Health & Education

Tribal librarian wins nationwide contest

04.25.2024 Danielle Harrison Tribal Library
Tribal Librarian Kathy Cole was recognized as a first-class librarian as part of the nationwide campaign for author Jeff Kinney’s latest book “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: No Brainer.” Cole’s prize package includes a paid trip to Boston, Mass., to meet Kinney and tour the Wimpy Kid studio. (Photo by Michelle Alaimo)



By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals editor  

When Tribal Librarian Kathy Cole first received a congratulatory email for being one of eight librarians throughout the country who had won an all-expenses paid trip to Boston, her first thought was, “Is this spam?”

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

After showing the email to a colleague, Cole phoned the sender, Anna Cesary.

Cesary is the executive assistant to Jeff Kinney, author of the mega-bestselling “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. Kinney launched a nationwide search last fall to coincide with the release of his 18th book in the series, “No Brainer,” with the goal of finding extraordinary librarians and treating them to a fun-filled weekend trip in Boston. 

“Kathy’s reaction was one of my favorites,” Cesary said. “She was just so shocked that she had won.”

Cole was nominated for the honor by Tribal Family & Community Partnership Coordinator Rebecca Ambrose.

Selecting the winners was a collaborative process between Kinney’s team at Wimpy Kid Inc. and his publisher, Abrams Books, according to Cesary.

“This was a nationwide contest and as such, we received hundreds of submissions,” Cesary said. “Kathy’s nominator detailed an impressive library program spearheaded by Kathy, an extremely thoughtful array of quality offerings for her community. Just one example is that Kathy coordinates Blind-Date-With-A-Book events, which caught our eye.”

Cole will spend the weekend of June 7-9 in Boston, which will include sightseeing, food and library excursions. It concludes with a field trip to Kinney’s bookstore, An Unlikely Story, in Plainville, Massachusetts and a tour of the Wimpy Kid studio.

“It will be my first time in Boston and I’m excited for everything, especially the Boston Public Library,” Cole said.

Additionally, Kinney will donate 50 books to the Tribal library.

 “The trip to Boston in June will be a fun-filled and truly memorable weekend, we hope,” Cesary said. “Our winners are exceptional librarians and really, the spirit of the weekend is celebration. We want to recognize and honor these librarians for doing what they do and we think it will feel special to get them in the same room as one another.”   

 She added, “This is the first time Jeff has sponsored anything quite like this. In fact, news of winning this contest was so unbelievable to some of our librarians that we had to legitimize by following up with articles.”

Cole has served as the Tribal librarian for four years and credits Library Aide Crystal Bigelow for helping her run a diverse program.

“It’s just the two of us here and she’s always in the middle of everything with me,” she said.