WNYLRC’s 2015 Excellence Award Winners Announced

Over 80 people joined in the festivities and learning at WNYLRC’s 49th Annual Meeting of the Membership on October 7, 2015 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.  As reported earlier, Mike Neppl from NYLA regaled us with facts on the current status quo in Albany and to encourage us all to never falter in our advocacy endeavors.  A business meeting followed networking and votes were cast and introductions were made before a varied buffet was served all while everyone was able to catch up with their colleagues.  A highlight, though, was the presentation of the annual WNYLRC Excellence Awards which, as always, were a hard-fought choice from among so many worthy nominees.

This year’s winners were presented physical awards to display proudly but, more importantly,now know that their work is valued by their colleagues and by the patrons they serve.

Excellence in Library Service went to Lisa LaQuay from Cattaraugus Little Valley Central School for her tireless work at both the high school and elementary libraries in the system.  In spite of severe budgetary conditions, she has managed to maintain a level of service that goes beyond the school day, even into the week-ends.  Her expertise is felt by the staff, faculty and, of course, her 1000 students and was glowingly evident in the support her nomination received from her colleagues.

As we are already aware, there are so many outstanding programs being administered in our regional libraries so, as a result, we have two winners this year for Outstanding Library/Library Program Award:

  1. Holistic Lecture Series—Amherst Public Library.  The brainchild of librarian Rich Peters, over 2000 attendees have benefited from the 76 programs staged since its inception.  All manner of holistic health from holistic medicine and cures to tai chi to holistic finance have involved experts in their fields imparting knowledge to eager patrons.  Obviously, these are the kinds of quality programs that these attendees have come to expect from their libraries.
  2. Arts-in-the-Library Program—Hilbert College.  McGrath Library is the scene for talented Western New York artists to display their works and get the exposure that they would otherwise be crying for.  Receptions are held mid-way through the semester for the artists to explain their pieces and to network with the public, the students and faculty.  It’s not just visual art either—written and spoken art is also welcomed.  Success is measured by the increasing numbers at these receptions and the eagerness of new artists to participate.

In case you missed this year’s happenings, Jaclyn McKewan has made a video capturing some of the night’s highlights:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4YE_h4h4y8  

Make sure, however, that you mark on your calendar next year’s celebration because it is our 50th and big plans are underway for the year leading up to it:  September 30, 2016, Holiday Valley!!  Stay tuned for continuing updates…

Lisa LaQuay-Excellence in Library Service
Lisa LaQuay-Excellence in Library Service



Staff of McGrath Library--Arts-in-the-Library Program--Outstanding Library Program--Hilbert College
Staff of McGrath Library–Arts-in-the-Library Program–Outstanding Library Program–Hilbert College


Rich Peters & Roseanne Butler-Smith, Holistic Lecture Series, Amherst Public Library-Outstanding Library Program
Rich Peters & Roseanne Butler-Smith, Holistic Lecture Series, Amherst Public Library-Outstanding Library Program