Awards - MLA

Michigan Library Awards

The Michigan Library Awards is the Michigan library community's very own version of the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Tonys!

Three of the leading statewide library advocacy and service organizations - The Michigan Library Association (MLA), the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME), and the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Michigan Library Awards.

MI LIB Stream MD2

 

Posted by Michigan Library Association on Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Michigan Library Awards are awarded annually and are considered the state’s highest honors within the library community. The eleven awards celebrate the excellence, accomplishments, dedication and service of library staff, trustees and supporters in the Michigan library community.

The 2020 honorees were unveiled on Thursday, October 29 during the Michigan Library Awards virtual award ceremony broadcast on Facebook live. Author and musician Wesley Stace hosted the event, with a special guest appearance by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The library community is proud to announce the winners of the Rising Star, Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth, Heart of a Champion, Library Support Staff of the Year, State Legislator of the Year, Federal Legislator of the Year, Public Librarian of the Year, Academic Librarian of the Year, Citation of Excellence, Above and Beyond, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Each recipient was chosen through peer review for their outstanding achievements within specific categories as follows:

Heart of a Champion  Susan Matthews, President of the Friends of Troy Public Library

Heart of a Champion

Susan Matthews, President of the Friends of Troy Public Library

The Heart of a Champion Award recognizes a library supporter who has shown an exceptional commitment to libraries or the library profession through continued advocacy and supporting or providing funding for their local library.

“A champion is someone who makes the lives of other better, and Sue Matthews has the heart of a champion,” stated Cathleen Russ, Director of the Troy Public Library. “Sue has advocated tirelessly for Troy Public Library through three millage campaigns and loudly proclaims the value that a library brings to its community!”

 

 

Citation of Excellence  Kathy Lester, Advocacy Chair of the Michigan Association of Media in Education

Citation of Excellence

Kathy Lester, Advocacy Chair of the Michigan Association of Media in Education

The Citation of Excellence celebrates and honors those who have championed school libraries through volunteerism, administrative support and advocacy.

“Kathy has become a mover and shaker in the school library and technology world, a professional to follow, a friend to turn to for advice and assistance,” said Lisa Brakel, one of Kathy’s nominators and the District School Librarian at the Airport Community Schools in Carleton. “Through her statewide advocacy work over the past six years with the Michigan Association for Media in Education, she has become the voice for school librarians across the state.”

 

 

Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service To Youth  Stephanie Reinhardt, Librarian at the Auburn Area Branch Library, Bay County Library System

Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service To Youth

Stephanie Reinhardt, Librarian at the Auburn Area Branch Library, Bay County Library System

The Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth is given annually to a Michigan library staff person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of library service to youth throughout their career.

“Stephanie is full of energy and excellence as a Children’s Librarian at the Auburn Area Branch Library,” stated Linda Austin who is her direct supervisor in the Bay County Library System. “Stephanie interacts with her patrons from the youngest to the oldest and talks to them at their level. Interacting with children at their level is the kind of behavior that impresses on the children that libraries are fun and that the people working there think they are important. This type of behavior will bring the children back when they become adults.”

 

 

Library Support Staff of the Year  Jermaine Jackson, Library Assistant at the Kalamazoo Public Library

Library Support Staff of the Year

Jermaine Jackson, Library Assistant at the Kalamazoo Public Library

The Library Support Staff of the Year Award recognizes a support staff professional who goes above and beyond to provide support at their library and who has advanced and strengthened the image of support staff.

"Jermaine has been invaluable to the community as a role model to youth, as an advocate for patrons, and as a supporter of local authors,” stated Sonya Hollins who nominated him for the award. “He is deeply in touch with the community he works in, excels at customer service and takes time to get to know all patrons of the Kalamazoo Public Library Alma Powell branch.”

 

 

Public Librarian of the Year  Jessica Trotter, Collection Development Specialist at the Capital Area District Libraires

Public Librarian of the Year

Jessica Trotter, Collection Development Specialist at the Capital Area District Libraires

The Public Librarian of the Year Award recognizes outstanding library professionals that inspire people, provide innovative library service to their community, promote collaboration among libraries, and show evidence of personal and professional achievement as well as initiative and creativity.

“Jessica is an amazing resource to CADL, the community it serves, and both the statewide and national landscape of Readers Advisory and collection development services,” stated Scott Duimstra, Director of Capital Area District Libraries. “She is a humble and dedicated leader, serving on the Board of Directors for Library Reads, and has chaired the MLA Fantastic Fiction group, the MCLS Overdrive Consortium Committee overseeing and spearheading collection growth from 1.4 million checkouts in 2017 to over 2 million in 2019.”

 

 

Rising Star  Betty Adams, Library Director at the Leanna Hicks Public Library of Inkster

Rising Star

Betty Adams, Library Director at the Leanna Hicks Public Library of Inkster

The Rising Star Award recognizes a librarian who shows leadership early in their career. While new to the profession, winners of this award are forward-thinking, expand the role of librarian and move libraries into the future.

“Over the past few years, I have witnessed Betty’s desire to learn, engage, and contribute to the work she is responsible for,” stated Matthew Wisotsky, Associate Director of the Wayne State University Library System. “These traits continue to inspire her colleagues to do more as well, which makes for a stronger and more motivated workforce.”

 

 

Academic Librarian of the Year  Sandra C. McCarthy, Professional Faculty and Librarian at the Bailey Library, Washtenaw Community College

Academic Librarian of the Year

Sandra C. McCarthy, Professional Faculty and Librarian at the Bailey Library, Washtenaw Community College

The Academic Librarian of the Year recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a librarian or library administrator and their contributions to their institution and academic libraries within the academic year 2019-2020.

“Sandra initiates change wherever she goes,” said Darlene Johnson-Bignotti, who announced her award. “She is the volunteer administrator and co-founder of the Michigan Virtual Reference Collaborative, which has enabled its 15 member libraries of MiALA to seamlessly support students during the pandemic. And if that wasn’t enough, during the Winter 2020 semester she completed a study of health sciences librarians’ perceptions.” Her findings will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association.

 

 

Above and Beyond  Clare D. Membiela, Library Law Consultant at the Library of Michigan

Above and Beyond

Clare D. Membiela, Library Law Consultant at the Library of Michigan

The Above and Beyond Award recognizes an individual who has selflessly served Michigan Libraries and library staff and has gone above and beyond in service to the profession.

“Clare provided crucial, up-to-the-minute interpretation of just released Executive Orders as well as steady leadership beginning in March when the pandemic caused libraries to close their doors,” stated Elizabeth Madson who nominated Clare for the award. “She provided extended support to administrators who may have been bewildered or overwhelmed by the continually changing directives amid serious concerns for the safety of library employees and the public. Whether fielding a specific, individual question, or an issue on behalf of the collective, Clare worked to develop calm, reasonable responses with directors.”

 

 

State Legislator of the Year  State Senator Wayne Schmidt, of the 37th State Senate District

State Legislator of the Year

State Senator Wayne Schmidt, of the 37th State Senate District 

The State Legislator of the Year is awarded to elected officials in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals.

“This year, in the midst of dramatic budget cuts throughout our state – caused by a global pandemic and worsening economic challenges, Senator Schmidt stepped up as the sub-committee chair of the Dept of Education appropriations budget and was instrumental in adding $1 Million to Library State Aid for FY21,” stated Jenny Marr, MLA Advocacy and Legislative Chairman and Director of the Ferndale Public Library. “We are so proud to work with him this year and we know that he truly understands the value and importance of libraries throughout Michigan.”

 

 

Federal Legislator of the Year  Congressman Andy Levin, Representing Michigan’s 9th District

Federal Legislator of the Year

Congressman Andy Levin, Representing Michigan’s 9th District

The Federal Legislator of the Year is awarded to elected officials in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals.

“Congressman Levin is being recognized for his work to stand up and support libraries across the nation by introducing the Library Stabilization Fund Act,” stated Jenny Marr, MLA Advocacy and Legislative Chair and Director of the Ferndale Public Library. “This legislation would provide $2 billion for libraries administered through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The legislation would keep nearly 370,000 library workers on the job, defray costs related to safe reopening, and support a range of library services to millions of patrons.”

 

 

Lifetime Achievement Award  Kevin King, Head of Community Engagement at the Kalamazoo Public Library

Lifetime Achievement Award

Kevin King, Head of Community Engagement at the Kalamazoo Public Library 

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a deserving librarian for their distinguished service to the library profession over the course of their career. Throughout their career, winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award have sustained a strong and consistent body of work, demonstrated leadership in their community and in the profession -mentoring and empowering library staff, providing innovative service to their community and enhancing the image and visibility of the library. They promote collaboration among libraries and librarians and have been a catalyst in special areas such as intellectual freedom, library innovation, outreach, and equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Kevin King is one of my absolute heroes,” stated Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award Winner. “The work that he has done to bring the community and library together…the programming he’s designed and his passion for both young people and their literature deserves all the praise! He deserves to be recognized for the way he has changed both Kalamazoo and the world.”
“These award recipients represent some of the most outstanding individuals in the Michigan library community,” said Deborah E. Mikula, Executive Director of the Michigan Library Association. “In the past, the three host organizations have worked independently, but this year, our united efforts have added a whole new dimension to showcasing exemplary library staff from all library types. We couldn’t be prouder of the collaboration.”

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is Michigan's oldest and largest library association. For close to 130 years, MLA has led the advancement of all libraries through advocacy, education and engagement. MLA's membership is comprised of 1,900 individual and organizational members from public, academic, school, tribal and special libraries. For more information visit milibraries.org.

The Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) is the statewide association for Michigan school librarians and those interested in K-12 media center topics. MAME has been providing professional development and advocating at the state and national level to provide a voice and stronger presence for K-12 library professionals. For more information visit http://www.mimame.org.

The Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA) is the professional association of academic library staff and libraries in Michigan. MiALA’s work entails providing professional development, serving as a catalyst for collaboration, and promoting the value and contribution of academic libraries. For more information visit https://miala.org.

 

The Michigan Library Awards is the Michigan library community's very own version of the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Tonys!

Tfacebook live logohis October 29, you're invited to tune-in to Facebook Live and join us for the Michigan Library Awards, brought to you by the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) and the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA).

Hosted by author and musician Wesley Stace, this fun event will feature entertainment and special guest appearances as we unveil the winners of the Rising Star, Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth, Heart of a Champion, Support Staff of the Year, Legislator of the Year, Public Librarian of the Year, Academic Librarian of the Year, Citation of Excellence and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Please mark your calendar now, follow us on Facebook, and plan to join us as we celebrate the accomplishments, dedication and service of outstanding library staff, trustees and supporters at the can't-miss virtual event for celebrating excellence in the Michigan library community.

You can also watch the award ceremony from any of the following organization's Facebook pages:

  • Michigan Library Association (MLA)
  • Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME)
  • Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA)
  • Capital Area District Library
  • Detroit Public Library
  • Kalamazoo Public Library
  • Library of Michigan
  • Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET)
  • Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)
  • Library of Michigan
  • The Library Network (TLN)
  • White Pine Library Cooperative
  • Suburban Library Cooperative
  • Northland Library Cooperative
  • Detroit Library Cooperative
  • Mid-Michigan Library League
  • Woodlands Library Cooperative
  • Lakeland Library Cooperative
  • Southwest Library Cooperative

Pre-Award Show Cocktail Hour with The Elixir Fixer Angie Jackson

6:00 – 6:30 pm

Join MLA on Facebook live at 6:00pm on Thursday, October 29, before the Michigan Library Awards to get the party started with the Elixir Fixer, Angie Jackson, sponsored by Grand Traverse Distillery. Please Note: The pre-award show cocktail hour will only be live on MLA’s Facebook page.

Angie will join us for a live mixology demonstration and share the history behind the classic Cosmo cocktails and a few ties to Ken Kesey's literary classic: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Check out the recipe below and plan to follow along and mix your own beverage for a chance to win prizes, then you’ll have your drink ready in hand to sit back and celebrate library professionals from across the state at 6:30pm when our award show airs!

One Flew Over the Cosmos Nest Recipe

From Author Ken Kesey and Netflix's latest series "Ratched" that has sparked a new resurgence of the classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest:

1 1/2 oz. Grand Traverse Distillery True North Rye Vodka (can be found anywhere, including Meijer)

1 oz. cranberry juice (Ocean Spray was the original brand used)

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. lime juice (fresh is best)

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Michigan Library Awards Virtual Gala

6:30 – 8:00 pm

Follow us on Facebook, and tune-in to Facebook Live on October 29 at 6:30 for the can't-miss virtual event for celebrating excellence in the Michigan library community. Join the Michigan Library Association, Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) and the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA) we celebrate the accomplishments, dedication and service of outstanding libraries, library staff, trustees and supporters.

 

 

LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by the Walter H. Kaiser Award

For more than 30 years, the MLA Librarian of the Year Award has recognized a librarian’s outstanding contributions and accomplishments to the library community over a long period of time. Winners of this award provide innovative library service to his or her community and promote collaboration among libraries. The MLA Librarian of the Year shows evidence of personal and professional achievement as well as initiative and creativity. They are leaders who provide cutting edge ideas that inspire people.

Cathleen Russ Named 2019 MLA Librarian of the YearCathy Russ photo in front of bookcase

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce that Cathleen Russ has been named the 2019 MLA Librarian of the Year. Russ received the award during the MLA 2019 Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on October 17 in Novi.

Russ is a well-respected leader in the library community. Her letters of recommendation consistently state that she is a leader who inspires, embodies grace under pressure and empowers others to reach their full potential. Her heart for mentoring and educating the next generation of librarians is outstanding. Her enthusiasm for providing great service to the culturally diverse community of Troy is unending. With her vast knowledge of library administration, budgeting, customer service and collection development, Russ is sought out by librarians across the state for advice and mentorship.

“As we read through the letters of support for Cathleen’s nomination it became clear that she has been a guiding force for Michigan librarians on both a micro and macro level -- she has mentored library professionals one-on-one, taught our profession’s fundamentals and ethics in formal classroom settings, coached colleagues at statewide workshops, and advocated for all Michigan libraries on the Board of the Michigan Library Association,” said Juliane Morian, MLA Awards Subcommittee member and Annual Conference Chair. “In short, Cathleen elevates librarianship from occupation to vocation.”

Russ has served as Director of the Troy Public Library in Troy, Michigan since 2007. She holds a Master’s of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts, Honors, Communications from Loyola University Chicago. She currently serves on the Board of the Michigan Library Association.

Past Librarian of the Year Award Winners

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Librarian of the year winners 1988-2019 (pdf)

 

HEART OF A CHAMPION

Sponsored by the Walter H. Kaiser Award

The Heart of a Champion Award was established in 2012 to recognize a library supporter who has shown an exceptional commitment to libraries and/or the library profession. Winners of this award will show their support to the library profession through continued advocacy, supporting or providing funding for the local library, or continued support of Michigan Library Association activities.

Donna Adams Honored With MLA 2019 Heart of a Champion Award

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce Donna Adams has been named the 2019 Heart of a Champion, sponsored by the Walter H. Kaiser Fund. Adams received the award during the MLA 2019 Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on October 17 in Novi.

As Board President for the Forsyth Township Public Library in Gwinn, Adams has worked tirelessly to promote her library. From cooking for a fundraiser, publishing a cookbook, creating and building cabinetry, finding free shelving from a university across the state and coordinating volunteers to pick up, transport, deliver and assemble the shelving (during a snow storm!), to organizing a library millage campaign that was instrumental to funding a new library building, Adams leads the way with grace and a humble spirit. Adams’s diligence, leadership and service to her library and community truly epitomizes the Heart of a Champion.

“Donna Adams is a driving force in the Forsyth Township community. From advocating for and finding funding to build a brand new building to working on the library board, Donna leads the way,” said Lisa Mulvenna, member of the MLA 2019 Annual Conference Work Group and Awards Subcommittee. “She is constantly sharing both her time and talents with her library community.”

Past Heart of a Champion Award Winners

2013 | 2015 | 2016

 

Rising Star

The MLA Rising Star Award, previously named the Up & Comer Award, was established in 2012 to recognize a librarian who shows leadership early in his or her career. While new to the profession, he/she expands the role of librarian through being forward-thinking and moving libraries into the future. Winners of this award will be energetic efficient librarians who push the boundaries of originality and creativity. They will help to establish a library culture that sets high expectations, promotes learning, and creates an understanding of the library as an integral part of the community. The Rising Star Award winner will also have been a librarian for 5 or fewer years.

Danielle DiAmico Honored as MLA’s 2019 Rising Star

Danielle DiAmico headshot

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce Danielle DiAmico has been named the 2019 Rising Star. DiAmico received the award during the MLA 2019 Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on October 17 in Novi.

DiAmico is truly a rising star in libraries. Well respected by fellow staff and patrons alike, she is passionate about giving back to the community-building programs, collections, and new activities to meet the needs of patrons. After serving as a department head at the Bay County Library System for little more than a year, her accomplishments inspire other staff, and her desire to make libraries increasingly relevant in the community is remarkable.

DiAmico has been instrumental in building and implementing new programs, collections and activities to meet diverse needs in the community. From her annual “Kids Helping Kids” program where children make or create something that helps others; to creating and fundraising for STEM kits; to school outreach, including teambuilding “breakout boxes” for teens; playing her ukulele for local students; and making sure elementary students without a school library received library cards. DiAmico’s warmth, kindness, passion for the library profession and service to her patrons and community make her truly deserving to be named the MLA 2019 Rising Star.

Past Rising Star (Up and Comer) Award Winners

2012 | 2014 | 2018

 

LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR

The MLA Legislator of the Year is awarded to elected officials in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals. The award recognizes lawmakers for their action on legislation impacting libraries and for their work supporting libraries and the communities they serve.

State Senator Paul Wojno Honored as the MLA 2019 Legislator of the Year

State Senator Paul Wojno (D-Warren) has been named the Michigan Library Association (MLA) 2019 Legislator of the Year. Wojno received his award at the MLA Awards Luncheon during MLA 2019 Annual Conference on October 17 in Novi, MI.

Senator Paul Wojno has served Macomb County in the Michigan Senate since 2018. Wojno also proudly served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1997 to 2002 and is being recognized as Legislator of the Year for his stalwart support of libraries throughout Michigan.

“Senator Wojno championed new legislation that provides liability protection for libraries when providing the life-saving opioid antidote naloxone to an overdosing patron,” said MLA Executive Director Deborah E. Mikula. “His support and leadership were essential to the success of the Narcan bill package, signed into law this past June by Governor Whitmer.”

While he states that he didn’t do this alone, MLA is recognizing him as the driving force in the Michigan Legislature to accomplish a two-year endeavor that began back in 2017 to move this package of bills and get them signed into law. “When Senator Wojno was elected, this package of bills was something he felt strongly and passionately about and got behind immediately. So many people were involved, but Senator Wojno was our driving force,” stated MLA President, Kristin Shelley, Director of the East Lansing Public Library.

List of Past MLA Legislator of the Year Honorees

MLA Legislator of the Year Past winners 2014-present.pdf

 


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.


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