MLA is pleased to announce that Margaret “Peggy” Hemerling, Youth Services Librarian, Hastings Public Library, is the winner of the 2013 Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth Award. The award is given annually to a Michigan library staff person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of library service to youth, ages 0-18 throughout his or her career. Peggy was honored at the 2013 Spring Institute Conference on April 11 at the Lexington Hotel in Lansing.
Since 1998, Peggy has worked at the Hastings Public Library engaging children and teens in all manner of literacy activities from toddlers learning letter sounds to teens discussing books with difficult themes related to growing up in our time. She continuously updates the programming and collections of the library to accommodate the changing needs and interests of children. Peggy’s responsibilities include coordinating Toddler Time and Story Time for the library’s youngest patrons and their caregivers, as well as 1st-3rd Club where she models library behavior and sharing to many of the same children who participated in preschool library activities.
For her older patrons, Peggy serves as the advisor to TAB (Teen Advisory Board), mentoring teens and allowing them to discuss library collections and plan teen events at the library. She also runs the Pizza and Pages book club where teens read and discuss books “with an edge.” Peggy helps teens articulate their feelings and how they can relate to their world and its issues.
Constructed in 2006, the Grace Hauenstein Library serves the 2100 students of Aquinas College by providing access to 180,000 print and electronic titles in the library’s collection and over 95 periodical index and other databases. Besides circulating the usual assortment of materials, the library also loans out laptops, Kindles, Nooks, Wiis, iPods and iPads. The library was the location of a recently filmed “Harlem Shake” video made by Aquinas students.
In addition, librarians teach a one-credit required course (Beyond Google: College Resources and Research Skills) instructing students in research methods and search strategies using both traditional and electronic resources.
Joy Cichewicz, Manager, Michigan Avenue branch
Ypsilanti District Library
Joy has been a librarian for sixteen years, serving many different communities in many different capacities. Before becoming a librarian she worked at the Canton District Library as a page, Eastern Michigan University library as a student helper with the catalog conversion, and at the Fred C. Fischer Library in Belleville as a library and circulation aid, where she linked materials and assisted with youth programming. Her first job out of library school was a brief stint at the UAW-Technical Training Center Library where she ran a small library for skilled trades. Following that, she worked for three years at the University of Michigan Undergrad and Social Work Libraries where she carried a heavy load of bibliographic instruction. Going back to her love of public libraries, she moved on to the Brighton District Library where she was the Head of Automation, making technology decisions, designing and maintaining their award-winning website, and conducting popular training sessions for staff and the public. She is currently a board member of the Belleville Area District Library and manages the downtown location of the Ypsilanti District Library, which is a very busy facility serving a diverse population. She has done almost every job that a library has to offer!
Librarianship is Mollie's second career; she was a professor of English in her first career, having earned a Ph. D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She returned to UIUC to earn a M.S. in Library & Information Science, and her second career has taken her on a quest for the perfect climate, from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, with stops at Carleton College (Northfield, MN) and the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is currently Head of Public Services and Associate Professor at NMU.
Describe yourself in three words or phrases
Universality of interests. Passionate. Intuitive.
What do you most like about working in libraries?
Mollie especially likes the variety in her job and that students say, “thank you.” She also likes that she does not have to grade papers!
The MLA Board of Directors is pleased to announce Gail Madziar as our new Executive Director. Gail brings more than 25 years of association experience. She comes to us from the Michigan Bankers Association where she spent the past 6 ½ years successfully crafting their public relations strategies, communications and membership. She led their education program and worked closely with MBA lobbyists.
“We are pleased to welcome Gail to the MLA. Her association background and experience are a great fit for the organization. I’m confident her leadership, creativity and passion will help us advance our goals and meet the challenges ahead,” said Lance Werner, MLA President.
“I’m honored to have been selected to join the MLA, and I look forward to working with members to advance the MLA mission,” Madziar said. “The association has done a great job advocating for the needs of libraries, and we can continue to build on the existing strengths as we strike out on new paths of growth and opportunity.”