Bellaire Public Library Earns 2021 State Librarian's Excellence Award

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

October 29, 2021

LANSING - Bellaire Public Library is the recipient of the 2021 State  Librarian's Excellence Award for superior customer service, State Librarian Randy Riley announced today.

"Selecting one library for this recognition is difficult," said Riley. "The number of events and programs that this Class I library offered during this last year was impressive. The library, described as 'small in size, but big at heart' and 'a beacon of positivity in dark times,' continued to strengthen its community connections and partnerships."

Library class sizes range from I through VI, with Class I being the smallest.

Riley presented the annual award, which includes $3,000 in privately donated funds, at the Michigan Library Awards event during the Michigan Library Association's virtual annual conference.

The Library of Michigan Foundation and Library of Michigan (LM) bestow the State Librarian's Excellence Award and Citations of Excellence Award annually to     highlight the importance of Michigan libraries' services.

This year's Citations of Excellence co-winners for their excellent customer service are the Auburn Hills Public Library in Auburn Hills and Willard Public Library in Battle Creek. Each library will receive $1,000 with this honor.

The State Librarian's Excellence Award is sponsored by the Roger and June B. Mendel Fund through the Library of Michigan Foundation. The Citation of Excellence Awards are funded by Martin L. Gibbs in memory of his late wife, Carole Sorenson, and the Library of Michigan Foundation, in recognition of former  Executive Director Carolyn "Sparky" Mowery.

"In a year when all libraries in Michigan have done a heroic job in connecting with patrons, supporting their communities, and providing on-the-fly services like virtual programming and curbside pick-up, Bellaire Public Library is especially honored to receive the 2021 State Librarian's Excellence Award," said Bellaire Public Library Director Cindi Place. "This award is also a recognition of all the hard and innovative work the staff at BPL have done to fulfill our goal of becoming the heart of our community. We may be little, but we dream big!"

"At a time of profound challenge, libraries have stepped up to provide their services in new and creative ways," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "Kudos to Bellaire Public Library for re-thinking its services and supporting its community during the pandemic. Read on, Bellaire! Read on, Michigan!"

Riley said the selection committee, comprised of representatives from public, school, academic and special libraries, was impressed with the amount of work the Bellaire Public Library accomplished with a small number of staff.

"Programs and services that garnered the selection committee's attention included staff checking in with patrons, library services to long-term care facilities, home delivery, learning and expanding virtual programming, offering 24/7 Wi-Fi access, and their partnership with the local school, chamber of commerce, and businesses," he said.

The State Librarian's Excellence Award evaluation factors include demonstrating that the library provides superior service to its customers and community through library programs and staff interactions with customers and the service community.

The State Librarian's Excellence Award program is in its 20th year. For more information about the award and the previous recipients, go to www.michigan.gov/MiStateLibrarian