For Immediate Release
Contact: 
Sean Bonney
Community Engagement Manager
FOR MEDIA ONLY
CRRL wins Virginia Library Association Awards
Fredericksburg, Virginia, July 9, 2019 - Central Rappahannock Regional Library has been recognized by the Awards & Recognition Committee of the Virginia Library Association (VLA).
"[Winners were selected] from a very competitive application pool. Librarians and library project teams from academic, public, and special libraries across the commonwealth are honored for their exemplary contributions to their communities and profession in 2018."
Dr. Samuel Smart, former CRRL Library Board member, has been recognized for his consistent and tireless advocacy and support for the library during his long tenure on CRRL's Board of Trustees.

Dr. Samuel Smart dedicated 16 years of service to the library, championing CRRL's budget requests and advocating for staff raises, increases to the materials allocation, and the expansion of library services.

A well-known optometrist for 47 years, Dr. Smart retired from practice in December 2018 and is enjoying retirement with his wife Laura.
Joy O’Toole, Adult Services Programmer at Howell Branch, has received this award for fostering communication among library employees throughout the Commonwealth and advancing and strengthening the image of professional library associates. Joy was selected for her embodiment of the ideals of customer service, her ability to make connections with customers and coworkers alike, and her enthusiasm and leadership. The Awards & Recognition Committee was particularly impressed by Joy’s initiatives to connect and support local authors through the Inklings program, special events, and CRRL’s Rappahannock Writers Conference. 
FRONT (left to right): Darcie Caswell, Tina Bialecki. BACK: Tina Evans, Megan Northcote, Quettara Drayton, Katie Heslop, and Josie Wold.
CRRL's  Creative Minds initiative, under the leadership of Youth Services Coordinator  Darcie Caswell, and in coordination with  Tina Bialecki, Paragon Autism Services’s Director of Community Outreach and Education, has been chosen for the Public Innovator Award for making an outstanding contribution to advance the mission of the public library.

Creative Minds is a class specially created for children with autism and other special needs at an elementary developmental level. The goal of the program is to create a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment where students are given the tools and support they need to learn at their own pace and in their own way. Adult caregivers stay in the room with the children and family members are welcome, ensuring Creative Minds is an opportunity to meet and socialize in an enjoyable learning experience.
Darcie Caswell has been committed to the education of young people for over twenty years, first as a teacher and now as a librarian. As Youth Services Coordinator for Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Darcie leads a Youth Services team of twenty-six enthusiastic, creative staff dedicated to providing educational opportunities across CRRL’s service area.
Darcie Caswell, Tina Bialecki
Tina Bialecki has had the privilege of working with children with special needs in many capacities and settings for close to thirty years and is proud to serve the special needs community in her role as Paragon Autism Services’s Director of Community Outreach and Education. Paragon Autism Services is a well-respected, award-winning ABA company in the Central and Northern part of Virginia which prides itself on its mission to “give back to the community.”
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For more information, contact Director Martha Hutzel,  martha.hutzel@crrl.org, 540-372-1144 x7003.

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