Stair Public Library wins state award 2009.11.11

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The standard has been raised, said Jim Seidl, Woodlands Library Cooperative director.leddy_at_podium.jpg

After Morenci’s Stair Public Library was honored Thursday with the State Librarian’s Excellence Award, Seidl figured it would be a little harder for next year’s winner to make the grade.

The award is presented annually by the Library of Michigan Foundation to a library that exemplifies customer service.

Candidates must demonstrate how the library provides superior services to patrons and the community in a cost-effective manner with a can-do attitude.

Stair became the first Class I library in the state—the smallest size library—to win the award in its nine-year history.

State Librarian Nancy Robertson announced the honor at a luncheon in Lansing’s Radisson Hotel, stating that Stair Public Library lives customer service.

The library generates a sense of pride for the community, Robertson said, and involves the entire community in its various programs.

She mentioned the program with Michigan Notable Book author Michael Rosenberg—including a tailgate party, marching band and guest speakers—all arranged at a cost of $100 and drawing 130 guests.

Robertson also noted how New York Times best seller Elizabeth Berg was charmed into visiting Morenci for an author chat, and how many other top authors have connected with the community via speakerphone chats.

Programs are often developed by asking patrons what they want, and then enlisting the help of a spectrum of community members to help make the events special.

Robertson quoted from Jim Seidl’s letter of support, stating that Stair doesn’t have a can-do attitude, it has a will-do attitude.

Stair library director Colleen Leddy addressed the crowd and explained how a Class I library with with a “fake” librarian—she has no library science degree—could win the state award for excellence.

The reason is community, she said, “a community of people who came together under the leadership of Liz Stella more than 12 years ago to build a library that could accommodate these programs, a community of people who continue to sustain and support the library.”

It takes a village to raise a library, she said, and she took her “village” to the stage with her, introducing two former library directors, a pair of supportive teachers, city officials, members of the Friends of Stair Public Library group, and others.

At the Morenci city council meeting Monday, Morenci mayor Keith Pennington spoke of the library’s award and said, “It brings honor to Morenci.”

Leddy told council members that the State Librarian presents the award to a library.

“It’s not my award, it’s for all of us,” she said, including her staff members at the meeting. “It’s really for the community. There’s a huge community effort in everything we do.”

She told council about a note from author Jeff Yeager who visited the library to talk about his book, “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Map to True Riches.”

When Yeager learned about Elizabeth Berg’s visit to Morenci, he wrote, “Why am I guessing/hoping that the Morenci public library is going to become the Woodstock-Farm-Aid of the library circuit?  You know, a venue where everyone who’s anyone must visit, despite the remote locale and compensation.

That notion sounds good to Leddy. She’s always searching for an interesting program.

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
  • Front.art.park
  • Front.drum
  • Shadow.salon

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016