Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award

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



30 comments:

Christie said...

Congratulations, Lesa on a well deserved rewards. You are the greatest librarian I know. Christie

bermudaonion said...

Congratulations, Lesa! I'm not at all surprised to see that you won such an award.

Kay said...

Oh, Lesa, I'm so very, very pleased for you!! Truly it couldn't happen to a better person. I tell everyone here that Lesa Holstine is the best librarian I know. It's truly your perfect vocation and you are an example to all. I loved seeing you this year and getting to visit your library. And I took a good look around when you weren't with me. It's just such a well run place. Hugs, mega hugs to you my friend! What smart people they are to select the best librarian I know!!!

DarcyO said...

Congratulations, Lesa, on a well-deserved honor. Keep up with great work!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This is fantastic! Congratulations, Lesa! The award is well-deserved. :)

Lesa said...

Thank you, Christie. It's not too bad when your sisters know how much you love your job. Love you!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kathy. You might not have been surprised, but I was! Came as a complete surprise to me.

Lesa said...

Oh, Kay. After all your years in the field, that's a true compliment. Thank you. And, thank you for saying the library was well-run. Great staff, Kay. I've had wonderful people to work with my entire career. Hugs, my friend.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Darcy & Elizabeth. It truly was an honor.

Gail Hueting said...

Congratulations, Lesa, this is fantastic! Your blog and other activities definitely extend the reach of your library--internationally in the case of DorothyL readers.

Gail Hueting in Illinois

Joe Barone said...

Congratulations! As I've read your blog I've often thought you would be a good librarian who encouraged reading.

aboles said...

Congratulations, Lesa. I'm excited and happy for you!

Beth Groundwater said...

Congratulations, Lesa! You well-deserve this award, and you should savor it and your accomplishments.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Congratulations! How well deserved!!!

Anonymous said...

Lesa, how wonderful. Of course you know I think you should be named Top Librarian in the Universe but I guess we'll start with Arizona. My day always starts with coffee (of course that comes first) and then Lesa's Book Critiques. You are a dear and special friend. I'm so happy for you.

Lesa said...

Ah, Gail. Thank you. I love to be part of the DorothyL and reading world. It's part of my passion.

Lesa said...

Love to talk about books at the library, Joe! I've done that forever. Well, maybe not quite as long ad Doris Ann Norris, the 2000-year-old librarian, but she's another special librarian from Ohio.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Ann. That means a lot, coming from another librarian!

Lesa said...

Beth, After the week I had last week, when I complained to everyone, I am savoring this. Thank you.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Jill!

Lesa said...

Judy, Thank you for all your continued support, and wonderful notes. I hope you enjoyed today's coffee!

Deborah J said...

The Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime are so very proud of you, Lesa. Great big congratulations!

Bill Crider said...

Congrats!

LSUReader said...

What a wonderful honor. Congratulations, Lesa.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Deb! The Desert Sleuths were the first group to let me know how much they appreciated me! Thank you.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Bill & LSUReader.

Bev Stephans said...

Oh Lesa, congratulation! I can't think of a more deserving person than you. This time there is a 'Super' in Super Librarian!

Carol M said...

Congratulations, Lesa! I'm sure it's an award that you really deserve! :)

Liz V. said...

Wonderful news!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Carol & Liz. This was a very nice award to receive from my peers.