At the Rhode Island Library Association's Annual Conference, held at Salve Regina University on May 27 & 28, the association announced the 2015 award winners and voted in a new slate of Executive Board officers for the 2015-2017 term.
RILA's awards recognize individuals making important contributions to the field and serving the patrons of Rhode Island's libraries in unique and selfless ways. We congratulate the following 2015 honorees!
This year’s Outstanding Librarian Award was given to Julie DeCesare. In her role as Assistant Professor and Head of Education & Research at Providence College's Phillips Memorial Library, Julie coordinated instructional and educational opportunities between the library, campus community, and beyond. She also served as Member at Large for RILA from 2011-2015 and was instrumental in co-coordinating Money Smart Week - RI, a national financial literacy initiative of the Chicago Federal Reserve and American Library Association that has been adapted for Rhode Island audiences. When looking at her role in the profession, DeCesare said, “I am committed to Information and Financial Literacy initiatives, as well as positive outreach and awareness of library services on a statewide level.”
Trustee of the Year
The Trustee of the Year Award was shared by Nancy Chaput of the Cumberland Public Library and Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Mercer of the Ashaway Free Library.
Chaput has been a trustee at the Cumberland Public Library since 2007, serving as the board’s chair for the past four years. She has also been a Friend of the library for over 15 years, serving as president for most of that time. She also serves on the library’s Cumberland Library Fund, a non-profit group that started as a capital building campaign committee and evolved into overseeing the library’s endowments.
Mercer has served on Ashaway Free Library’s board of trustees for over 25 years. She is the resident historian for the library and the community whil also playing roles in helping to make sure the library gets the funds it needs while serving on the board’s physical plant, development, and community relations committees. She has also served as the board’s secretary and chair.
Board Officers, 2015-2017
Also during the Annual Business Meeting at the conference, the membership elected a new Executive Board. Following is the list of officers who will serve the 2015-2017 term: