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Iconic Sage Library, dating to 1884, is part of a Library of Michigan award for customer service.

LIBRARY HONORS: Bay County System Wins Excellence Award

Citation Given for Library's Customer Service, Community Efforts

October 11, 2018       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Bay County Library System's four branches should have blue ribbons tied on their front doors.

The Bay County Library System (BCLS) has earned the 2018 State Librarian's Excellence Award for its superior customer service, State Librarian Randy Riley has announced.

The award embraces the four branches, the Jack and Alic Wirt Library and Sage Library in Bay City, plus Auburn and Pinconning branches.

Riley will present the annual award, including $3,000 in privately-donated funds, at the Michigan Library Association's annual conference in Novi on October 17.

"With all of the great libraries in Michigan, it's very difficult to pick just one for this award," Riley said. "The Bay County Library System has transformed its community by providing vital opportunities to learn and connect. The community is at the forefront of everything it does."

The Library of Michigan Foundation and Library of Michigan (LM) present the State Librarian's Excellence and Citations of Excellence awards each year to highlight the important services provided by Michigan's libraries.

The 2018 Citations of Excellence went to the Morton and Richmond township libraries in Mecosta and Palmer, respectively. Each library receives $1,000 for the honor.

The State Librarian's Excellence Award is sponsored by the Roger and June B. Mendel Fund through the Library of Michigan Foundation. The Citation of Excellence Awards are funded by Martin L. Gibbs in memory of his late wife, Carole Sorenson; and the Library of Michigan Foundation, in recognition of former Executive Director Carlyon?

"Receiving the State Librarian's Excellence Award is a wonderful testament to the good work the staff at Bay County Library System does every day," BCLS Director Trish Burns said. "Making the library an integral part of the community is what we're all about. We love to partner and collaborate and actively try to find ways to say 'yes' to new opportunities for our patrons."

"We're grateful for a wonderful community and a supportive board of trustees who let us take chances and embrace new ideas."

Excellence Award evaluation factors include:

*Demonstrating that the library provides superior service to its customers and community in a cost-effective manner, with a can-do attitude;

*Always delivering on promises; and

Fulfilling the library's commitment to high standards of customer service The award selection committee was comprised of representatives from public, school, academic and special libraries.

Riley said BCLS was recognized for its partnership with Saginaw Valley State University to create the Bay Area Writing Center, housed at the Wirt Library. The center offers free writing workshops and one-on-one tutoring to everyone in the community.

Under Burns's direction, the staff has strategically increased its outreach countywide. Staffers regularly visit senior centers, assisted living centers, and foster care visitation centers to bring the library to the community. BCLS also organizes blood drives, serves as a collection point for baby blankets and children's coats, and collects school supplies for students in the fall.

Receiving Citations of Excellence, Morton Township Library and Richmond Township Library also are being recognized for their devotion to customer service.

Morton Township Library prides itself on providing open and equal service to the community. It actively fosters life-long learning in diverse programs, while providing digital content; developing programs for children, teens, and adults; and creating an after-school Discovery Club.

Richmond Township Library, in Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula, serves about 900 residents. Almost half of the local families actively participated in the facility?s family summer reading program this year, and its winter adult programs regularly attract 25-plus attendees. For a small community, these programs have a big impact.

# # # The Library of Michigan is an agency within the Michigan Department of Education and is dedicated to providing the people of this State and their government one perpetual institution to collect and preserve Michigan publications, conduct reference, and research and support libraries statewide. To learn more, visit

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
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