Outreach Services Award Winners

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2011 Winner - Ruth Sias

The Outreach Services Roundtable has chosen Ruth Sias as the 2011 recipient of the Outreach Services award.

Ruth Sias is the Children's Librarian at the Goodman South Madison branch of the Madison Public Library. She was chosen for exemplary work with children and families in local hospitals. Ruth was nominated for the award by Dipesh Navsaria, the director of the University of Wisconsin Pediatric Early Literacy Projects.

According to Dr. Navsaria, Sias was instrumental in developing an outreach program to promote reading and literacy to children and families at local clinics. In addition to providing direct services, she trained volunteers to engage children and parents in stories using effective modeling and reading techniques. After working closely with hospital and university professionals to make this program successful, she initiated plans to expand the program to reach more families in her service area and beyond. Furthermore, she has shared her experiences as a conference presenter, teaching other librarians about this innovative collaboration.

Past Winners

2010: Ruth Ann Montgomery

Ruth Ann Montgomery, director of the Arrowhead Library System, is the recipient of the 2010 Outreach Services Award, presented annually by the WLA's Outreach Services Round Table (OSRT). Jamie Matczak, OSRT Chair, said Ruth Ann was instrumental in helping the workers displaced by the closing of the GM plant in Janesville. Presently, over 1,600 residents in Rock County have participated in the computer classes Ruth Ann developed as part of an LSTA grant.

2009: Laurie Magee

Laurie Magee, Head of Children’s and Family Outreach Services Oshkosh Public Library was awarded the Outreach Services award at the WLA Awards Banquet in 2009. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, director of the Oshkosh Public Library, nominated Laurie for her passion and skills as a librarians She ran the Bookmobile, Branch and Deposit Collection Services, Book by Mail and other outreach programs for Portage County Public Library (1981-1988) and the Oshkosh Public Library (1988-2010). Always seeking new ways of engaging with community members, Laurie’s efforts attracted so many volunteer helpers that Oshkosh Public Library decided to fund a Coordinator of Volunteers position.

2008: Annette Miller

Annette Miller, children's librarian, Tomahawk Public library, was awarded the Outreach Services Award at the WLA Awards Banquet on November 9th 2008. Mary Dunn, director of the Tomahawk Public Library, nominated Miller for her efforts in supporting and enhancing early literacy efforts in the community through her work with Head Start, community child care programs, the 4k program, and other school programs. Her accomplishments highlight the impact that a committed individual and her library can have in a local community.

2007: Jail Library Group, sponsored by the School of Library and Information Studies, U-W Madison

With 15 years of tenacious service providing materials for the Dane County Jail to its name, the Jail Library Group has been an incredible collaborative and cooperative effort from the library community, with more than 800  volunteer hours to its credit. Frances de Usabel provided technical and moral support for it at its inception, and now the group serves 3 facilities and coordinates a project allowing inmates to record books for their children. The Jail Library Group is, according to the application, “an exercise grounded in idealism.” The group has accomplished so much only because of the cooperation of the SLIS, the Dane County Library Service, the county jail, and countless student and other volunteers. Again from the application: “Our humanity depends on seeking and finding the best in and for each other. The Jail Library Group insists we can.”

2006: Nancy Fletcher, Special Needs and PR Librarian at the Waukesha County Federated Library System

In the last 13 years, Fletcher has received and administered grants for services to persons with disabilities, persons who are economically and educationally disadvantaged, persons in jail, the elderly and their care
givers, and those for whom English is a second language. Fletcher is widely sought after as a speaker and expert on outreach services to people with special needs. She has also served as an officer for the
Outreach Services Round Table of the Wisconsin Library Association.