The Berks County Public Libraries annual awards are held to honor those in our community who demonstrate outstanding leadership, innovation, and dedication to library service in our communities. This year, the annual awards ceremony was held virtually with library friends, staff, and supporters in attendance. Members of the Berks County Public Libraries Advisory Board presented the awards, highlighting the accomplishments demonstrated by category winners.
Due to the cancellation of last year's ceremony and in order to recognize library accomplishments during the height of the pandemic, this year's awards considered nominations from both the 2020 and 2021 calendar years. The awards program lists those considered for each category.
This award is presented to a member library director who fosters cooperation and collaboration among member libraries, shares time and talent with other libraries on countywide initiatives, and has an effective and resourceful impact on the community.
Winner: Natasha Donaldson, Mifflin Community Library
This award is presented to a library in recognition of a one-time or on-going fundraising project that is especially creative or unique. The amount of funds raised is not the determining factor in selecting the recipient of this award.
Winner: Country Cruise, Kutztown Community Library
This is the System's highest award, named in honor of Dr. Dodson E. Dreisbach, founding member of the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries and first president of the System Advisory Board. This award may be presented in any year to one person or group in recognition of exceptional, long-term service which benefitted libraries countywide.
Winner: Jennifer Smilko
This award is presented in honor of Linda Baer, past President of the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries and recognizes the significant and substantial commitment of time, energy and creativity of a single member of a local library Friends organization. The award includes a $100 cash prize sponsored by the Friends of the Berks County Public Libraries.
Winner: Jean Davis, Fleetwood Area Public Library
This award is presented jointly with the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries. The recipient is selected based on the library’s public relations activities carried out during the year. The award includes a $500 cash prize sponsored by the County Commissioners’ appropriation and the Friends of the Berks County Public Libraries.
In 1991, the annual System/District Trustee Workshop program focused on the role of effective public relations in securing adequate funding for libraries. Chet Hagan, as a member of the System Board, was the prime mover in developing and arranging this well-received workshop program. Chet was then the editor of Bookends, the excellent publication of the Friends of the Reading-Berks Public Libraries. And so the Public Relations Award began with its first presentation of the hen-shaped trophy, appropriately name the "Henny," to Chet Hagan on September 14, 1991.
But why a hen? Learn about the origin of the Henny.
Winner: Kutztown Community Library