Awards Presented at OLA Conference
The OLA Awards were presented at the Conference in Eugene on April 20th.
Supporters of the Year:
Josephine Community Libraries Inc. Board was honored for their work over the years to support and move forward the idea of providing public library service to the residents of Josephine County. Their efforts culminated in 2017 with the passage of the library district. The passage of the district put them out of business and one of their last official acts was to receive the OLA Supporter of the Year Award.
Honorary Lifetime Membership:
Nan Heim, OLA lobbyist for over 35 years, has been a key player in library initiatives during this time. Her efforts has helped secure Ready to Read funding, support of school libraries and state library funding. She has been key in building relationships with legislators and to help them understand the role of libraries in Oregon.
Distinguished Service Award:
Shirley Roberts was presented the award for her years of service to the libraries in eastern Oregon and to OLA. As part of the Eastern Oregon University Library she played a big role in the transformation of the three member Pioneer Library System to the 70 member Sage System. She helped libraries transition to an a joint automated system and was always there to work through challenges as the system grew. For the last ten years she has served as OLA’s first association manager. She’s developed processes and relationships that have put OLA on a firm financial basis. She’s done so with patience as she’s worked with hundreds of volunteers to accomplish the goals of the association.
Librarian of the Year:
Pat Duke, director of the Wilsonville Public Library, was presented the award for his exemplary service in moving the libraries of Clackamas County forward with his efforts in their district election and support of their services. In the last couple of years Pat has been a champion of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This program works with community groups and the Dolly Parton organization to sign kids up to have a book each month mailed to their home from age 0-5. He started the program in Wilsonville with his local Kiwanis group providing the funding. He has shared the success of the program extensively and this last year was successful in obtaining grant funding to expand the program to rural libraries and communities throughout Oregon. His support of this early literacy effort made Pat Duke the perfect choice for Librarian of the Year.
Buzzy Nielsen presented the OLA President’s Award to Leah Griffith, director of the Newberg Public Library. Griffith has been an OLA member for 35 years and has been active as an officer, committee member, or committee chair during all those years. Nielsen recognized her commitment to OLA and to the last ten years when she has served as member, then chair of the Honors, Awards, and Scholarship Committee.