Wisconsin Library Association Announces 2018 Awards & Honors Winners

Posted by Brigitte Rupp Vacha on Thursday, September 20, 2018 in Events and Promotions

Madison, Wisconsin – Sept. 20, 2018 – The Wisconsin Library Association is pleased to announce the 2018 Awards & Honors Winners, selected for their outstanding contributions to libraries and librarianship:

  • Citation of Merit: Nicholas Family Foundation (led by Lynn S. Nicholas)

  •  Library of the Year: Milton Public Library 
  • Muriel Fuller Award: Alison Hoffman, Monarch Library System (Dodge, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington Counties) 
  • Programming Innovation Award: McIntosh Memorial Library’s Sixth Grade Journal Buddies, Viroqua, WI 
  • Special Services Award: Roxane Bartelt 
  • Trustee of the Year: James C. Englebert, Elisha D. Smith Public Library, Menasha, WI 
  • WLA/DEMCO Librarian of the Year: Jessica Schoonover, Shirley M. Wright Memorial Library, Trempealeau, WI 

Here are some additional details about each winner: 

Citation of Merit: The Nicholas Family Foundation enriches the lives of all Wisconsin residents through generous funding contributions in the areas of education, health and the arts. Since 2009, the Foundation’s support of the Recollection Wisconsin collaborative statewide digital program has empowered libraries and cultural heritage institutions around the state to digitize and share their unique local historical collections. This work enables Wisconsin libraries to better serve students, teachers, genealogists and lifelong learners by making maps, photographs, postcards, yearbooks, city directories, oral histories and other important community historical resources freely and openly available online. 

Library of the Year: The Milton Public Library has made a significant transformation to become a state-of-the-art library that is a center of community life and learning in their small community. It has a growing statewide and regional reputation for innovation. The exemplary programs, wide array of unique community partnerships, creative and unique facility improvements, commitment to staff development, and responsiveness to community needs demonstrate excellence in libraries and librarianship. 

Muriel Fuller Award: Alison Hoffman, Database Management Librarian/IL Administrator, Monarch Library System (Dodge, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington Counties) is the 2018 Muriel Fuller Award winner. Her tireless work and leadership in cataloging and integrating library systems, including training, project management, mentorship and flexible style, has significantly improved and benefited library services and made her an invaluable resource to her system. 

Programming Innovation Award: McIntosh Memorial Library’s Sixth Grade Journal Buddies program, in Viroqua, WI received the 2018 Programming Innovation Award. Designed to bridge divides by expanding the scope and depth of relationships in their community, a diverse group of students and volunteers are organized into small groups to have a shared reading and journaling experience. The significant efforts to design a truly inclusive program have created an experience that allows for “authentic interactions” and growing understanding and respect. The program scope, recruitment of participants and volunteers, literacy impact, and successful outcomes make this a unique, successful and recognition-worthy program. 

Special Services Award: Given Roxane Bartelt’s continued commitment to the betterment of libraries through her work and volunteering in the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Southwest Wisconsin Library System (SWLS), she is being awarded the 2018 Special Services Award. Her support of SWLS through grant writing and as Interim Director was vital for advancing the needs of the 28 libraries within the system. Further, her continued involvement in WLA, discussions about Public Library System Redesign and advocacy for libraries demonstrate exceptional service to the library profession. 

Trustee of the Year: James C. Englebert, Chairman of the Elisha D. Smith Public Library Board of Trustees in Menasha, WI has been named the 2018 Trustee of the Year. Throughout his years of service as a trustee he has supported a library expansion and renovation project; established and advanced board committees for the betterment of the board, its members and the library; secured library funding; advocated for the library budget; and been a leader in the library’s current strategic plan. Mr. Englebert’s ability to advance the effectiveness and impact of the board and to successfully garner community support for the library makes him a notable library trustee. 

WLA/DEMCO Librarian of the Year: Jessica Schoonover, Director of the Shirley M. Wright Memorial Library (SWML), Trempealeau, WI. Through her efforts, SWML is able to have an impact beyond the boundaries of its small community. Programming, sound collection management, library maintenance, and personable customer service create a welcoming library environment, and numerous outreach efforts and engagement with organizations on behalf of the library ensure that SWML is a vital resource for the community. Ms. Schoonover has also provided leadership, advocacy, and collaboration with local libraries to ensure financial support of libraries in her system and is actively involved in the cooperative efforts of the Winding Rivers Library System. Her numerous achievements and accomplishments demonstrate outstanding leadership for the betterment of libraries. 

The Wisconsin Library Association congratulates each winner and will celebrate their accomplishments at the 2018 Annual Conference at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse and La Crosse Center. An Awards & Honors Reception will take place on Thursday, October 25th from 5:30-7 p.m., with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. 

The WLA Awards & Honors program is supported by the WLA Foundation, through individual charitable contributions, and through the generous support of EBSCO. WLA engages, inspires and advocates for library workers and supporters to improve and promote library services for the people of Wisconsin. The awards program is one way the association acknowledges the dedication of its members to provide exemplary library service. 

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