Thursday, May 7, 2009

The 2009 PARA Awards

The Paralibrarian Section of MLA announced their annual awards at their workshop this morning. They give two awards each year, Paralibrarian of the Year and Paralibrarian Advocate of the Year. Denise Faucher presented the following awards:

Paralibrarian of the Year

There were 21 nominees this year. Denise shared the names of the nominees and a bit of information about each person from their nomination, and gave them certificates.

  • Claudette Bright, of the Boston Public Library, whittles away at the backlog cheerfully

  • Laurel Cannon, of the Boston Public Library, has created wonderful connections with teens. They come in to hug her!

  • Julio Chang, of the Boston Public Library IT department, is a “hidden gem” who puts the “help” in helpdesk

  • Melissa Chase, of Bourne Public Library, started a Rock and Read program – 5 local rock bands raised funds for the library

  • Cecilia Darling, of the Maxwell Library at Bridgewater State College, has worked hard supervising students while her supverisor was out on vacation.
    Maryann Dastoli, of the Pittsfield School System Elementary Libraries, takes an annual trip to Tennessee for the National Storytelling Festival and shares new ideas.

  • Betty Emery runs the Supplemental Deposit Collection for the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System, and creates close relationships with library vendors.

  • Barbara Diamond Goldin, of the Easthampton Library, provides outstanding patron services despite many constraints.

  • Deborah Jankowski, of the Taconic High School Library, is re-cataloging the entire library while it is being weeded.

  • Barbara Lorentzen, of the Jonathan Bourne Public Library, brings in her own materials to repair books the old-fashioned way – with spine webbing and glue.

  • Hannele Minsk, who works in tech services at the Kingston Public Library, created and ran a teen advisory board for 3 years.

  • Jacqueline Mushinski, of the Gordon Library at WPI, loves to do audio and video editing, and has created podcasts and vodcasts for the library’s website.

  • Judith Poulin, of Easthampton Elementary, served as Grand Marshall of the Easthampton Elementary vocabulary parade – three years after she retired!

  • Susan Robert , of the Blanding Public Library in Rehoboth, organized her town’s first town-wide read.

  • Susan Shaffer, of the Forbes Library in Northampton, always goes above and beyond to help patrons and other staff members.

  • Rusty Shaw , of the Wheeler Memorial Library, proved that no patron request is beyond her consideration - she processes and circulates knitting needles!

  • Joan Sterns, of the Worcester Public Library, meets regularly with other librarians and paralibrarians in her area to discuss the preservation of valuable items in the collection.

  • Donna Tappin, of the Tahanto Middle School Library, is a powerhouse of information and very user-focused, patient, and kind.

  • Mary Ellen West, of the Maxwell Library at Bridgewater State College, has the motto “we can do it and we can prove it”.

  • Kendrah White, of the Temple Israel Library in Boston, always has an “above and beyond” attitude and always goes the extra mile to help patrons or share ideas in the library.

  • Nancy Wilson, of Becket Atheneum works 10+ volunteer hours a week at the library so the staff can offer programming beyond what their budget allows.


Betty Emery is the 2009 Paralibrarian of the Year. Her nominators said that she creates collections of highest quality for the Northeast Region’s Supplemental Deposit Collection, which is housed at the Merrimac Public Library. She seeks out and creates excellent relationships with vendors. Betty is professional, with great attitude, and is always looking for ways to increase circulation. She sends funny, engaging emails to libraries, using fun themes like holidays, sports, or seasonal topics. Last year she even wrote a script and acted it out for the NMRLS Executive Board. Her efforts have increased circulation of the collection by 36%. She plans an annual Open House at the library for the collection, and makes sure everyone leaves with gifts provided by vendors. She maintains a diverse, robust, current collection for NMRLS members. The nominator said Betty took on the task of managing the collection and hasn’t looked back.

Betty commented that she hoped this award is a reflection on the Supplemental Deposit Collection and its impact on smaller libraries in the Northeast Region. She says she started the job 5 years ago, looking for a challenge and something fun. The challenge continues and so does the fun!

Paralibrarian Advocate of the Year


This award is given to a director, supervisor, or paralibrarian who understands the value of paralibrarians in libraries, and works to increase opportunities for paralibrarians.

There were 5 nominations this year:

  • Susan Babb

  • Carolyne Longworth

  • Leslie Todd

  • Michael Somers

  • Michael Colford


The 2009 Paralibrarian Advocate of the Year is Susan Babb. Susan’s nominator pointed out that Susan always holds paralibrarians in the forefront of her work at the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System. She teaches workshops specifically for paralibrarians, and makes sure they are represented in all aspects of services provided by the Region. She has worked with the Paralibrarian Section on creating a mission and vision, on the creation of the Book Cart Drill Team Competition, and many other projects. She is a role model for librarians in her Region and across the state. Susan is a supporter, mentor, and friend, who has truly changed lives of those around her.

2 comments:

Beth Gallaway said...

CONGRATULATIONS TO SUSAN!!!

Carol said...

It's a great award show awesome one!!
Carol
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