July, 17, 2020, LEHI, UT—SirsiDynix's 2020 Power of Libraries Award winners were announced at Connections Summit: Directors Edition. The Power of Libraries Award is given every year to acknowledge the work libraries do to support and uplift their communities. This year's winners are: Boone County Public Library, Hamilton East Public Library, and Broward County Libraries.
Boone County Public Library's (BCPL) Local History Department recognized the need for a comprehensive initiative to compile and disseminate African American and Underground Railroad history in Boone County, Kentucky and to give voice to a population within the community who were silenced for centuries. Launched by BCPL in 2014, the African Americans of Boone County Initiative includes several projects developed to connect the community to Boone County's African American history, culminating in the Kentucky Borderlands database project. Through the initiative, BCPL has brought to light the issues of enslavement within Boone County's history and helped the community to acknowledge its past and those who were enslaved.
Hamilton East Public Library in Indiana dedicated an entire floor of their library to create "Ignite," a makerspace that unifies the community through sharing ideas, projects, and creative processes. The space gives patrons access to 3D printers, pottery wheels, laser engravers, professional audio/video production studio and equipment, sewing machines, maker-kits, and more. As more and more members of the community use and benefit from the space, artists have volunteered to share their expertise, instruction, and insight. Ignite also offers formal classes such as woodworking, oil painting, and costume design that are available for patrons to enroll in as they expand their skill set.
Broward County Libraries in Florida offer support and resources to help veterans acclimate to civilian life through the Veterans Connect Program. In an effort to support their veterans, Broward County Public Libraries instituted a "hotspot" program where veterans and their families can check out hotspots for internet usage for up to four months. The libraries provide this at no cost for veterans, whether they're looking for career development, managing finances, or recreation. The hotspots are one of many ways in which Broward County Libraries support veterans. Other resources include a "Creation Station," resume writing, occupational support, and more. Broward also hosts an annual Veterans Festival to connect veterans with people providing housing, personal finance consulting, and small business loans to veterans. Veterans Connect has been a success within Broward County and continues to serve and empower members of their community.
Watched by nearly 3000 people this year, Connections Summit: Directors Edition is an annual online conference for library directors. "We are proud to announce the Power of Libraries winners at this year's Directors Edition of Connections Summit," said Eric Keith, Chief Marketing Officer at SirsiDynix. "The award winners are truly inspiring, and we were honored to give them a spotlight at this year's summit."
"Each of these libraries have made inspiring contributions to the development of their communities. Libraries' continued hard work and community impact is the reason we created this award, and this year's winners are no exception" said SirsiDynix CEO Bill Davison. "We are grateful for these valuable contributions and are proud to present them with this year's Power of Libraries award."
SirsiDynix believes in the power of libraries. Transforming and shaping their communities every day, that power inspires us to connect people with knowledge at more than 23,000 libraries worldwide. SirsiDynix technology combines relevant resources with the Best Library User Experience (BLUE). With our Best-of-Breed approach, SirsiDynix gives libraries the greatest and most expansive range of options for their software. Complemented by the most experienced training, consulting, and support staff in the industry, SirsiDynix helps libraries to reach their highest potential while serving their communities. To find out more, visit www.sirsidynix.com.