Each year the Finger Lakes Library System pays tribute to individuals in our member libraries and communities who have delivered outstanding service to libraries. Here are the 2016 award winners:
2016 Joan Cooke Youth Services Award – awarded jointly to Sandra Groth of Aurora Free Library, and Lisa Semenza of Hazard Library, Poplar Ridge.
2016 Ruth Polson Distinguished Service Award – awarded to Jean Currie, Edith B. Ford Memorial Library, Ovid.
2016 Library Trustee of the Year Award – awarded to Linda Williams, Coburn Library, Owego.
2016 Outreach Award – awarded to Rebekah Abbey, Edith B. Ford Memorial Library, Ovid.
2016 Jan Aguirre Customer Service Award – awarded to Tom Fredette, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca.
2016 New Library Director – awarded to Chris Brewster, Waverly Free Library.
2016 Library Director of the Year Award – awarded to Annette Birdsall, Ulysses Philomathic Library, Trumansburg.
Jan Aguirre Customer Service Award: This award is given to a member library employee, volunteer, or trustee who possesses the enthusiasm, grace, friendliness, and patience that Jan had for training and helping others. Jan Aguirre was the FLLS Technology Training Coordinator for twenty-six years, until her passing in July 2013.
Director of the Year: This award is given by the FLLS Board of Trustees to a member library director for significant achievement in providing improved library service to their community or region. Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:
- Initiating new programs and services;
- Improving/expanding the collection;
- Increasing hours open;
- Providing leadership to fellow library directors for quality library service
Trustee of the Year: This award is given by the FLLS Board of Trustees to a trustee of a member library for significant contribution to the improvement or development of library service in their community. Achievements should exceed normal expectations of trustees. Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:
- Acting as an advocate for the library with community leaders and governments;
- Successfully managing a building construction that results in an improved library facility;
- Successfully executing a fundraising campaign that results in significant increase in library funds;
- Working closely with the library director to expand and improve library programs and services.
Ruth Polson Distinguished Service Award: This award is given by the FLLS Board of Trustees to someone who makes a significant contribution to the betterment of library service in the region; or to someone who, over time, makes a significant contribution to their local library. Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:
- Acting as an advocate for a library or libraries in the community with beneficial results such as increased funding, or a new facility;
- Making significant contributions to an individual or group of libraries in the form of financial donations or in-kind services;
- Assist an individual or group of libraries to significantly expand or improve their facility, programs or services.
Joan Cooke Youth Services Award: This award is given by the FLLS Board of Trustees to a member library employee, volunteer, or trustee for excellence in the delivery of children’s services in their community. Activities that qualify might include but are not limited to the following:
- Improving the children’s and/or young adult section of the library facility;
- Developing or expanding programs library offered for the community’s young people;
- Expanding or improving the library’s collection of materials for young people;
- Working with other youth oriented groups or agencies in the community to improve services to young people.
Joan Cooke was employed at the Finger Lakes Library System for 40 years. For 20 of those years, she worked exclusively with creating outstanding services for children that did not exist before. We honor her passion and hard work by naming this award for her.
Outreach Award: This award is given by the Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Council (COSAC), in recognition of outstanding service to under-served groups and people with special needs, including:
- individuals who are 55+ years old;
- individuals with visual, physical, or developmental disabilities;
- residents of institutional facilities (i.e. correctional facilities, group homes, long-term care facilities, nursing homes);
- individuals with an educational disadvantage (i.e. people who have below-average skills with reading, writing, or basic computer literacy);
- job seekers (including people who are unemployed/underemployed);
- individuals who are geographically isolated;
- ethnic minorities;
- incarcerated individuals and individuals with criminal records.
What is library outreach?
Library outreach can be any program, resource, partnership, service, or activity that helps our targeted outreach populations use library resources. Just a few examples would include:
- Adding video games to the library’s collection to attract reluctant readers with an educational disadvantage;
- Working with a local nursing home to promote the adult summer reading program;
- Computer workshops aimed at jobseekers;
- Drafting a new policy to help children with special needs participate in storytime.