Alachua County Library District (ACLD) brought home three awards from the Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) conference last week.
Pictured from the left: Linda Dean, Library Director Shaney T. Livingston and Gail Carr.
Librarian Linda Dean won Member of the Year for her innovative STEAM program at Alachua Branch. Dean, with the help of a grant from Dollar General used for instructional materials and to purchase 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 for local youth continues after school this fall to provide additional STEAM learning opportunities such as 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. Librarian Supervisor 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. 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 another Golden Apple Continuing Education award for its commitment to staff training and development and active participation in NEFLIN's training programs.
Other Sensory Storytime staff team members included: Linda Dean, Millhopper Branch Manager Emily Young and Director of Public Services Chris Culp.