Three groups win Baker & Taylor Awards: Friends of the Weber County Library (Ogden, Utah), Friends of the Peoria (Ariz.) Public Library, and Danville (Ill.) Library Foundation
Three groups have been recognized with United for Libraries’ Baker & Taylor Awards for outstanding efforts to support their library. This year’s winners are Friends of the Weber County Library (Ogden, Utah), Friends of the Peoria (Ariz.) Public Library, and Danville (Ill.) Library Foundation. Each group received $1,000 and a clock from Baker & Taylor to honor their achievements.
From April to June 2013, the Friends of the Weber County Library conducted a public relations campaign, “Libraries Change Lives,” to educate voters about a $45 million general obligation bond, the largest in county history. The funding will build new facilities and transform existing libraries into “third space” community platforms for knowledge creation and sharing. The bond initiative passed by a majority vote of 54 percent in a political environment hostile to tax increases.
The Friends of the Peoria Public Library worked within the library system and community to bring free science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) educational programming to local 6- to 12-year-olds and their families. Through networking and relationship-building, the Friends have ensured that the programs are free. Their 2013 efforts resulted in 25 programs with more than 4,100 attendees.
Danville Library Foundation hosted the third annual “From Page to Stage” fundraiser, in which 100 local singers and performers brought stories from books to life. More than 175 people attended the fundraiser, which raised just under $60,000. The theme centered on stories of the masks people wear, both literally and figuratively.
In addition, the Friends of the Novi (Mich.) Public Library and Friends of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library earned honorable mentions for their efforts to support their libraries. The Friends of the Novi Public Library coordinated a successful free family concert series, “Listen @ the Library,” featuring the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. The Friends of the Kansas City Public Library hosted its first Young Adult Literature Festival, featuring Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Jacqueline Woodson, to benefit summer reading.