Palm Beach County Library System Staff Receive FLA Awards & Scholarships

The Palm Beach County Library System was recognized with two 2021 Florida Library Association (FLA) Awards on Wed, Apr 28. Library Director Douglas Crane received the Librarian of the Year award and the Birding Backpacks program was recognized with the Library Innovation award. Library Training and Technical Supervisor Jennifer Gallagher and Library Associate Melanie Norberto received FLA Library & Information Science graduate scholarships.

Below is a highlight from the Florida Libraries, the official journal of the Florida Library Assocation:

Librarian of the Year

Doug Crane is an inclusionary leader who exemplifies compassion, vision, communication, and efficiency. Since his appointment as Director of the Palm Beach County Library System Doug has led the organization through major changes, including revising the mission and strategic plan, strengthening the work culture, and improving communication. In 2020, Doug led his system in the face of extraordinary challenges. Between a pandemic, a Presidential visit, and the threat of two hurricanes, his steady hand supported the needs of staff and the community. His contributions to the profession stretched across the state and country including work with FLA and ALA. His articles and workshops enhanced librarianship. For this work, Doug is worthy of recognition as the Librarian of the Year.

Library Innovation

The Palm Beach County Library System, in partnership with Friends of the Palm Beach County Library and the Audubon Society of the Everglades created birding backpacks - kits with an adult pair of professional grade binoculars, two children's binoculars, wipes, and a guide to Florida birds in May 2019. Available in all 17 branches and the Bookmobile, these kits have circulated over 270 times (3 week circulation period). As a result of its success, the Library System has been sought out by other libraries around the United States to recreate this popular kit. Birding Backpacks are the culmination of a 40 year relationship with the Audubon Society of the Everglades, and an enhancement to a collection of ornithological periodicals spanning decades and over 1060 monographs.