November 16, 2017

Best Small Library of the Year Reception Honors 2011 and 2012 Winners and Finalists

Who’s Who at the Best Small Library in America Awards | PLA 2012
LJ feted the 2011 and 2012 winners of the Best Small Library in America award, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia during the Public Library Association Conference. On hand to celebrate were the winners from Naturita Community Library, CO (2011), and Independence Public Library, KS (2012), including directors, staff, city council, board, and Friends, as well as representatives from all four finalists. Deborah Jacobs, who now heads the foundation’s Global and U.S. libraries’ program, presented the awards, along with LJ’s Francine Fialkoff and John Berry and SLJ’s Rebecca Miller (until recently at LJ). Jacobs noted that the work done by these small libraries embodies the Gates Foundation’s premise that all lives have equal value and that their innovations are replicable  for all libraries, no matter their size.

LJ issue covers spotlight the Best Small Library in America winners honored at the reception at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia during PLA 2012: 2011’s Naturita Community Library, CO, and Independence PL, KS.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.


Both candidates vying for ALA President attended the reception. Here, Barbara K. Stripling (l.) chats with Kathyrn Spier-Miller, KSM Creative Group, who is helping to launch LJ‘s Lead the Change series.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.


ALA Presidential candidate Gina Millsap (l., one of LJ’s 2007 Movers & Shakers) congratulates 2011 winner Susan Rice from Naturita Community Library.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.


Julie Hildebrand (l.), director of 2012’s Best Small Library, Independence Public Library, talks with LJ Publisher Ian Singer and SLJ Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Miller. Photo by Kevin Henegan.


Former LJ Librarian of the Year Rivkah Sass, now director of Sacraemento Public Library, gets a warm greeting from LJ’s John Berry.  Photo by Mike Rogers.


Another 2007 Mover & Shaker, Chrystie Hill, OCLC, with SLJ’s Rebecca Miller.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Deborah Jacobs (another former LJ Librarian of the Year) with John Berry. Photo by Mike Rogers.

LJ Editor-in-Chief Francine Fialkoff with Independence’s director, Julie Hildebrand.  Photo by Mike Rogers.

Jacobs touted how inspirational the Best Small winners are in her remarks. Photo by Kevin Henegan.

John Berry shared highlights from the winning libraries’ stories with the crowd. Photo by Mike Rogers.

2011 finalist Debbie Winlock from Page PL, AZ, accepts her plaque from Rebecca Miller. Photo by Mike Rogers.

John Berry congratulates 2011 finalists from Ames Free Library, North Easton, MA: Director Madeline Miele Holt (l.) and Assistant Director Uma Hiremath.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

Cheryl Abdullah Abouelaziz, Library Director of 2012 finalist Dover Town Library, MA, getting her plaque from Miller.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

2012 finalists Decatur PL, TX, show off their plaque. From l.-r., Director Cecilia Barham, Denice Herrera, and Linda Meador.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

Celebrating Naturita’s 2011 win with John Berry (l.) are Director Susan Rice (holding plaque) and staff.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

A large showing of support for Independence PL’s 2012 win. Back row, l.-r.: IPL staffers Nancy Kishpaugh, Kriztina Smith, City Commissioner Tim White & wife Cindy, and Friends of the Library Co-Presidents Wayne & Sue Landwehr.  Front Row:  IPL’s Allison Merritt, Becky Passuer, Library Board Chair Joy Barta, and Director Julie Hildebrand (holding plaque).  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

Winning Directors: Hildebrand from 2012 and Rice from 2011.  Photo by Kevin Henegan.

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