Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Congratulations to Ruth Ann Montgomery, Recipient of the 2010 WLA Frances de Usabel Outreach Services Award

Link to November 1 Janesville Gazette article, "Award recognizes Montgomery's efforts".

Excerpt: When area libraries started offering computer classes geared toward job-related skills two years ago, organizers found many of the laid-off auto industry workers had never used computers.

"They really needed the basic computer skills," said Ruth Ann Montgomery, director of the Arrowhead Library System, which coordinates and expands services at Rock County libraries.

The libraries since the late 1990s had offered computer classes, but when word hit that the area would be flooded with thousands of laid-off workers, Montgomery took action.

Her efforts secured federal grants and set up classes focused on job-related skills at each of Rock County's seven libraries. This year alone, more than 330 classes have been held serving 1,782 residents, she said.

Because of Montgomery's outreach efforts, she recently was named this year's recipient of the Frances de Usabel Outreach Services Award, which is presented annually by the Wisconsin Library Association's Outreach Services Round Table.

"Throughout her career, Ruth Ann has been this person who is connected and knows what is happening in the community," said Barbara Huntington, youth and special services consultant for Division for Library, Technology and Community Learning at Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. "She just exemplifies outreach.

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