Library District wins three NEFLIN awards: Member of the Year, Innovation and Golden Apple

September 24, 2015

Alachua County Library District (ACLD) received three awards at the Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) Annual Meeting in Jacksonville on September 18. ACLD won the Member of the Year, Innovation and Golden Apple awards. Winners included:

Alachua Branch Librarian Linda Dean won Member of the Year for her innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) program at Alachua Branch. Dean, with the help of a Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant used to purchase instructional materials and a 3D printer, created this summer program that used multiple digital literacy stations to engage students in creative and inventive learning all summer. This program continues after school this fall to provide additional STEAM learning opportunities for local students to learn, practice and improve their advanced level computer skills, 3D printing, coding and robotic creation. As stated in the award recognition, Dean's work has enhanced the culture and climate of her library and the community it serves.

The Sensory Storytimes launched in the spring won the Innovation of the Year award which recognizes a program/service that has demonstrated impact on the community. Youth Services Librarian Supervisor at Headquarters Gail Carr and Youth Services Manager Erin Phemester led a team from several branches who worked in cooperation with the University of Florida's Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) to create a Storytime that introduces children to the library and rhythms of Storytime in a gentle, fun and enriching manner. Other Sensory Storytime staff team members included: Alachua Branch Librarian Linda Dean, Millhopper Branch Manager Emily Young and Director of Public Services Chris Culp. Additional library staff members undertook special training to help improve staff communication to and understanding of children with different sensory needs. These Storytimes add another learning option to the Library District’s popular children’s programs and help address autism, the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. Sensory Storytimes are presented at three locations: Alachua, Headquarters and Millhopper Branches. 

And, the Library District captured its sixth Golden Apple Continuing Education award for its commitment to staff training and development and active participation in NEFLIN's training programs.

For more information, please visit the Library District’s eBranch at or contact Nickie Kortus at (352) 334-3909,


If a person with a disability needs an accommodation in order to participate in this event he or she is entitled, at no cost to him or her, to the provision of certain assistance.  Please contact the Alachua County Library District at 352-334-3910 at least three (3) days prior to the event.  TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).  

Press Release Archive