Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WLA Awards Celebrate Excellence in Library Service

The Wisconsin Library Association is pleased to announce this year’s library luminaries, selected as outstanding for their contribution to libraries and librarianship:

Library of the Year:  Monona Public Library (Erick Plumb, Acting Library Director)  Under the creative leadership of the late library director Demita Gerber and her staff, the Monona Public Library has gone from good to great! The library has launched several innovative programs and initiatives and has developed collections in strategic areas.

DEMCO Librarian of the Year:  Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Manager, La Crosse Public Library, is WLA’s DEMCO Librarian of the Year. Marge is well known as a leader in library youth services. Her work has involved networking and partnerships within the community to enhance services for kids. Marge has been active in ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children, particularly as a priority consultant and then board member, in WLA as a WeLead mentor, and in the Wisconsin Women Library Workers.

Muriel Fuller Award:  Susan Braden, Reference Librarian, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, is the 2010 Muriel Fuller Award winner. On top of her normal duties staffing the reference desk, answering email reference questions, teaching computer classes, and selecting books, she is known as “Ms. Local History.” Notably, she collects materials from defunct Janesville industries, including the General Motors plant that closed in December 2008. She’s also converted oral histories of the United Auto Workers into transcribed podcasts available on the library’s website.

Special Service Award:  The award goes to Robert Bocher, Public Library Technology Consultant with the Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning at the Department of Public Instruction. No one can argue that Bob has been one of the strongest proponents of enhancing library service through technology. Bob has been a strong and knowledgeable advocate for shared integrated library systems, Internet access, and BadgerNet connectivity.

Citation of Merit:  The Citation of Merit is shared by John Wilmet, John Mielke, Mark Zastrow, Loren Gray, Davin Lescohier and Dick Schultz, city officials in Fort Atkinson during the years when the commitment was made to expand and renovate the Dwight Foster Public Library. They retained a vision and commitment to the project despite the economic downturn, ensuring that the library will remain relevant well into its next chapter and beyond.

Trustee of the Year: Dr. Katherine Schneider, President, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library Board of Trustees, is the Trustee of the Year. Katherine is a long-time library user and an ardent supporter of the library community and everything to do with libraries – at the local, state and national levels. She has been actively involved in the Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and attends the annual Library Legislative Day in Madison. She supported the library’s 2006-08 capital campaign and, in 2009, led the Library Board through the largest renovation of the current library facility in the building’s 33-year history.

WLA congratulates each winner and celebrates their accomplishments at the WLA Conference awards banquet Thursday, November 4, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. For more information about the award winners, go to 

In addition to contributions from DEMCO and Highsmith, the WLA Awards program is supported by the WLA Foundation, through individual charitable contributions. The WLA brings together and supports people from all types of libraries to advance library and information services in the state. The awards program is one way the association acknowledges the dedication of its members to provide exemplary library service to the people of Wisconsin.
(WLA (Wisconsin Library Association) E-News August 5, 2010)

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