Posted: Friday, June 29, 2007, 3:57 pm
(Total length: 20 min, 39 sec | 4-part series)
Worthington Libraries was presented with the 2007 Library of the Year Award at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C. The ceremony was held on Monday, June 25, 2007 at 7:00pm in the Hotel Washington.
Francine Fialkoff, Editor-in-Chief of Library Journal, starts off the presentation by explaining why she personally thought Worthington Libraries was the right choice for the Library of the Year award. She continues by reading some of the positive feedback submitted by the judges, citing the library's "amazing amount of programs", "innovation in all areas", excellent budgetary practices and its "commitment to literacy for patrons of all ages". She also points out the personal investment so many members of the community seems to have in their library. In addition, she highlights the library's financial and strategic planning as something that could serve as a model for other libraries.
John N. Berry III, Editor-at-Large for Library Journal, continues the presentation by adding his own thoughts about why Worthington Libraries received the Library of the Year award. He points to the library's conscientious "stewardship of public money" as his favorite reason, stating that the library spends it "extremely well", is "very careful about it" and gets "a lot of bang for their buck". Mr. Berry wrote the article about Worthington Libraries in the June 15, 2007 issue of Library Journal, something he says he'd been wanting to do "for many years."
Jill Lectka, Senior Vice President of Circulating & Trade Publishing at Gale (and a Library of the Year judge), concludes the introductory portion of the presentation. She focuses on the library's strong community partnerships, citing how many people voluntarily showed up to the library's recent press conference without any knowledge of what was going to be announced. "Reaching out to the community seems to be second-nature for the staff at Worthington Libraries." With this in mind, she believes that Library of the Year is as much a reward to the community as it is to the library itself. She sees the library as integral to the fabric of Worthington and "salute(s) this extraordinary example of teamwork."
Representing the library Board, the staff and the community of Worthington, Meribah Mansfield (Director/Clerk-Treasurer for Worthington Libraries) took the podium and thanked Library Journal and Thomson Gale for the honor of being selected 2007 Library of the Year. "Our work is joyous," she said, "a blessing in our lives."
She then acknowledged the many groups of people who traveled to Washington D.C. to help celebrate the occasion, including: former, current, and future staff members; the Board of Trustees; two former Board presidents; the Friends of the Library; patrons; members of the Ohio library community, particularly the Executive Director of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (Patrick Losinski); Congressman Pat Tiberi; and last but certainly not least, her family. As if to explain this wonderful show of support, she added: "Worthington Libraries gets in your blood. There is no doubt about it."
Special recognition was given to Lisa Fuller (Community Relations/Development Director) for writing the winning application, a show of appreciation that was enthusiastically reinforced by the audience. "This is Lisa's award as much as it is anyone else's. She put us over the top."
Finally, Meribah concluded by saying: "We are going to continue to do lots of wonderful work because it is so much fun. We love it so much! Thank you!"
She then invited everyone associated with Worthington Libraries to join her up front to accept the award together.
Along with the award itself, Francine Fialkoff, Editor-in-Chief of Library Journal, presented the group with two framed covers of the June 15, 2007 issue of Library Journal.
Ms. Fialkoff concluded the evening by saying: "This is a wonderful library and we're absolutely thrilled you are Library of the Year this year."