New Mexico State Library

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Mary Ellen Pellington Receives 2016 Governor’s New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award

Mary Ellen Pellington, the director of the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, has been recognized by the State of New Mexico as an outstanding Library Director and community leader.

In 2012, Mary Ellen received the National I Love my Librarian Award, from the Carnegie Institute and New York Times, for excelling in the field of Librarianship. Under her leadership, the Octavia Fellin Public Library was awarded the 2014 National Museum and Library Medal for Excellence. This award was presented at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama. In 2015, she was recognized by the New Mexico State Senate for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of library science and for her advocacy of library services that benefit Gallup, NM. She has been able to turn the library into a community center for exchange of ideas and developed services and programs vital to the growth of Gallup’s citizens.

She has built library services and programs responding to community needs. She established a Navajo Language room and a strong Native American film and music collection as well as a multitude of programs reflective of our state’s rich history and culture, including a growing celebration for Native American Heritage, Hispanic Heritage and African American History. Through her efforts, the library now offers free computer training on a wide variety of software and social media for community members. She established the yearly Gallup Authors Festival and incorporated the library into the fabric of community life.

Ms. Pellington was responsible for bringing Story Corps from NPR to Gallup where people were able to visit the library and record their personal family stories and have them archived.

In addition to her incredible work bringing the library to life for the community, she is involved in enhancing her community in many other ways. She is an active member of the Gallup Rotary and Lions Clubs, the Elks lodge, and Gallup McKinley County Early Childhood Community Council. She is a member of the local arts organization, GallupArts, and is involved in the development of Gallup Mainstreet Arts and Cultural District.

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