GVSU Libraries Earns 2014 State Librarian's Excellence Award

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs (517) 241-4395
Agency: Education

October 13, 2014

LANSING – The 2014 State Librarian's Excellence Award for superior customer service has been awarded to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Libraries, State Librarian Randy Riley announced today.

Riley presents the annual award, including a prestigious trophy and $2,000 in privately donated funds, Thursday, October 16 during the Michigan Library Association's annual conference in Grand Rapids.

"Year after year, Michigan's libraries consistently expand services and find new ways to serve their communities," said Riley. "The 2014 nominations demonstrate how creative, impactful and diverse libraries are across the state. Michigan libraries of all types are successfully focusing on what is unique about their communities and are successfully tailoring services to meet those evolving needs."

The Library of Michigan Foundation and Library of Michigan (LM) present the State Librarian's Excellence Award and Citations of Excellence each year to highlight the importance of services provided by Michigan's libraries.

Cromaine District Library in Hartland and the Dorr Township Library in Allegan County each get a trophy and $500 for winning a 2014 Citation of Excellence.

The State Librarian's Excellence Award is sponsored by Roger Mendel and his late wife June Mendel. Gifts from Martin L. Gibbs, Carole Sorenson, and from Elaine M. Logan support the Citations of Excellence.

"Grand Valley State University Libraries is thrilled to receive the 2014 State Librarian's Excellence Award," said Lee Van Orsdel, dean of GVSU Libraries. "Giving great service is a core commitment of our staff, and something we've worked hard to achieve. We are grateful to the Library of Michigan and Foundation for this wonderful affirmation of our efforts."

GVSU Libraries serves a university community of more than 25,000 students at multiple campuses. The flagship campus in Allendale was chartered in 1960 and offers 200-plus areas of study. The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons opened in 2013. The staff has paired 21st Century facilities with an innovative and student-centered service ethic.

The organization offers innovative new technologies and the opportunity to try them in a supportive space. These include the Knowledge Market; the presentation practice rooms; Technology Showcase; and Open Everything exhibit.

Evaluation factors for the State Librarian's Excellence Award are:

  • Demonstrating that the library provides superior service to its customers and community in cost-effective manner; with a can-do attitude; and by always delivering on promises; and

  • Demonstrating the library's commitment to high standards of customer service through staff dealing with customers and the service community.
    In earning Citations of Excellence, Cromaine District Library of Hartland and Dorr Township Library of Allegan County also were recognized for their devotion to customer service.

The Cromaine District Library is a Class V library in Hartland Township. It serves all of Hartland and parts of five other townships within the Hartland Consolidated School District. It also is a pilot for the Michigan Humanities Council's Muslim Voices grant, and was awarded its seventh Big Read grant. This entailed 45 events in less than six weeks, including a sponsored writing contest and a jazz concert series.

Dorr Township Library is a Class III Library in Allegan County, serving a population of 7,500. The Library has undergone dramatic changes in the past year, providing signature programs such as the summer Comic Con; the annual Christmas concert; and DIY Your Spring Day.

The building itself was completely transformed inside by volunteer help, moving every book and shelf, and adding a fireplace. It is now a comfortable place with easy-to-reach materials, a Book Sale Room, and a Community Art gallery. The library board agreed to continue to serve without pay when a few community members challenged the library's budget. They also are proposing to become a "teaching board" to help teens interact with local government.