Some of you may already know this, since I put it on Facebook and Twitter. But, I owe some thank you notes.
Yesterday, I was notified I won the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Service Award. “Emphasis is placed on activities that go beyond the standard requirements of good library service.” I will receive a plaque, and a folder with the letter of nomination and the letters of support. The award will be given on November 30 during AZLA’s annual conference. I’ll be on a plane to Ohio at the time, so someone from the library system will accept it for me.
I get to write an acceptance speech, and they’ll read it. I will write a short note, thanking all the wonderful people I work with, and have worked with over the years, as well as all the members of the communities I have served in Ohio, Florida and Arizona. And, I’ll thank all the authors who have brought so much joy to so many people. And, Anna knows how much the nomination letter meant to me. She wrote it on behalf of the library, and I cried over the beautiful two page letter she wrote.
But, here on my blog, I get to thank some other people, beginning with my mother who was just ecstatic when I called her with the news. My mother is my role model for a life well-lived. She spent most of her career working in the high school library at a vocational school. Thank you, Mom. And, thank you to my two sisters, Linda and Christie, who followed me as library pages at the Huron Public Library. And, Linda? Thank you for that note when I was down. She told me to “Dare to be passionate. It’s so much better than just doing a job.”
But, my mother was so excited, she called one of the women I owe a debt of gratitude. When I was a page at the Huron Public Library in Huron, Ohio, I worked with some of the best library staff I ever knew. Erma Dunn, the Library Director, took a shy bookworm of sixteen, and exposed me to the world of the library, allowing me to do every task in the library except cataloging. (I was a failure at covering books, and they told me never to do that.) But, she gave me journals, sent me to the basement, and told me to recommend books. After working for Erma Dunn, I knew I wanted to be a librarian. Mrs. Dunn is ninety years old, lives in Florida, and, from everything I heard, is still just as energetic as ever.
Aileen Hartley is gone, the wonderful person everyone always referred to as a “true lady.” She was the role model of poise and grace under pressure. I wish I half the class she did.
But, Millie Schilman. Millie worked the circulation desk when I was a page, and she was my children's librarian when I went home to Huron as Library Director. I've worked with some fantastic children's librarians over the years, and I've told every one of them that Millie was just as good as any of them. There's nothing like starting out working with someone who loves their job, loves the children and books. Millie's enthusiasm meant so much to that community. I always said I might have been Director, but Millie Schilman was the heart of that library.
So, thank you to all of you, readers and authors. Everything you do led to this award. The blog, the honors, Authors @ The Teague, Desert Sleuths. All of it was mentioned in the award nomination. And, all of the library staff in Glendale, the Lee County Library System, the Charlotte-Glades Library System, the Huron Public Library, and the Upper Arlington Public Library. I'm where I am today because of all of you. And, I'm getting this award because you helped me serve my community, both in my library and the online community.
But, I owe an enormous thank you to Erma Dunn, Aileen Hartley and Millie Schilman. They taught a page to be a librarian.
|The Huron Public Library|