Library Journal Names Arapahoe Libraries' Davies as 2016 Librarian of the Year

January 6, 2016




Nicolle Ingui Davies, executive director of Arapahoe Libraries, has been named the 2016 Library Journal Librarian of the Year. This annual award recognizes one talented individual for transforming their library and community, and leading the profession toward innovation, and it is the first time that a librarian in Colorado has earned this honor. Davies is notable for building a committed and energized staff and implementing a forward-thinking strategic plan to move the library from “nice to essential” – while helping to reimagine how the library as a brand is considered in her community and beyond.

Soon after Davies became executive director in 2012, she worked with the board and her staff on developing a new strategic plan. Together, they established four pillars in the system’s rebranding strategy: deliver very important patron experiences, surprise and delight, make every experience matter and strive for simplicity. This patron-focused model creates a memorable experience when users come through the doors or interact with the Arapahoe Libraries out in the community. 

“I think all of us are aware of the kind of antiquated perception of libraries that we have to battle. Over the past five to seven years this has become ever more challenging. As e-content became so pervasive, we had to carve out our niche, our relevance,” Davies says in Library Journal’s January issue. “It was also about reworking the way that we tell our story to turn the perception of libraries people have on its head.”  

In her previous role as Arapahoe Libraries’ deputy director, Davies began the evolution of the libraries into community centers with a focus on easy access to resources and technology. Arapahoe Libraries is the local leader in providing access to cutting-edge technology, featuring products in their early development. Arapahoe Libraries takes on the costs and risks of early adoption, providing such new technologies as 3-D printers, Go Pro cameras, Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets, and many more. 

Arapahoe Libraries takes on an educator role with its Tech Road Shows, taking these technologies throughout the Denver area to local businesses, professional and social associations, museums, and business groups. 

“Nicolle brings both a strength of leadership and a refreshing spirit that is exciting for libraries and transformative for her community,” said Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal. “She represents the kind of library leader our communities need and deserve, and we couldn’t be more pleased to name her the 2016 Librarian of the Year.” 

The award is celebrated in a cover story in the January issue of the magazine and at a special reception during ALA Midwinter in Boston, MA. Read the full story at


About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and web sites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book publications, and Junior Library Guild.

About Arapahoe Libraries

Arapahoe Libraries serve 250,000 patrons and include eight community libraries, a jail library and a Library on Wheels in Arapahoe County, Colorado. For more information, visit