Awards - MLA

 The Michigan Library Association (MLA), the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME), the Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA), the Library of Michigan and the Library of Michigan Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Michigan Library Awards. 

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

The 2021 honorees were unveiled on Wednesday, October 13 during the Michigan Library Awards virtual award ceremony broadcast on Facebook, with a special guest appearance by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Each recipient was chosen through peer review for their outstanding achievements.


The 2021 Heart of a Champion Award was awarded to Lyle Clarke of the Rawson Memorial Library. This 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.


The 2021 Rising Star Award was awarded to Marissa Boisclair from the Genesee District Library. 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, expanding the role of librarian and moving libraries into the future.


The 2021 Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth was awarded to Sara Magnuson from the Kent District Library. This award 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.


The 2021 Library Support Staff of the Year Award was awarded to Amy Beckman from the Millington Arbela District Library. This 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.


The 2021 Public Librarian of the Year Award was awarded to Teresa Kline of the Fennville District Library. This 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.


The 2021 School Librarian of the Year was awarded to Gwenn Marchesano from Pioneer Middle School in Plymouth, MI. This award celebrates and honors those who have championed school libraries through volunteerism, administrative support and advocacy.

 


The 2021 Academic Librarian of the Year was awarded to Rachel M. Minkin from Michigan State University Libraries. This award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a librarian or library administrator and their contributions to their institution and academic libraries within the academic year 2020-2021.



The State Legislator of the Year was again awarded to State Senator Wayne Schmidt of the 37th State Senate District. This award is presented to elected officials in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals.



Two State Librarian’s Citation of Excellence were awarded at the Michigan Library Awards. The first to the Willard Public Library in Battle Creek and the second to the Auburn Hills Public Library. These Citations of Excellence are awarded by the Library of Michigan Foundation and the Library of Michigan each year to highlight the importance of Michigan libraries’ services. The Citation of Excellence Awards are supported by Martin L. Gibbs in memory of his late wife, Carole Sorenson, and the Library of Michigan Foundation in recognition of former Executive Director Carolyn “Sparky” Mowery.



Two State Librarian’s Citation of Excellence were awarded at the Michigan Library Awards. The first to the Willard Public Library in Battle Creek and the second to the Auburn Hills Public Library. These Citations of Excellence are awarded by the Library of Michigan Foundation and the Library of Michigan each year to highlight the importance of Michigan libraries’ services. The Citation of Excellence Awards are supported by Martin L. Gibbs in memory of his late wife, Carole Sorenson, and the Library of Michigan Foundation in recognition of former Executive Director Carolyn “Sparky” Mowery.



The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Peggy Kitchel from the Grosse Pointe Public Library. This award recognizes a deserving librarian for their distinguished service to the library profession over the course of their career.



The State Librarian’s Excellence Award was awarded to the Bellaire Public Library and highlights the importance of Michigan libraries’ services and recognizes an exemplary library for its commitment to excellence. The State Librarian’s Excellence Award is sponsored by the Roger and June B. Mendel Fund through the Library of Michigan Foundation.

Heart of a Champion

The Heart of a Champion Award was awarded to Lyle Clarke of the Rawson Memorial Library. This 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. 

“Lyle is always considering the needs of library patrons and the community to ensure that we are providing the best service possible for one and all,” said Ruth Steele, Library Director at Rawson Memorial Library. “What really makes him stand out is that month after month, year after year, decade after decade, he has defended the policies of the library, supported the staff during difficult times as well as in the great times, and he has been a steadfast advocate for our community so that we have a quality library that serves everyone.”

School Librarian of the Year

The School Librarian of the Year was awarded to Gwenn Marchesano from Pioneer Middle School in Plymouth, MI. This award celebrates and honors those who have championed school libraries through volunteerism, administrative support and advocacy.

“Gwenn is a knowledgeable leader, thoughtful mentor, collaborative educator, generous and kind person,” said Kathy Lester, President-elect for the American Association for School Librarians and Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the Michigan Association for Media in Education.

Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth

The Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth was awarded to Sara Magnuson from the Kent District Library. This award 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.

“Sara embodies the spirit of the Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth,” said Lance Werner, Executive Director of Kent District Library. “She's passionate about libraries, which is huge understatement. Her dedication and commitment and enthusiasm are contagious, which is also a huge understatement. And her service to youth in our area has a lasting impact on our children, as well as our communities.”

Library Support Staff of the Year

The Library Support Staff of the Year Award was awarded to Amy Beckman from the Millington Arbela District Library. This 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. 

“I can assure you that this year’s award winner has gone above and beyond for her library,” said Sarah Rick, Library Director at Millington Arbela District Library. “Amy stood up and became interim director during a pandemic. She continued to follow up with staff, created a reopening plan and pandemic policy made applications for the Cares Act Grant and found alternate ways to run the summer reading program and regular programming.”

Public Librarian of the Year

The Public Librarian of the Year Award was awarded to Teresa Kline of the Fennville District Library. This 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. 

“Teresa has brought our library to another level with her strong Midwest work ethic and her caring and personable character,” said Michele Overweg Spans, Library Assistant at Fennville District Library, who nominated Teresa. “Patrons and staff know they can trust her to always lead with integrity. Her dedication to providing literacy programs materials and technology to our large, underserved and low-income population is admirable.”

Rising Star

The Rising Star Award was awarded to Marissa Boisclair from the Genesee District Library. 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.

“Marissa is impressive in every way. Her knowledge of literacy issues, her technical skills, personality, work ethic and leadership qualities are all absolutely stellar,” said Kelly Flynn, Community Relations Manager at Genesee District Library. 

Academic Librarian of the Year

The Academic Librarian of the Year was awarded to Rachel M. Minkin from Michigan State University Libraries. This award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a librarian or library administrator and their contributions to their institution and academic libraries within the academic year 2020-2021.

“Throughout her time with Michigan State University Libraries, Rachel has continually gone above and beyond in service to her institution and her profession,” said David Votta, Director of Charlotte Community Library. “She is a mentor to many, someone who readily shares her knowledge. She is an advocate for all library types and has personally helped me become a better librarian. She raises the bar for all of us and helps us get over that bar." 

Legislator of the Year

The State Legislator of the Year was again awarded to State Senator Wayne Schmidt of the 37th State Senate District. This award is presented to elected officials in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting libraries and supporting legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals.

“Senator Schmidt was instrumental over the past two years in adding $3 million to state aid to libraries,” said Val Meyerson, Library Director at Petoskey District Library. “These types of increases take determination, time and lots of hard work.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Peggy Kitchel from the Grosse Pointe Public Library. This 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.  

“Peggy is always proactively looking for opportunities for all different staff to develop their skills, from technical skills all the way to things like stress relief and stress management and things that help us not only in our professional roles, but in our personal lives as well. Peggy has served as a mentor to countless librarians who have worked at the library over the years. And she has been an inspiration to community members as well,” said Jessica Keyser, Director of Grosse Pointe Public Library. “I can't think of anyone more deserving of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you to Peggy for her dedication to the field for all these years.” 

State Librarian’s Citation of Excellence

Two State Librarian’s Citation of Excellence were awarded at the Michigan Library Awards. The first to the Willard Public Library in Battle Creek and the second to the Auburn Hills Public Library. These Citations of Excellence are awarded by the Library of Michigan Foundation and the Library of Michigan each year to highlight the importance of Michigan libraries’ services. The Citation of Excellence Awards are supported by Martin L. Gibbs in memory of his late wife, Carole Sorenson, and the Library of Michigan Foundation in recognition of former Executive Director Carolyn “Sparky” Mowery. 

“The Willard Public Library has a number of partnerships with the local schools, with the NAACP, with the Community Action Agency of South-Central Michigan, with a local Latin American heritage institute and others,” said Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan. “Having partnerships when expanding library programs is important to them.”

“The Auburn Hills Public Library places a large focus on communication and connecting with their users. They are dedicated to finding the most appropriate way to reach and share information with their users.” -Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan. 

State Librarian’s Excellence Award

The State Librarian’s Excellence Award was awarded to the Bellaire Public Library and highlights the importance of Michigan libraries’ services and recognizes an exemplary library for its commitment to excellence. The State Librarian’s Excellence Award is sponsored by the Roger and June B. Mendel Fund through the Library of Michigan Foundation.

“As one of their supporters stated, “It's small in size, but large in heart”. The staff are amazing with kids and have great relationships with the community members. They provide a beacon of positivity through dark times and may all of our libraries function as that beacon of light in our communities.” said Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan.

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is Michigan's oldest and largest library association. For 130 years, MLA has led the advancement of all Michigan libraries through advocacy, education and engagement. MLA's membership is comprised of 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 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 libraires. For more information visit miala.org.

The Library of Michigan was created by the Michigan Legislature to guarantee the people of this State and their government one perpetual institution to collect, preserve and provide access to the story of the State, and to support libraries in their role as essential community anchors. For more information visit: michigan.gov/libraryofmichigan/

The Library of Michigan Foundation was established in 1985 to support and enrich the capabilities, resources and services of the Library of Michigan. The Library of Michigan provides opportunities for charitable giving to support Library of Michigan programs, collections and services not provided through state or federal funding. For more information visit: libraryofmichiganfoundation.org/

 

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.

 


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

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