The Delaware County Library System (DCLS) held its annual Legislative Breakfast and Library Awards ceremony at the J. Lewis Crozer Library in Chester last Friday. Legislators and librarians from throughout Delaware County packed the lobby space as guests enjoyed the breakfast and awards ceremony.
“We are fortunate in Pennsylvania to have an exceptional library association. It’s well over 100 years old,” praised David Belanger, DDCLS director.
Attendees were thanked for their dedication to the library culture of creating access to learning. The event also emphasized the need for local communities to see the benefit of utilizing internet access at the libraries for children who have limited access and adults who are looking for employment.
“We continue to work in Harrisburg. I hope and pray that you all continue to work here as well with your elected officials on what will be a challenging time for the state budget in general and for libraries specifically,” said Glenn Miller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA), who also spoke about the vital role libraries play in promoting civic and social literacy.
Miller stressed the importance of nurturing relationships the library community has with local officials and to “keep at it.” He thanked local libraries for their collective effort to organize around the need for funding during a challenging economic time for the state.
“Thank you to all those individual libraries who make up this system and the friends and the trustees,” said Miller. “Your collective voices make a great difference. I hope you understand how blessed you are in Delaware County to have the kind of leadership you have, both at the library level and at the elected official level.”
“Everything has been rough for libraries across the board, however to know that we have an awesome system, the (DCLS), and elected officials’ (support), we’re grateful today knowing we have that support system and we’re looking forward to moving forward,” said LaKesha Logan, head of Children Services at the Crozer library.
State Rep. William F. Adolph, Jr. (R-165) received the Outstanding Public Official Award for his support of local libraries as majority House Appropriations Committee chairman.
“Representative is a longtime supporter of libraries,” said Delaware County Councilman John McBlain. “He was instrumental in (fiscal year) 2014 increases in state funding for libraries; the first increase libraries received in over a decade.”
Christine M. Rushton, technical services librarian and DCLS employee of 24 years at the Springfield Township Library received one of two Outstanding Library Employees awards along with her colleague, Darlene Walker, coordinator of technical processing, and a DCLS employee of 22 years at the Yeadon Library.
“With energy, enthusiasm and caring, Darlene, has done so much to improve the library experience for the residents of Yeadon,” praised Belanger. “Chris has an outstanding commitment to support local library services and has grown with the Delaware County Library System in experience and education.”
Also speaking was Mary Pat Lynam, DCLS board president, who compared a vintage Fun with Dick and Jane book to a modern iPhone; and PaLA’s current president, Janis Stubbs, DCLS’ assistant director, also spoke about the role libraries play in building a community.