CLA 2022 Young Adult Service Award Winner: Eboni Harris

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Headshot of Eboni Harris.
Eboni Harris

Eboni A. Harris has been a youth, teen and reference services librarian for ten years, getting her start in academic libraries in Texas, moving on to be a youth librarian and manager in Florida, and then a teen services librarian in California. She earned her Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University, but also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine, a double bachelors in English and Psychology from the University of Houston and Baylor University and was a Texas state board certified English Language Arts teacher for grades 8-12. 

Eboni was hired on by San Jose Public Library in 2020 when the shelter-in-place mandate was still in effect and created multiple virtual programs for isolated teens. Among these programs were a Spring and Summer Career Panel series where working professionals from a plethora of diverse careers—from NASA engineers and Pixar representatives to professional dancers, musicians and lawyers—Zoomed in to do presentations and Q&A’s with curious teens, a six-week teen writers convention with published YA authors as weekly instructors, several online social media internships—in collaboration with a citywide job development program for young adults known as Work2Furture—and an online theater program known as Teen Zoom Theater that has premiered five quarterly shows since its debut in the Spring of 2021. 

Before Eboni worked for San Jose Public Library, she was with Monterey Public Library for six and a half years where she coordinated the teen services department and ran interactive escape rooms, mystery theaters, cooking programs and Iron Chef contests, cosplay balls, and fandom, book, RPG and gaming clubs for teens. 

Eboni loves working with customers of all ages but has a special place in her heart for teens. She loves getting to be her naturally goofy, creative self in a career that allows her to not only serve communities but to watch teens grow to be happy, productive members of society and know that she may have had a pinky finger in it. The days college students return looking for “Miss Eboni” or send her emails and messages through media telling her what they are up to now are the highlights of her career. She is honored and grateful for being nominated and for receiving the 2022 CLA Young Adult Services Award.    

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