being recognized as a Library Champion is a testament to Hoboken’s commitment to fostering a culture of learning and inclusivity.  Jennie Pu’s leadership has been instrumental in making our public library a beacon of knowledge and a sanctuary for diverse voices. This honor underscores the hard work and dedication of Jennie and the entire Hoboken Public Library team, and I offer them my sincere congratulations!”
Councilwoman At Large Emiy Jabbour, the sponsor of the book sanctuary resolution, added, “I am proud to have attended this year’s New Jersey Library Association Awards Ceremony to receive the Champion Award on behalf of the City of Hoboken for being the first municipality in the state to declare itself a Book Sanctuary CitySince Mayor Bhalla signed an Executive Order declaring Hoboken a Fair and Welcoming City in 2017, this declaration is an extension of these values to ensure that no book will be banned or censored; in fact, our community celebrates diverse voices and stories to continue to enforce the message that we are a welcoming and inclusive community. Thank you to Hoboken Public Library Director Jennie Pu and the Hoboken Public Library Board of Trustees for being diligent stewards of these values.”
Upon learning she had been selected as Librarian of the Year, Director Pu stated, “I am honored to be the first from Hudson County to be named Librarian of the Year by the New Jersey Library Association and could not have done this without the support of an incredible library board and strong city leaders.  This award rightfully belongs to the dedicated and talented Hoboken Public Library team who faithfully serve all members of our community day in, day out.”
“I’m so proud of all the hard work the Library has done to ensure it is a welcoming place for everyone,” said Library Board President Jerome Abernathy.  “It is indeed a sanctuary in every sense of the word.”
Pu, who has been the director of the Hoboken Public Library since 2021, has revitalized the library, enhancing its profile both locally and nationally. She has implemented several community-focused initiatives, including pop-up libraries in schools and the installation of book lockers in collaboration with the Hoboken Historical Museum. Under her guidance, Hoboken’s first maker space was incorporated within the sustainably restored Hoboken Main Library, blending the library’s historic charm with modern functionality.
Her commitment to intellectual freedom led to the declaration of Hoboken as New Jersey’s first book sanctuary, a model that has been replicated by more than 24 libraries and four municipalities across the state. Her contributions to the field of librarianship and her advocacy for the right to read have earned her the American Library Association’s 2024 Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession.