For immediate release | February 8, 2011

Hennepin County Library Outreach Services recognized by ASCLA for exceptional service

CHICAGO — Hennepin County (Minn.) Library Outreach Services is the 2011 winner of the ASCLA Exceptional Service Award, an annual honor presented by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

The award recognizes exceptional service to patients in a medical facility, to persons who are homebound, to inmates, to older adults and adults with a physical or mental disability who live in group homes or residences, and also recognizes professional leadership, effective interpretation of programs, pioneering activity and significant research.

For 20 years, Hennepin County Library Outreach Services has provided innovative and outstanding service to Hennepin County residents who are unable to visit and use the library due to age, illness, disability or incarceration. By providing Deposit collections and At Home Service to seniors, staff in Outreach Services is helping implement the county’s initiative on aging. Its innovative programming promotes positive change in juvenile and adult offenders. Specifically, these programs include the “Freedom Ticket” newsletter, which helps inmates re-enter the community; the Read to Me Program, which helps incarcerated parents record and send books to their children to help them stay connected; and the One Read Program, which brings women inmates, corrections staff and librarians together to share the book experience.

“The scope of the services the unit staff provides, the diversity of the people they reach and the positive impact they have on their clients is impressive,” said ASCLA President Diana Reese. “The fact that they have maintained this high level of performance for such a long period of time is truly remarkable. We are thrilled to honor the library with this year’s ASCLA Exceptional Service Award to help bring attention to their outstanding accomplishments.”

Reese will officially present the award to the library at the ASCLA/COSLA Reception from 8-10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, 8-10 p.m. at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. This event, open to all ALA Conference attendees, will be held at an ALA Conference hotel. The exact room location will be announced in late spring.

ASCLA, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a diverse organization of librarians and staff who work in state library agencies, agencies providing library services to populations with special needs, library cooperatives and those independent librarians who are self-employed. Not an ASCLA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, ASCLA preconferences and other ASCLA events? Join, renew or add ASCLA to your ALA membership at