PLA 2007 award winners represent excellence in public libraries

Contact: Angela Thullen

PLA, Marketing Specialist

For Immediate Release
February 1, 2007

PLA 2007 award winners represent excellence in public libraries

CHICAGO - The Public Library Association (PLA) is pleased to announce the winners of eight awards, honoring the best in public library service and innovation.

The Advancement of Literacy Award, sponsored by Library Journal, recognizes a publisher, bookseller, software dealer, foundation or similar group that has made a significant contribution toward the advancement of adult literacy. This year’s winner is the Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library Foundation.

The Allie Beth Martin Award recognizes a public librarian for demonstrating a range and depth of knowledge about books and other library materials and the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. This year’s award of $3,000, donated by Baker & Taylor, goes to Barry Trott, adult services director of the Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library.

The Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award Grant includes $2,500 in audio music and video products for the circulating collection of the selected recipient. This year’s winner, the L.D. Fargo Library in Lake Mills, Wis., will use the award to enhance their early literacy program.

The Charlie Robinson Award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, recognizes a public library director for the implementation of an innovative change. This year’s recipient is Sandra Feinberg, director of the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, N.Y.

The DEMCO New Leaders Travel Grant provides a total of $5,000 in awards to public librarians new to the field by making possible their attendance at major professional development activities. This year’s grantees are: Lisë Chlebanowski, Avondale (Ariz.) Public Library; Janet Eldred, Hollidaysburg Area (Pa.) Public Library; Susan Fisher, Bethesda (Tenn.) Public Library; and Terri Romberger, Pasco County (Fla.) Library System.

The EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award honors a public library serving a population of 10,000 or fewer that demonstrates excellence in service to its community. The Kenai (Alaska) Community Library will receive this year’s $1,000 award, donated by EBSCO Information Services.

PLA’s newest honor, the Gordon M. Conable Award, was established to recognize commitment to intellectual freedom in a public library setting. The award consists of a $1,500 honorarium and a commemorative plaque from the sponsor, LSSI. The first recipient of this distinguished honor is Ken Verdoia, former trustee of the Salt Lake County (Utah) Library Services Board of Directors.

The Highsmith Library Innovation Award honors a public library’s innovative or creative service program with a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium from the award’s sponsor, Highsmith, Inc. This year’s recipient is the Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) Library, recognized for “Familia a Familia,” and innovative outreach program for new Americans.

PLA, along with the award sponsors, will recognize all of the award winners on Monday, June 25, 2007, as a part of the PLA President’s Program featuring Elizabeth Edwards at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

For more information on PLA Awards, contact the PLA office at 800-545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or visit PLA’s Web site at PLA is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve, and its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.