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We at the Livingston Public Library are so excited to announce that Joe O’Brien, an Adult Services Librarian was picked to receive an NJLA (New Jersey Librarian Association) Innovative Programming Award for their June 2020 Pride Month Musical Storytime Video series. This series consisted of three musical storytellings: “Julián is a Mermaid”, located here; “Ogilvy”, located here; and “From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea”, located here.  

Their Pride Month 2020 Storytime focused on stories that celebrated our differences and encouraged young people to find their voice and embrace what makes them unique. For example, their telling of the story “Julián is a Mermaid”, a picture book by Jessica Love, features a young boy named Julián who dreams of becoming a mermaid. His abuela sees him dressing up, and rather than admonishing him, takes him to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade where he is free to be himself. 

Joe’s approach of combining music and stories delivers a poignant and powerful message – that we should all be free to be ourselves, while making a lasting impact on the young children and parents who watch the video. Joe is always striving to spread the word of inclusion through this program, while aiming to normalize that it’s not only okay to be different and unique, but that it should be celebrated. 

Please join me in congratulating Joe for this wonderful and well deserved award!

-Katie, Head of Adult Services & Acquisitions

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