I want to take this opportunity to briefly reflect on Waukesha Public Library Director Jane Ameel’s eloquent remarks on accepting the Wisconsin Library Association’s 2011 Library of the Year Award. Particularly as they pertain to the importance and benefits of library advocacy.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community to support a library,” Jane began. (Apologies for the approximate quote.)
In a few minutes, she summarized the value of building relationships – with the mayor, council members, volunteers, Friends (“with a capital F”), staff, the library system, educational institutions, and community organizations.
And the large Waukesha contingent at last night’s WLA Awards & Honors banquet confirmed to me the success of this community-wide approach.
Congratulations to Waukesha Public Library staff
and to all of the 2011 honorees.
Kudos to the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation (ably led by Jane Pearlmutter; yeah, I know, shameless plug), the Awards & Honors Committee, the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Steering Committee (Larry Nix, Chair), the Literary Awards Committee of the Readers Section (Jean Anderson, Chair), the Children's Book Award Committee of the Youth Services Section (Linda Jerome, Chair), and the Outreach Services Roundtable (Holly Selwitschka, Chair), sponsor of the Frances de Usabel Award. (Not to mention the tireless efforts on our behalf of WLA staff Lisa, Brigitte, and Tom.)
The Awards & Honors banquet is always one of the highlights of the fall conference, if not the entire year of the WLA's calendar of activities. I always walk away feeling inspired and proud to be a part of this state's library community. Special kudos to the able leadership of committee chair Rebecca Dougherty in her team's planning and coordination last night's successful event.
And finally, thank yous to WLA President Rhonda Puntney, the WLA Board of Directors, and all of my colleagues in the Wisconsin library community. It has been a most rewarding 33 years. (And counting.)
The award sits on wood library shelving (72"h x 108"w, 11 1/2"d) formerly owned by the Jefferson (WI) School District, which JoAnna and I purchased at the now-defunct Middleton Antiques Mall more than 10 years ago. If I recall, it really wasn't that much of a chore getting into the house -- not like the time we had to replace a kitchen window, a suddenly fast-tracked remodeling project on our to-do list, when an upholstered chair for the living room refused to fit through any of our doors.