Librarian and ‘Stigma Buster’ earns top award

(Tucson, AZ) Matthew Landon, Workforce and Economic Development Librarian, has been named a Mover & Shaker in the Community Builders category by Library Journal, an honor that recognizes library staff nationwide whose work is deemed innovative, proactive, imaginative, and brave. The fifty recipients—a vibrant cohort of advocates, community builders, innovators, change agents, educators, and ban battlers from all corners of the field—demonstrate the many ways library values are being moved forward. 

A certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Provider, Landon has immersed himself in changing the conversation around mental health, addressing the stigma associated with it, and putting mental health related issues in the open.  In doing so, Landon created the Library's Youth Health Action Team, a youth-led project tackling mental and physical health challenges for teens and young adults living in a high-poverty community. 

With a $34,682 grant from the Arizona State Library, Landon paid presenters, hired youth interns, provided digital literacy training, and secured supplies for the creation of an array of media. PCPL’s Woods Memorial Library recruited 15 interns in the 2022–23 school year who completed 19 distinct projects, including bookmarks designed with pro–mental health messages and a weekly youth-health zine, Lifeline. Landon secured no fewer than 18 community partners. “Artists, poets, writers, therapists, nature groups, the local health department, and community health coalitions all provided workshops, conversations, and learning opportunities,” he recalls. The Youth Health Action Team won the 2023 Arizona Library Association Extraordinary Program Award; Landon himself was lauded with the Outstanding Young Adult Services Award.

Presently, Landon works in the Library's Community Engagement Office where he manages adult programming and workforce development. He is currently working on a community needs assessment to inform Pima County digital literacy efforts, especially in the sphere of employment. Additionally, he is working with the local League of Women Voters on a panel discussion on AI and misinformation ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

To read more about Landon's current and previous work at the Library, check out the announcement in Library Journal.

Of being named a Mover & Shaker, Landon says, "I’m honored to be recognized by Library Journal in this way. It’s important to me to share my story, to reduce the stigma associated with having a mental health diagnosis, and to show people that you can succeed despite facing obstacles."

Library Journal's Executive Editor Lisa Peet says, "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."

To connect with Matthew, visit his LinkedIn profile.


About Pima County Public Library

For more than 100 years, we've been here for people just like you. Today, in our libraries, online, or out in the community, our dedicated staff and volunteers are always looking ahead to help you find what you're looking for. Every day, we're making our mission a reality by educating and connecting people and inspiring ideas.

About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal is a trade publication serving librarians and library workers. Sharing important news and perspectives that shape the field, surfacing best practices and innovations to invest in, identifying emerging leaders, guiding purchasing decisions, and acting as an advocate for librarians and libraries, Library Journal has been leading the field through the great changes and innovations required to keep libraries strong for nearly 150 years.