UMI/Data Courier Presents Library Technology Award

Article excerpt

Early this year UMI/Data Courier announced the creation of an award to honor pioneering uses of technology in libraries. The award was established in cooperation with Learned Information, Inc., publishers of Information Today.

All nominations received were submitted to an independent panel for judging and on May 9, Rick Noble, UMI/Data Courier's Director of Online Marketing, presented the first annual Library Technology Award to Lenore Bright, director of the Ruby M. Sisson Library in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The presentation took place at the opening session of the 12th National Online Meeting in new York. The award consisted of a $1,000 check and a commemorative plaque.

Bright's nomination detailed how she transformed the Archuleta County Library from a one-room public library with absolutely no technology-based patron services into a new, 4,000 square foot library with a wide range of technologies available to the public.

Starting with seed money from an LSCA grant, Lenore Bright and the community raised $783,000 in two years and built a "model" library. The fund raising drive received contributions from a diverse group of donors: a newly formed Friends Group; summer residents; service clubs; 4H; local businesses; the school district; government officials; the media; and the Chamber of Commerce. A property owner was so impressed with the plans that he donated a prime piece of land for the library in the middle of town.

To ensure an ongoing base of support, a library district was formed with its own mill levy. The operating budget for 1991 is $169,000. The library budget in 1981 was $11,000.

As a result of Bright's initiatives, businesses and individuals have access to a wide range of resources via a pioneer, regional, micro-computer, inter-library loan network. Online searching seminars were offered to town and county administrators, funded by a state economic renewal program. Personal computers have been installed in the library. Library users have access to word processing programs, spreadsheets, database management software, desktop publishing software and several graphics packages. …