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Winners Announced in 21st Annual Berks County Public Libraries Awards Celebration

by Berks County Public Libraries

Winners Announced in 21st Annual Berks County Public Libraries Awards Celebration

On March 6, Berks County Public Libraries honored leadership and service excellence during its 21st annual Awards Celebration. Presented at the Berks County Agricultural Center in front of a packed auditorium, the event recognized individuals and organizations for their support and contributions to public libraries in Berks County.

Members of the library community nominated individuals, groups, or events that demonstrated outstanding commitment or service to their library and patrons. The Berks County Public Libraries (BCPL) Advisory Board considered nominations from 2023 and announced the category winners during the ceremony.

The evening began with the presentation of the Linda Baer Friend of the Year award. This award is presented in honor of Linda Baer, past President of the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries. First established in 2016, the award held special significance this year following Linda’s passing in 2023. She was a driving force behind the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries for nearly 20 years, and this award aims to recognize the significant and substantial commitment of time, energy, and creativity of a single member of a local library Friends organization. For her exceptional leadership skills and tireless dedication, Diane Pawling of the Friends of the Mifflin Community Library received this year’s award.

Advisory Board member Helen Flynn presented the Outstanding Library Volunteer award to Tori Johnson of the Fleetwood Area Public Library. Many in the audience wiped away tears during the speech by Tori’s mother, Jennifer, who expressed sincere gratitude to the library for providing an opportunity to Tori, who has a deaf/blind diagnosis. In her nomination, Fleetwood Library Director Christie Brown noted, “Tori is always such a bright spot in our day, and we are very grateful for everything she does here.”

The full list of award recipients from the 20th annual awards celebration is as follows:

The Berks County Public Library (BCPL) System is a department of the County of Berks, serving 428,849 county residents across 866 square miles and 72 municipalities since 1986. Through the support of the Berks County commissioners, BCPL staff aids in strengthening the Berks County community by providing centralized support for the 19 full-service member libraries and four branches. For more information, please visit www.berkslibraries.org.