Midland's Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Wins State Librarian's Excellence Award for Innovative, Top-Notch Service; Helena Township Public Library and Salem-South Lyon District Library Earn Citations of Excellence

Contact: Casey Warner (517) 373-5578

Oct. 28, 2005

Acting State Librarian Nancy Robertson today announced that the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library in Midland is the recipient of the 2005 State Librarian's Excellence Award for exemplary public service.  The Library of Michigan Foundation gives this prestigious honor, which includes a trophy and $5,000 in privately raised funds to be used for library service, to one Michigan library annually.  Robertson presented the award - made possible, for the second year in a row, through the support of Hantz Group - yesterday during the Michigan Library Association annual conference at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

The Helena Township Public Library in Alden and the Salem-South Lyon District Library each received a Library of Michigan Foundation Citation of Excellence.

"The libraries we recognized serve as outstanding examples of what an incredible community resource a public library can be, and these three are just the tip of the iceberg," said Robertson.  "Many other libraries around the state show the same dedication to giving Michigan residents the best possible access to information and abundant opportunity for learning and enriching their lives."

"We are proud to be included with the other libraries who have achieved this recognition," said Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Director Melissa Barnard.   "Submitting the nomination for this award provided us with the opportunity to discuss and review our accomplishments; winning the award is a thank-you to the library board and staff for their ongoing commitment to service improvements and to the community for their strong support."

The Grace A. Dow Memorial Library "shines in its commitment to innovation, superior customer service, and proactive and effective collaboration with its community," according to Robertson.  Examples of this focus on excellent service include: a new, Web-based catalog that provides book reviews; an automated telephone service that allows patrons without Internet access to review account information from home; an in-library café established in partnership with, and staffed by, an employment and training organization for those with special needs; partnerships with various community organizations to provide poetry readings, author visits, science presentations, tax assistance for patrons, and a teen volunteer program; and a special area of the library set aside to meet the needs of teens.

Criteria for the State Librarian's Excellence Award are demonstrating that the library provides new, innovative and superior services to its customers in a cost-effective manner, with a can-do attitude and by always delivering promises; demonstrating the library's commitment to high standards of customer service through staff dealings with customers and synergy within the staff through a coordinated approach to supporting customers; and demonstrating that the library is a team player through its collaborations in the community.

Hantz Group, Inc., based in Southfield, Mich., is a full-service financial holding company founded in January 1998.  For more information, visit www.hantzgroup.com.

The Library of Michigan Foundation was established in 1985 to secure funds for the Library of Michigan in order to strengthen and support the relevancy, availability and accessibility of its resources and services to all Michigan residents.  For more information, visit http://www.libraryofmichiganfoundation.org/.

The Library of Michigan - Michigan's official state library agency for more than 175 years - is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.  Dedicated to enriching the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Historical Center.