Capital Area District Library Earns 2019 State Librarian’s Excellence Award

October 7, 2019

LANSING – Capital Area District Library (CADL) is the recipient of the 2019 State Librarian’s Excellence Award for superior customer service, State Librarian Randy Riley announced today.

“Selecting one library for this recognition is quite difficult,” said Riley. “The Capital Area District Library impacts Ingham County communities daily and consistently finds new and inventive ways to bring their resources to the people.”

Riley presents the annual award, including $3,000 in privately-donated funds, Wednesday, October 16 at the Michigan Library Association’s annual conference in Novi.

The Library of Michigan Foundation and Library of Michigan (LM) bestow the State Librarian’s Excellence Award and Citations of Excellence Award yearly to highlight the importance of Michigan libraries’ services.

This year’s Citations of Excellence co-winners, for their excellent customer service, are the Petoskey District Library in Petoskey and Howe Memorial Library in Breckenridge. Each of those libraries will receive $1,000 with this honor.

The State Librarian’s Excellence Award is sponsored by the Roger and June B. Mendel Fund through the Library of Michigan Foundation. The Citation of Excellence Awards are funded by Martin L. Gibbs in memory of his late wife, Carole Sorenson and the Library of Michigan Foundation in recognition of former Executive Director Carolyn “Sparky” Mowery.
“We are so thrilled to be awarded the State Librarian’s Excellence Award,” said Capital Area District Library Director Scott Duimstra. “To be recognized for the superior customer service we provide to our communities is very important to the capital area district libraries. From our staff, to our board, and our community partners, our mission is to empower the communities we serve.”

Riley said the selection committee, comprised of representatives from public, school, academic and special libraries, was impressed with CADL’s diversity and wide-ranging programs.

“Programs that garnered the selection committee’s attention included working with Ingham County Jail inmates; a ‘library of things’ that loans appliances, tools, games, and other things, besides books, at no charge; outstanding local history resources; a ‘Girls that Code’ program; and structuring meaningful community conversations,” he said.
State Librarian’s Excellence Award evaluation factors include: demonstrating that the library provides superior service to its customers and community in a cost-effective manner, with a can-do attitude; always delivering on promises; and fulfilling the library’s commitment to high standards of customer service.

Riley said BCLS was recognized for its partnership with Saginaw Valley State University to create the Bay Area Writing Center, housed at the Wirt Library. The center offers free writing workshops and one-on-one tutoring to everyone in the community.

Under Burns’ direction, the staff has strategically increased its outreach countywide. Staffers regularly visit senior centers, assisted living centers, and foster care visitation centers to bring the library to the community. BCLS also organizes blood drives, serves as a collection point for baby blankets and children’s coats, and collects school supplies for students in the fall.

Receiving Citations of Excellence, Morton Township Library and Richmond Township Library also are being recognized for their devotion to customer service.

Morton Township Library prides itself on providing open and equal service to the community. It actively fosters life-long learning in diverse programs, while providing digital content; developing programs for children, teens and adults; and creating an after-school Discovery Club.

Richmond Township Library, in Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula, serves about 900 residents. Almost half of local families actively participated in the facility’s family summer reading program this year, and its winter adult programs regularly attract 25-plus attendees. For a small community, these programs have a big impact.