We would like to offer our congratulations to the 2014 WNYLRC Excellence Award Winners! They were presented their awards on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at WNYLRC’s 48th Annual Meeting of the Membership at Lockport Canalside. This year’s winners are:
Excellence in Library Service: Christine Stockslader—Lancaster Middle School. Christine stood out from an impressive group of nominees, all of whom take the extra step to put their patrons first. She has turned her school library into a creative center where students wish to be and she reaches out to teachers, authors and, importantly, elected officials. Her responsibilities do not stop for summer recess—she allows students to take books home for the summer and even, on appointed days, opens the school library so that students can refresh their stock. She is not mere “building specific”—she actively reaches out to the next year’s incoming students so they can make a smooth transition to the wonderful world that’s in store for them. Judging from her colleagues enthusiastic support of her nomination, the Awards Committee knew they were making the right choice.
Outstanding Library Advocate: Elaine Panty—Trustee, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Years before her position as a Trustee on the library’s board, Elaine was advocating, lobbying, working for and, generally being indispensable to the Riverside Library. We can be assured that the County Legislature stays tuned when Elaine is pursuing them for aid for libraries and pursue she will. As her parents told her as a youth “give back to your community but focus; don’t spread yourself too thin” and give back she has. BECPL has been the lucky recipient of her tireless efforts for decades and so have we all in turn.
Outstanding Library or Library Program Award: Stress Relief Days—University at Buffalo Libraries. One of the possible guidelines for inclusion in this award is the “creation of a new or enhanced service model that can be emulated by other libraries…” and Stress Relief Days has done just that. What started as a brainchild at the University at Buffalo is now being implemented by other institutions because of the beauty of “word of mouth” or the speed of Twitter: exam week is no longer the complete agony and angst-ridden event we dread. Puppies, yoga, food, knitting, the gamut of distractions is employed to lower the tension for those students who “need a hug” with fur—or without. The staff of these libraries actively—and willingly—participate in a yeoman’s job of coordination to bring a smorgasbord of choices to students who enthusiastically endorse the efforts. Top of the list? Puppies. Therapy puppies, it seems, are the key to mental bliss—and maybe a better exam grade!
The evening’s festivities included a boat ride on the Erie Canal and an enlightening talk by David Kinyon, Director of the Town of Lockport IDA and leading expert on the restoration of the Flight of Five locks.
Great information, good food and laughs with old and new friends—that’s what a WNYLRC annual meeting is all about!