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All Awards

2017 Outstanding Service Innovation Children's and Teen Neighborhood Collections

Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

NeighborhoodAwardNeighborhood Collections are a new way of organizing materials that is more responsive to the way that children and teens look for books. The program began in Henrico County Public Libraries (HCPL) in 2012, when Erin Lovelace, a Children’s Librarian in the county, noticed a need for children’s books to be organized by subject to improve ease of access. The first Neighborhoods were created for children, and the subjects were Dinosaurs, Transportation, and Farms. Each of these Neighborhoods included both fiction and non-fiction titles for preschool to early elementary children. The program was then expanded to encompass teen literature, and teen books were grouped into Neighborhoods based on emotion and mood. After assessing the program, both the Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections added to the customer experience and improved circulation of materials.

2016 NACo Achievement Award - SuperHero Science

SuperHero Science

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

During the summer of 2015, Children’s Librarians Rachel Sharpe and Kathleen Harris offered several interactive, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-based activities for children to explore while visiting the library. Superhero Science was created whereby each activity focused on a certain superhero trait, such as sight, speed, or balance, and incorporated scientific concepts, such as friction, measurement and magnetism. A small table near the children’s desk was designated as the Superhero Science station where the eight activities were displayed on a rotating basis. The activity station was on display for a total of eleven weeks during the summer and quickly became a favorite spot in the children’s section of the library. Each activity station included easy-to-follow directions and a scientific fact sheet. Some of the activity stations allowed children to use new technology such as a digital microscope, while others used everyday materials such as cut-up cardboard squares. All activities encouraged children to use their scientific reasoning skills and promoted informal learning opportunities in the library. By the end of the summer, parents reported feeling more comfortable talking about science with their children and children discovered that learning about STEM concepts could be fun.

2016 NACo Achievement Award - Literacy and Math Nights at the Library

Literacy and Math Nights at the Library

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Tangram StationSince the spring of 2013, the children’s department of the Tuckahoe Area Library partnered with a nearby Title I elementary school, Ridge Elementary, to host Literacy Nights and Math Nights each year for students and their parents. Since many of the families live within walking distance of the library, attendance at these events has consistently been high. On average, 150 students and family members have attended each program. Before the programs, Children’s Librarians Sue Van Tassel and Kathleen Harris, attend meetings with the teachers at the school to plan activities for the night. On the night of the program, teachers volunteer to assist with the program, along with library staff. Literacy Night is held in the fall of each year and Math Night in the spring. The popularity of these programs has helped the school to meet its goal of getting more parent participation and the library to meet its goal of reaching out to members of its community.

2016 NACo Achievement Award - 3 Books 4 Me

3 Books 4 Me

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

3 books 4 Me program displayHenrico County Public Library’s (HCPL) 3 Books 4 Me reader’s advisory service was developed in an effort to expand public service interactions with teen patrons. Teen services librarians began providing form-based and online readers’ advisory in February 2014. This service was so successful that in 2015 Henrico County Public Schools provided a link to the online form on their Summer Reading assignment sheets. Providing reading recommendations using this service allows library staff more time to provide thoughtful recommendations since there is not the immediacy of in-person interactions. Teens are provided at least three recommendations with links to the title in the HCPL online catalog. There they can read more about the title and place a request to have the item put on hold for them at their choice of pick-up location.

2016 Outstanding Cooperative Program with other Libraries or Agencies

Repurposing Library Assets

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

October 17, 2015 final photo of Dumbarton Library interiorWhen Henrico County closed an old library to make way for its new building, it had to make a decision about what to do with the collection of books and the building’s furnishings and fixtures. Rather than giving items that would not be used in the new library to the County surplus sale, Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) created an innovative program that repurposed the majority of the old collection and the building’s furnishings and fixtures. By reaching out and methodically inviting in other county departments to “shop” the leftovers, the Library was able to save the County money by responsibly repurposing most of the inventory to other departments, especially Henrico County Public School (HCPS) libraries, enhancing their collections and providing desired or needed furnishings and fixtures. The inter-departmental cooperation and communication that this program required was accomplished seamlessly and enthusiastically as everyone benefited and saw its value. Henrico County’s Finance Department Purchasing Division played a large part in reassigning these assets and helping to have them delivered to their new homes. With the creation of this program, Henrico will continue this repurposing tradition with the next opening of a new library.