Meet the Winners of 2011 ILA Awards

by Amy Vecchione

During the October 6, 2011 Idaho Library Association’s Annual Conference Awards Banquet and Ceremony the winners of educational scholarships and professional recognition awards were announced. The banquet also recognized the current MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Science) students and new librarians.

(L-R): Held, Goedde, Taylor, Stroebel, Watts. Photo by Kristi Brumley.

John Watts, of Veritas Advisors, was awarded Special Services in Libraries Award for his strong work in helping to reduce the negative effects of two legislative bills during the 2010 legislative cycle. One bill proposed to reduce the number of years a library trustee can serve from six to four, and the other bill proposed to filter internet to all public library users throughout Idaho. The latter bill was reduced to only apply to children’s computers, and the former bill was eliminated.

Trustee of the Year was awarded to John Held who serves on the board for both Payette Public Library and the Idaho Commission for Libraries. A major triumph for Payette Public Library was accomplished with his leadership – a bond passing by 76% to provide money to build a larger, brand new library.

Follett’s School Library Media Program of the Year was awarded to Librarian Gregory Taylor and the School Library at Hillside Junior High School. Taylor’s work to improve his school library on a limited budget has been incredibly successful. Taylor wrote and was awarded six grants, has collaborated statewide with various constituents to create beneficial teaching programs, as well as engaging programs with his students. Taylor also volunteered with the Ada County Juvenile Detention Center where students commented that they didn’t like reading until Taylor handed them the book Hunger Games. Taylor also was able to provide books to these students.

Legislator of the Year was awarded to District 4 Idaho State Senator John Goedde for his incredible leadership in helping to reduce the effects of the Internet filtering in libraries bill. Goedde was instrumental in providing two days of open testimony regarding this proposed bill. Goedde’s collaboration with Idaho libraries has been strong, and he often works with Library Director Bette Ammon at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library on various programs. As a result of Goedde’s collaborations and leadership, the bill was reduced from requiring Internet filtering for all – both adults and children – and was changed to just filter the Internet for children’s computers.

(L-R): Stroebel, DeWalt. Photo by Kristi Brumley.

Librarian of the Year was awarded to Rebecca Stroebel of Boise Public Library. Stroebel’s nominating letters stated that she is a model librarian, who focuses her efforts statewide on various projects, including the Big Read. Stroebel also exhibited strong leadership working with legislators, citizens, and library staff around the state to effectively limit the Internet filtering bill from the 2010 legislative session.

Adult Services Manager at Boise Public Library Vicki Kreimeyer stated in her supporting letter that, “Rebecca’s initiative to identify research done on this issue, to learn how similar laws had been implemented in other states, and to continually communicate with her colleagues Natalie Nation and John Watts, made a great difference in the ultimate  outcome of the proposed legislation. Rebecca Stroebel demonstrated her patience with the legislative process, her tenacity in identifying possible improved legislative outcomes, and respect for her colleagues and the elected legislators, representing the library community in a positive and constructive manner. It is entirely appropriate to recognize her integrity, professional commitment, and contribution to the future of library service in Idaho with this award.”

Last year’s Librarian of the Year, Mary DeWalt, Library Director of Ada Community Library, wrote in her supporting letter, “It is apparent to all who work with her that Ms. Stroebel not only works hard as librarian to serve residents of her community, but that she also continues to champion quality library service across Idaho. Ms. Stroebel is an energetic, enthusiastic, and effective librarian, someone all Idaho libraries would be lucky to have on their team. She is a model for all Idaho librarians and very deserving of the Librarian of the Year award.”

Congratulations to everyone, but especially to Idaho’s libraries, and Idaho library users who all benefit from this crew’s hard work.

Amy Vecchione is a Librarian/Assistant Professor at Boise State University.

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