And now a word from our winners….
Each year Reaching Forward sponsors two awards that highlight the contributions made by Library Assistants to their Libraries and to the Library community. It is very gratifying to be a part of the award process.
The awards themselves were named in honor of three people who have accomplished much for ILA and for our library communities. The Robert P. Doyle Award is named in honor of Bob Doyle, Executive Director of ILA, and a tireless advocate for Illinois libraries. Although he works with the Illinois legislators and top library leaders, Bob may often be seen at Reaching Forward and at the ILA annual conference working to keep the lines moving at registration, helping out in the “trenches” probably unbeknownst to most library staff. The Oberman-Rich Award was named in honor of the co-founders of Reaching Forward and champions of Library Assistants, Tobi Oberman and Tom Rich. They have recently been inducted into the Illinois Library Luminaries. So, the awards themselves are a celebration of the achievements of these three people.
The process of asking for nominations, receiving them, and reading them and marveling over the enthusiasm that those nominated have for their profession, and then the tough decision making of choosing the winners really brings home to us the excellence that lies within all of our libraries.
Most important, is the joy of making the call to the winners and hearing how astonished they were to be nominated and how happy to be selected as the winner!
These awards tend to take on a life of their own and take the winners with them! It is an opportunity to recognize and reward the initiative and creativity of these dedicated professionals.
Claire Osada, Lake Bluff Public Library, the 2012 winner of the Oberman-Rich Award states “I am very pleased to have received the Oberman-Rich Award this year. I feel the award is a true symbol of outstanding achievement amongst public library support staff. I received many congratulations from people at the conference (none of whom I knew) and even after leaving the conference and accepting my award, I am still getting great feedback from staff members in my library. I even received an email from one of our former directors from over 6 years ago!”
Sayaka Suzuki, Deerfield Public Library, the 2012 winner of the Robert P. Doyle Award says “I feel honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Robert P. Doyle Award. About 2 weeks before I received the initial phone call about being the recipient of the award, I had decided to pursue a Master of Library and Information Science Degree (MLIS). At that time, I had asked my managers at Deerfield Public Library and Indian Trails Public Library District to write a letter of recommendation for me. After the shock of finding out that I was the recipient of the award (my Deerfield Manager, Ellen Kaiser, never told me that she nominated me), it validated my decision that it was time for me to pursue my MLIS. My hope is to start taking classes in the fall.As the recipient of the 2012 Robert P. Doyle Award, I will continue to set high standards for myself by increasing my knowledge and skills. My goal is to be a strong, knowledgeable leader, with a focus on recruiting more bilingual and bicultural staff such as myself. I am looking forward to the opportunities that this award will open up for me. Thank you.”
Thank you to our winners and thank you to all who nominated your wonderful staff members!