Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - May 23, 2017
May 23, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #7

Library Division Awards from Florida Library Association 2017


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Cheri Coryea, Director, Neighborhood Services Department, x 3468

Ava Ehde, Library Services Manager, Neighborhood Services Department, x 6301

Action Requested

Recognition of individual and team awards received from the Florida Library Association (FLA) at their annual conference on May 10 - 12, 2017.  These awards recognize the outstanding achievements accomplished throughout the past year in support of our community.

Ava Ehde, Library Services Manager, is the recipient of this year's prestigious FLA "Librarian of the Year" award.  The Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library is the recipient of this year's FLA "Friends, Foundations and Boards Outstanding Newsletter."

Enabling/Regulating Authority


Background Discussion

FLA is a statewide organization that promotes excellence in Florida libraries.  Annually, FLA honors outstanding libraries, individuals, and library supporters during its conference for the quality of their service to their local communities and to the library profession as a whole.  Last year, Manatee County Libraries was honored as the FLA "Library of the Year" because it reinvented and reenergized itself to fulfill community needs, drawing a record 3.7 million visits.  With six locations supporting a culturally and economically diverse area, the library remains engaged and relevant as a destination, publisher, literacy provider, and leader in the broader library community.

FLA Librarian of the Year:  Ava Ehde

Ava Ehde is the recipient of the FLA "Librarian of the Year" award.  At the helm since 2011, Ava has successfully turned around a static and underfunded library system into a multiple award winning one using innovation, team building, and compassion.  She is resolute about the library's importance as an equalizer for the 'have-nots,' making our facilities a vital part of the community and teaching staff to be less judgmental toward the disenfranchised who come through our doors.  Using her forward thinking, Ava was instrumental in expanding our new circulating collection, 'Library of things,' which includes telescopes and binoculars, baking pans, musical instruments, and assistive and adaptive technology to connect with the underserved community via outreach to the point of need.  Ava has worked diligently with the Library Board, six Friends groups, and the Library Foundation to let go of library stereotypes and embrace the new roles and services libraries must develop to stay relevant.  In this light, she has repurposed the public spaces so that we can easily make room for a fashion show runway, a career hiring event, or accommodate over 1,000 fans to listen to Rays baseball player Evan Longoria do a story hour.  Ava is involved in both FLA and ALA, serving on Florida's Leadership Development Committee and presenting at ALA.  She is also board president this year for the Tampa Bay Library Consortium and is one of 28 recent graduates nationally of the selective Public Library Association Leadership Academy.  In just five years as an administrator, Ava has reset the library's priorities, raised the morale of a struggling staff, energized us to be more compassionate and community-aware, and vaulted our reputation as an innovative organization that gets results.

Friends, Foundations, and Boards Outstanding Newsletter:  Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library

The Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library is the recipient of the FLA "Friends, Foundations, and Boards Outstanding Newsletter."  The Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library produce a semi-annual creative and eye-catching newsletter that promotes book sales, author luncheons, and events while celebrating past programs.  Under the visionary leadership of editor and President of the Friends' Group, Doris Pope, the newsletter is a truly collaborative effort by Friends Board members, volunteers, customers, and library staff.  Whether it is a promotional article about an upcoming author luncheon, a persuasive book review, or engaging pictures of a successful event, the Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library newsletter covers it all.  Input for the newsletter is gathered year-round with actual edition planning for the publication taking place 2 months prior to distribution.  Editor Doris Pope meticulously proofreads all submissions and creates the visually appealing layout, graphic design, and formatting with final approval of the Board.  The Friends' newsletter is the main source of information for the membership.  An electronic version is available on the website, www.friendsofrockybluff.org, and is sent to all members who have email, while a paper copy is shared with customers.  It is estimated that 250 - 300 people read any given edition of their newsletter.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Press Release - Manatee Libraries' Ehde Wins LOY Award.pdf
Attachment:  Rocky Bluff Newsletter Spring 2017.pdf