The Norman Transcript

Local news

July 15, 2014

PLS selected as a ‘top innovator’

NORMAN — The Pioneer Library System has been selected by the Urban Libraries Council as one of its 2014 “Top Innovators.”

The award was presented during the Next Libraries Conference last month in Chicago.

A panel of expert judges selected PLS from more than 180 applications in the fifth annual ULC Innovations Initiative. 

PLS was honored in the Health, Wellness & Safety category for its virtual response after the May 2013 tornado outbreak that affected all three counties in the system.

The PLS Virtual Library implemented response and communication to keep both residents of library communities and library staff informed about library service and other valuable tornado relief information.

Steps taken in the immediate response and aftermath of the storms, as well as processes implemented to address future severe weather, are models for any libraries facing a disaster in their community.

In announcing the 2014 Top Innovators, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said the 12 award-winning libraries and systems — and every library that submitted programs for the Innovation Awards this year — demonstrate the amazing work that takes place in libraries every day. 

Also at that conference, PLS Assistant Director Lisa Wells was named as one of three national recipients of ULC’s Joey Rodger Leadership Award.

The award offers directors or senior managers in the library industry a chance to develop their leadership skills.

The $5,000 award may be used to attend an established leadership development program or pursue an individualized program that involves working with a leadership development expert/mentor. Wells and the other award recipients will be invited to share lessons from his/her experience with the ULC membership via an essay, webinar or comparable knowledge product. 

PLS Director Anne Masters is a former recipient of the award.

Mary Blankenship Pointer, who has served the past year as chair of the PLS Board of Trustees, also was selected to the executive board for the Urban Libraries Council for the 2014-2015 term.

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