Group Photo

left to right: Christi Buker, Beth Nawalinski, Glenn Miller and Denise Sticha

Friends Institute 2017

The 4th Annual Friends Institute sponsored by Pennsylvania Citizens For Better Libraries was held on September 11, a sunny autumn Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Grantville PA. Over 80 members of Friends of Libraries organizations, trustees and board member of local Pennsylvania libraries, and library staff attended the full day event. Special guests included Glenn Miller, Deputy Secretary of Education, Commissioner of Libraries, and Christi Buker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Library Association.

To get everyone inspired, Beth Nawalinski, the Executive Director of United for Libraries, the national

Beth Nawalinski

Friends of Libraries organization under the guidance of the American Library Association gave the key note address. Her remarks, “Strengthening the Library’s Profile in Your Community: Effective Networking and Advocacy for Friends,” jumpstarted the day with strategies for building successful and mutually beneficial relationships between libraries and the communities they serve.

Institute participants had an opportunity to attend several break-out sessions which included presentations about sales tax and small games of chance laws, the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Star Library program, bylaws and policies for effective organizational governance, innovative fundraising, and building strong working relationships among library Friends, Boards and staff.

During the buffet lunch, PCBL conducted its 38th annual business meeting at which time the slate of new officers for 2018 was elected. Greg Thomas, President of the Friends of the James V Brown Library in Williamsport was elected to a two year term as PCBL president, Deborah Dorshimer of the Upper Darby Twp and Sellers Memorial Library is the new Vice President, Brandt Ensor, Director of the Trone Memorial Library in East Berlin will serve as Treasurer and Marcia Wilson, of the Littlestown Community Library Friends, continues as our Secretary.

Allison Latagliata and Carolyn Pfeifer

left to right: Allison Latagliata and Carolyn Pfeifer

The PCBL Board also recognized Allison Latagliata as our new Executive Secretary, replacing Carolyn Pfeifer. Carolyn retired in July after serving the organization for more than a decade as our first ever Executive Secretary. Allison is also the Director of the Marian Sutherland Kirby Library in Mountain Top PA.

Also during the lunch the organization presented its annual awards to a number of well deserving library advocates and supporters. Receiving awards this year were:

Gary Klobchar, of Milestone Financial Group, nominated by Amanda Kirby of the Western Allegheny Community Library as the PCBL Business Friend of the Year.

The Friends of the Pittston Memorial Library as the PCBL Friends Group of the Year.

Amy Walsh, Community Relations Specialist for Wellspan Health, nominated by Rebecca Lawrence, of the Ephrata Public Library for the PCBL Friends Public Relations Award

Barbara Baughman nominated by Janet Eldred and the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, our organizations highest recognition of exceptional meritorious service to libraries over an extended period of time.

A new feature and popular feature to the Institute this year, was a Swap and Shop table. Friends groups were invited to bring copies of newsletters, brochures, fliers, and other examples of their involvement to share with other Institute participants.

Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment of all the individuals nominated for an award. The Board also recognized and thank Al Kamper, Chair of the Awards, Membership and Education committees of PCBL for once again bringing a stellar opportunity for continuing education, networking and professional development to our Pennsylvania library community.

And, in case you missed all the fun in 2017. Mark your calendar now for the 2018 Institute to be held Saturday, September 15 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North in Cranberry PA. Visit often to find out more about our plans for the coming year.

submitted by:  Denise Sticha