Librarian of the Year: Stephanie Walker
Stephanie Walker became Dean of Libraries at the University of North Dakota's Chester Fritz Library in 2015. Over the course of her tenure, she organized and executed a renovation of the building, and persuaded the administration to significantly increase the library's base budget. The end result is a more welcoming library, better positioned to serve its patrons. In addition, she established a successful Open Educational Resources program, helping faculty at UND identify and adapt freely available course materials for their teaching instead of using expensive textbooks. The OERs program is estimated to have saved UND students some twelve million dollars in textbook expenses just in the past few years. For these achievements, NDLA is happy to name her the 2022 North Dakota Librarian of the Year. Stephanie has since found a new job as Dean of Libraries at the University of Masschusetts in Boston, and we wish her all the best going forward.
President's Award: BreAnne Meier
Every association runs on people, and NDLA is no exception. We need people to serve committee chairs, people to serve on committees, and in particular people to serve as officers of the organization. For years now, BreAnne Meier has been helping to find those people in her capacity as the Nominations Chair. She has spent countless hours seeking candidates for our elective offices. Her efforts have benefited NDLA tremendously, and for that, we recognize her with this year's President's Award for outstanding service. Thank you, BreAnne!
Major Benefactor Award: Oella Fuqua
Odella Fuqua is an accountant by profession. She began working with the Chester Fritz Library in about 2017, side by side with Stephanie Walker. She worked cheerfully to assist the library in both getting their accounts sorted out, and also in documenting the library's longstanding budget shortfalls and the reasons for them. Her careful, detailed work proved crucial in seeking an increase for the library's base budget of approximately $3 million dollars, which was approved. For that, NDLA is happy to recognize Odella Fuqua as one of this year's Major Benefactors. Congratulations, Odella!
Major Benefactor Award: The Robert E. Herman Family Foundation
Over the past several years, the Robert E. Herman Trust has awarded the Williston Community Library over $170,000. The funds awarded to the library were slated for several different programs - Children’s furniture, the children’s librarian’s desk, bookshelves, materials, summer reading program, children’s technology, steam kits, special events, and so much more! Recently, the Williston Community Library was able to complete the Community Room with funds awarded from the Robert E. Herman Family Foundation; to include installing new technology, lighting, paint, and carpet... Through their generosity, the library was able to present a brand new space. Another donation from this foundation awarded the library $50,000 towards the 2023 purchase of the Williams County Bookmobile. "Without donors like the Robert E. Herman Family Foundation, we would not be able to serve our community these wonderful opportunities." - Lea Heiney, Williston Community Library Board President