A salute to books — and those making them more accessible

Hoboken Public Library Director Jennie Pu is recipient of prestigious 2024 Movers and Shakers award from Library Journal — only Jerseyan to be honored

During a time when books are being banned throughout the country, one Hudson County librarian in New Jersey is being honored for making them even more accessible.

Earlier this week, Hoboken Public Library Director Jennie Pu was announced as a recipient of the 2024 Movers and Shakers award.

Awarded by Library Journal, this honor recognizes “a vibrant cohort of advocates, community builders, change agents, innovators, educators and ban battlers from all corners of the library field,” given out nationally to 50 individuals per year.

She is the only winner from a New Jersey library.

Pu’s contributions to the library speak for itself.

Through her efforts of supporting Freedom to Read, Hoboken Public Library and the city of Hoboken became the first Book Sanctuary in the state. Nineteen New Jersey libraries have followed, and, as a result, it is the fastest-growing Book Sanctuary state in the nation.

Pu also worked for “Ban Battlers,” a Library Journal group committed to combating book banning legislation, drafting policies to protect diverse collections and creating book sanctuaries across the country.

Pu serves in several leadership roles in the field, including being a member of the New Jersey Library Association’s Public Policy Committee. She also serves on the

Urban Libraries Council board of directors and the American Library Association Policy Corps’ Unite Against Book Bans cadre. Additionally, Pu has overseen a $7 million renovation for the library’s new Makerspace, hired an onsite social worker and organized a banned book Read-A-Thon that galvanized her community to support the freedom to read.

The new class of Movers and Shakers, showcased on the cover of LJ’s May print issue and online, represents an inspiring sample of the work being done in and around libraries today. They are developing programming for patrons with disabilities, providing a place after school for teens, creating and restoring balance to their boards, connecting libraries with federal funding, helping design sustainable facilities, teaching community members how to archive their collections and battling censorship attempts.

Library Journal Executive Editor Lisa Peet commented on the winners’ dedication.

“Our 2024 Movers represent a range of innovative, proactive and supportive work; they are imaginative and kind and brave in a world that needs those qualities — and the results they produce very much,” Peet said.