APRIL 15, 2010

Attending the Public Library Association conference in Portland, and proud of the “Best Small Library in America” finalist award are Marge Kuchynka, Clearwater County Library District Trustee;  Jill Nishi , Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Melissa Mayberry, WPL Children’s Librarian; Terri Summerfield, Director; and Michelle Berreth,  Assistant Librarian.    

Accepting the award from Rebecca Miller, Executive Editor of the Library Journal, is Terri Summerfield, Weippe Library Director, showing the image of Weippe Public Library in the background.

Weippe Library honored as “Best Small Library in America” finalist

   At the recent Public Library Association conference in Portland, the honor of finalist, 2009, for the “Best Small Library in America” was awarded to the Weippe Public Library.

   Library Journal's annual award for the Best Small Library in America, cosponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was founded to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of these libraries.

   Now in its sixth year, the award honors the public library that most profoundly demon-strates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less. Members of the editorial board of Library Journal, librarians from around the country, and a representative from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, judge nominations based on key factors, including:

   Creativity in developing services and programs that can be replicated by other libraries, including outreach to special populations; innovation in introducing and supporting public access computing; success in educating patrons in computer use, and measuring the results of technology usage; use of technology to expand the reach of library services; demonstrated community support; sustained cooperation with other libraries; partnerships with other agencies and businesses; increase in library use, particularly by new users; evidence of library's role as community center.

   Director, Terri Summerfield says she is honored to receive the award for the library. She reports that libraries are so much more than books today. In this information-age with high technology, she feels it is the library’s role to bridge the digit divide and provide the needed technology to her community.

   Finalists receive paid memberships and conference costs to attend PLA, along with the incentive and inspiration to continue to offer excellent service to Library users and to offer additional new programs to both current users and non users.

   The winning Library receives a $15,000 cash award which went to Union County Carnegie Library, South Carolina.  Finalists are encouraged to apply again and continue to challenge themselves to excellence.

   The Weippe Public Library plans on applying again as they strive to be the best.  The staff invites you to visit the library and see what all they have to offer, besides books, including free public access computers,  DVDs, WiFi, Xbox, Wii, Lego programs for kids and more.

   After attending the conference, the library staff is excited about new projects and ways to benefit the community and they encourage everyone to make suggestion of what they need or want. They will be conducting a survey during National Library Week, April 11-17.