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  • Library staff honored for excellence at state conference

    Nov 21, 2013 | Read More News
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    Get to know four Pima County employees who are making a big difference in our libraries and throughout our community!

    Each year, the Arizona Library Association (AzLA) recognizes outstanding library staff throughout the state at the AzLA annual conference. Several Pima County Public Library staff members received the recognition of their colleagues this year at the awards ceremony in Phoenix on Nov. 15.

    Library staff award winners“Jennifer Nichols, Kassy Rodeheaver, Jennifer Caldwell, and Toby Wehner truly exemplify what excellence in library service is all about,” said Melinda Cervantes, the Library’s Executive Director. “They bring something incredibly unique and valuable to their work and to our library system, and I’m proud that we have these superstar award winners among our staff.”

    Jennifer Nichols received the AzLA Outstanding Youth Services Librarian Award for serving as a model for the important role Youth Services plays in public libraries. With a Library Services and Technology Act grant, Jennifer developed the Library’s CreateIT program to not only teach teens the technical skills they'll need, but to help teens and library users with the skills to assess and think critically about the media influences they face each day. She is also the project manager for the Library’s $100,000 grant project to plan media spaces for teens in our community.

    Emerging Leader Award recipient Kassy Rodeheaver was recognized for her strong leadership in developing the innovative programs that support nonprofit organizations in our community. As the Grants and Nonprofit Center Librarian, Kassy is directly responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing programs and services for customers who use the Library's Grants & Nonprofit Info Center and Foundation Center Collection. She also manages our Facebook presence for the grants center and provides workshops and personalized help during open lab sessions.

    As the Horner Japanese Exchange Fellowship winner, Electronic Resources Librarian Jennifer Caldwell spent two weeks in Japan this October to foster cultural and informational exchanges with librarians there. Jennifer created and co-chairs MangaMania!!, the Library's annual anime and manga convention for teens and young adults, which drew 1,000 participants throughout this summer with maker “cons” featuring science, technology, art, and music. She has been the driving force behind our goal to evaluate and acquire many of the Library's digital resources that our patrons enjoy.

    Toby Wehner, winner of the Outreach Services Award, was recognized for his exemplary library outreach services to underserved or minority populations. Toby’s passion for library service is demonstrated in the way he obviously enjoys helping patrons at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library and in the way he reaches out to the community. He developed a monthly outreach service event at the teen LGBT EON/Wingspan lounge, and his leadership in the LGBT Committee has been tremendous. Toby is well-known for taking the Library’s Bookbike out in the community and bringing enthusiasm to the workplace every day.