Congratulations to SCRLC's
2020 Award Winners
SCRLC Spirit Award
Acknowledges a SCRLC library staff member, trustee, or administrator who provides outstanding service or support to SCRLC and demonstrates the value of belonging to a system.

Virgilio Pinto, ILL Lending Coordinator
Ithaca College Library

Virgilio has been involved with the council since joining the Ithaca College Library Staff eight years ago. For the past several years he has served as an active Chair of the SCRLC Resource Sharing Advisory Committee, helping to develop the agendas and expertly facilitating their meetings. Virgilio is also actively engaged in IDS, serving on the annual conference planning committee. Because his reach is outside the region and even national, he has been able to provide ILL/Resource Sharing updates for our Outreach Services Librarian, Molly Brown, to share with the rest of the region via our resource sharing listserv.
Virgilio is also committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both at Ithaca College and at SCRLC. This past year, he joined SCRLC’s DEI Advisory Committee and helped with the development of a DEI IMLS grant application. He was also a facilitator for the Ibram X. Kendi How to be an Antiracist book discussion.
There is something else that Virgilio has contributed to SCRLC this year: Positivity. He has attended many of our member meetups and Resource Sharing meetups, and though the stress of COVID-19 has been crashing around us for the past seven months, Virgilio has helped the SCRLC staff and everyone else attending the meetups to focus on the positive.
Librarian of the Year

Doris Jean Metzger, Teen Librarian
Steele Memorial Library, Chemung County Library District 

Doris Jean is the Teen Librarian at the Steele Memorial Library, a large library in the middle of the City of Elmira. Our children's programming is excellent, and our adult services area takes up the entirety of the 2nd floor of the library. But the Teen Collection was relegated to a few small shelves in between the Children's Dept. and the newspaper lounge. It was not inviting to teens and finding programming space for teen events was an ongoing challenge. Doris Jean wanted to retain the young readers we had attracted to the library during their childhood years and knew we needed a space for them in order to do that.

Ms. Metzger was the driving force behind the planning and implementation of a new Teen Space for the library. She empowered the Teen Advisory Group to offer their suggestions, and together they presented to the Library Board about why a space for teens was needed. For the first time, teens in Elmira have a space all their own in the library. It is popular as a place to hang out and play video games. The teens now enjoy their own space in order to hold classes and events.

Doris Jean Metzger routinely goes above and beyond for her patrons, offering yearly dances for teens after-hours and decorating the entire library for them. These events are hugely popular, and offer something to teens not found anywhere else in our city. 

When the pandemic hit, Doris Jean quickly pivoted to offering virtual programming to her teens, and sent out cheerful and comforting messages on social media. They offered virtual programming and outreach as well as positive messages on social media for the local teens. Doris Jean continues to hold virtual programming in the midst of this ongoing pandemic. Some of her latest innovative programming events include a monthly subscription box (free) to teens called the "De-Stress and Read" box which includes a calming craft or activity and a book. She holds amazon gift card drawings, a weekly make a mask kit, virtual D&D, and several art and life coaching classes.

Nothing can keep Doris Jean down. She lives and breathes Teen Services. Even during COVID, when given the choice to work virtually, she came in every day to provide continuity of service and to improve the Teen Space. For her indomitable spirit and dedication to her patrons, she is a natural choice for Librarian of the year.

Nominated by Maggie Young
Library Assistant of the Year

Natalie Skwarek
Public Services Coordinator, Digital Projects & Archives Assistant 
Herrick Memorial Library, Alfred University

Natalie has worked at Herrick Memorial Library for 8 years and is known among staff and patrons for her kind and loving spirit and for her unrelenting dedication and willingness to help others (both two and four-legged).

Natalie juggles her many duties gracefully and is a member of AU Libraries Public Services, Archives and Digital Projects Teams. Her Digital Projects Team leader describes Natalie as a thoughtful and extremely positive co-worker. “I always appreciate Natalie's positive outlook and approach during meetings, as well as her ability to seamlessly manage the many roles she plays in the day-to-day running of the libraries.” She enjoys contributing to others success as well, lending valuable support with training and guidance in Library digital projects and workflows for the newest member of our team.

Natalie has meticulous habits in her approach to work and is sure to be effective in her practices. Her Archives Team Leader notes the value of these skills in the Archives. “Natalie continues to be an essential member of the Archives and Special Collections team. She can always be counted on to approach her work thoughtfully and to be invested in the process and outcome of projects and research. She actively thinks about how to improve services and fully participates in Archive Team meetings and projects. It's obvious that she cares about her work and does everything she can to ensure that what she does is done well.”

Her Public Services Team leader shares that “Natalie is respected by the student employees for her caring and nurturing approach to leadership and mentorship. Natalie always has a listening ear for a student, patron or colleague. She maintains a high standard of customer service and is a positive representative of the libraries and the University. Her integrity and courtesy garners respect from her colleagues as evidenced by her being chosen as the Herrick staff representative on the recent Library Dean Search Committee.

Furthermore, Natalie’s calm and reassuring nature has helped us get through the COVID- 19 pandemic. When the Public Services Team was called back to onsite work in order to prepare the buildings for the return of students, Natalie dove into the daunting task of setting up new traffic flow patterns, socially distanced study spaces and creating makeshift classrooms in what were previously group study spaces. In helping to rearrange a three story building she learned just how aerobic working in a library can be! No matter how stressful a situation nor how dark the clouds overhead can be, Natalie can always find a bright side.

When not in the libraries, Natalie can be found volunteering at the SPCA serving Allegany County. She devotes many hours caring for and visiting with the animals in the shelter. She also writes SPCA blog posts spotlighting the animals available for adoption to help them find their forever homes. In 2019, Natalie coordinated with the SPCA, Herrick and Scholes Libraries, AU students and the Alfred community to organize a highly successful a supply drive to benefit the shelter. All of us at AU Libraries feel fortunate to have her as a colleague and friend. 

Submitted by Mechele Romanchock
Best Video Award (The Tubie)

"Resnick Library Welcome Video"
Mildred & Louis Resnick Library, SUNY Delhi

The Resnick Library faculty and staff created this video in response to the ongoing pandemic when they realized that many of the students they normally see each semester would not be able to come in to the library. In an effort to reach these students and inform them of services available through the library, as well as to assure them that real people are behind those screens, they created this video! The video may be short, but it provides a brief introduction to the library staff, reassures students, and gives multiple options for ways in which to get in touch with staff.

The video is available on the Library’s You Tube channel, has been shared via the library’s Facebook page, and sent out to the campus’ Deans to share with faculty. 

Nominated by Carrie Fishner
Library Sustainability Award

James M. Milne Library, SUNY Oneonta

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the library partnered with RAC (Revival of Apparel Club) to host a DIY series including:
  • A Mending Workshop where students learned how to fix their damaged and torn clothes. Students were also given a free sewing kit!
  • RAC taught students how to repurpose old jeans into storage jars. Pictures from the event can be found at the RAC's Instagram page.
  • RAC taught students how to make clutches from upcycled denim.
  • On Oct. 14th, the library hosted “Sustainable Study Tips” where they collaborated with the Office of Sustainability and the Student Learning Center to teach students how to make a recycled notebook and highlight ways students can be sustainable environmentally and academically.

Additionally, the library sustainability committee is “greening” up the lounge, using reusable dishes and silverware in place of disposables. They are also collecting things to recycle such as batteries and toothpaste tubes in coordination with the Office of Sustainability. The library has also installed motion detection lighting and hydration stations to further their sustainability initiatives.

Nominated by Tammy Southard