Wisconsin 2003 Library of the Year
The Appleton Public Library was named the Library of the Year 2003 by the Wisconsin Library Association. The award is given annually to a library that demonstrates community partnerships and provides library resources to a wide area with a staff involved in statewide programs and initiatives. It recognizes a library that updates its facility to meet changing community needs.
“We are honored by this recognition from our profession. This award recognizes the terrific support we receive from our local community, as well as the dedicated efforts of our staff and volunteers”, commented Library Director Terry Dawson. “We are proud to accept on behalf of the people of Appleton.”
The library was nominated for the award by Jim Trojanowski, the Director of Vaughn Public Library in Ashland, Wisconsin. Trojanowski has partnered with the staff of the Appleton Public Library in a joint project called Prime Time Family Reading Time that provides family literacy services to seven Wisconsin communities, including Ashland and Appleton. In his nomination letter, Trojanowski wrote “While many librarians say they believe in serving all who need their services, APL is a shining example of actually living the philosophy. APL has accomplished this by participating in new partnerships (many of them APL-initiated), by giving the highest priority to friendly customer service, and by being flexible and creative.”
Examples of the library’s community partnerships include:
• Fox Cities Online (www.focol.org), a community network that serves as a comprehensive directory of local web-based information and provides web hosting for non-profit organizations, most of which would not have the resources to put up their own web sites;
• Fox Valley Memory (www.foxvalleymemory.org), a collaborative project with the Outagamie County Historical Society that creates a digital library of local history resources;
• Cooperative programming with local education institutions and city government, including memoir writing and entrepreneurship classes;
• Working with and supporting organizations such as the Fox Valley Literacy Coalition, Toward Community: Unity in Diversity, and Harmony Cafe.
The Appleton Public Library is the resource library for the Outagamie Waupaca Library System and together the two organizations provide innovative library service throughout the region. Services provided include:
• OWLSnet, the shared automation network
• Cooler by the Lake (www.cbtl.org), a subject index to the web
• Joint technical services department to provide database maintenance and cataloging services for the 52 libraries in OWLSnet
Librarians from the Appleton Public Library have consistently been active in Wisconsin Library Association, Fox Valley Library Council, Wisconsin Library Communicators Network, and other professional associations. Staff members have been officers in the Wisconsin Library Association, hosted library conferences in Appleton, and served on statewide committees.
Library staff members provide a wide variety of services to the Appleton community:
• Circulation of library materials reached the 1 million mark in 2002 and is 4 percent ahead of that record in 2003.
• Over 100,000 reference questions are answered annually.
• Program attendance topped 26,000 in 2002 and is increasing slightly in 2003
• Over 2,000 uses of public meeting rooms in 2002
• Web resources including full-text articles, electronic books and databases, as well as Internet guides and catalog access, leading to hundreds of thousands of web pages viewed each month
Recent enhancements to the library facility include:
• A separate computer lab created to house computers provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• TeenLink developed to provide an alcove for teens and the young adult book and media collections
• Expansion of the adult media collection space
Financial support for the growing facility, collections, and programs at the library is provided by the Appleton Library Foundation and the Friends of Appleton Library. The Foundation Endowment is at $1.5 million. Income from the endowment is granted to the library to provide an “extra edge of excellence”. Over 450 members of the Friends group donate their time to assist in the summer library programs, used book sale, and library mailings.
“The Appleton Public Library has truly become a community center, serving the entire Fox Valley region,” according to Dawson. “The library provides access to information, quality library programs, and computer resources to all ages in the community. We’re open 24/7 on our web site (www.apl.org) as well. We’ll keep working to live up to this award and to meet community needs.”
September 19, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Lisa Strand, WLA Executive Director, 608-245-3640
Christine Jameson, WLA Awards & Honors Committee,
Terry Dawson, Director, Appleton Public Library
Wisconsin Library Association Announces Annual Award Winners
Appleton Public Library Named Library of the Year
The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) named Appleton Public Library as the recipient of the 2003 Library of the Year Award for its commitment to meet changing community needs by participating in new partnerships and providing excellent service and creative programming.
According to Appleton Public Library (APL) director Terry Dawson, “This award recognizes the library profession and local community’s support of the Appleton Public Library. We are proud to accept the award on behalf of the citizens of Appleton.”
WLA member Jim Trojanowski, director of Vaughn Public Library in Ashland, nominated APL for the award. “While many librarians say they believe in serving all who need their services,” Trojanowski said, “Appleton Public Library is a shining example of actually living the philosophy. APL has accomplished this by participating in new partnerships (many of them APL-initiated), by giving the highest priority to friendly customer service, and by being flexible and creative.”
Nomination materials noted that APL provides many programs to its patrons, including Prime Time Family Reading Time, a recent collaboration between seven Wisconsin communities for family literacy services. A grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities helped fund the program, illustrating how APL seeks resources from outside the community to serve its patrons.
The nomination also noted that APL successfully reaches out to various segments of its service area. It has upgraded specific areas of the library for young adults and improved its adult media collections. APL supports a free concert series featuring teen performers, promotes library card ownership and reading to first graders, and works with the Fox Valley Literacy Coalition to provide an adult easy reader collection.
APL also actively supports the participation of library personnel in continuing education in order to foster new ideas for programming and improved services. Administration staff maintains community connections through board positions in many local organizations, including the Bubolz Nature Preserve, Appleton Downtown, Inc., and the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley Foundation. In addition, APL participates in a local community network that serves as a directory of local web-based information and provides web hosting to non-profit organizations.
WLA also announced the following additional 2003 award winners:
WLA/DEMCO Librarian of the Year: Nicholas C. Burckel, Dean of Libraries, Marquette University, Milwaukee, was selected for his leadership in promoting libraries by building relationships with other libraries and developing professional organizations. He has published a number of important scholarly articles, actively worked on the new journal, Portal, and supported the successful fund raising campaign for Marquette’s new John P. Raynor, S.J., Library.
Trustee of the Year: Fran Dieter, McIntosh Memorial Library, Viroqua, was cited for her valuable leadership in the restoration of the library building, advocating for libraries at the local and state level, educating library trustees, and leading the search for a new director.
Special Service Award: U.S. Senator Russell Feingold was chosen for the quality of his political leadership, in particular for his vote against the USA PATRIOT Act and subsequent introduction of a bill to restore privacy rights for library users and others.
WLA/Highsmith Award: La Crosse Public Library was selected for its program, “History Repeats Itself,” which provides residents with a link on the library’s website to historical newspaper articles that would otherwise languish in the clipping file. The project is notable because it demonstrates involvement from a wide range of staff, can be easily be duplicated, and serves many patrons.
Muriel Fuller Award: Carol Gibson, System Coordinator, Manitowoc-Calumet Library System, Manitowoc, was lauded for leading the planning for the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System’s transition from providing direct services to patrons to providing services to its member libraries. She kept both library boards and staff up-to-date on the legalities involved in this transition.
WLA will present award winners with a proclamation and plaque detailing their accomplishments at the 2003 WLA Annual Conference Awards Banquet on Wednesday, October 29, at the Four Points Sheraton Airport Hotel in Milwaukee. Photos of most award winners are available upon request from the WLA Office.
The Wisconsin Library Association, a non-profit membership organization, brings together and supports people from all types of libraries to advocate and work for the improvement and development of library and information services for all of Wisconsin. WLA’s vision is that people in Wisconsin will have the information they need to succeed at school, at work, and in their personal lives. WLA represents nearly 2,000 members—primarily librarians and library staff from school, public, academic, and special libraries, as well as students, trustees and library Friends.
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