Roger Mendel joined the Board in late winter, 2017. Roger works as the Director of the Northland Library Cooperative. He previously served as Director of the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative. Currently he serves as Vice Chair of the Michigan Cooperative Directors Association. The Northland Library Cooperative is comprised of 23 public libraries in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. The cooperative is one of two “virtual” cooperatives in the state and provides services to its members without having a permanent location. All work is handled via the internet and cell phone connections.
In 2000, Roger was awarded the Michigan Librarian of the Year honor which is bestowed by the Michigan Library Association. In 2009 he received the prestigious Outstanding Small Rural Librarian Award at the Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference sponsored by the Library of Michigan Foundation. This Award recognized Roger as an outstanding leader who made a significant contribution to a Michigan library and invested in efforts to bring about positive change in the small/rural library community. As was publicized at the time it was said, “Roger Mendel has worked tirelessly for Michigan small and rural libraries for more than three decades, and he is greatly deserving of this special honor.”
Roger’s holds a Master’s degree in Library Science from Western Michigan University in Library and Information Science. Roger and his late wife June, also a librarian, have been long-time supporters of the Library of Michigan Foundation and have significantly funded the Foundation’s SLEA Library Award for many years. Marty Gibbs, another Foundation Board member joins Roger in support of this important annual award for Libraries and Librarians around the state. Roger also supports the June B. Mendel Award of Excellence, presented by the Foundation at the Loleta Fyan Small and Rural Libraries Conference every other year. The Award recognizes a rural library for their excellence in customer service.
The Foundation is very fortunate to be able to add Roger Mendel to its Board. His expertise and knowledge of the library community and vision for the future will be great assets to the Board and the Foundation’s work.