Newsletter -- From the Ground Up
Honored for 46 years of service
Francis Cherney receives ‘Cornerstone Award’
Francis Cherney has served public libraries since 1969, and on Nov. 20, 2014, he was honored for his efforts as the recipient of the South Central Library System Foundation Cornerstone Award.
“There is no more deserving recipient than Francis Cherney,” said former SCLS Foundation Board President Janet Pugh. “We are honored tonight to be able to recognize Francis for his selfless service to public libraries in Wood County, throughout the South Central Library System, and across Wisconsin. I’ve known and worked with Francis for years, and this is a fitting tribute to a selfless supporter of public libraries.”
The award is given to an individual or individuals who have had a significant and long-term impact on enhancing public libraries in South Central Wisconsin and represent the values and mission of the SCLS Foundation
Francis began his public service in 1969 when he started a six-year stint as the town clerk. It was during this time that he started on the Wood County Library Board, serving ever since. He later became a member of the Wisconsin Valley Library System board, and served there until Wood County joined the South Central Library System. He has served as a member of the South Central Library System Board since that time.
In addition to this library service, former Gov. Jim Doyle appointed Francis to the Council on Libraries and Network Development.
Francis was a frequent participant in National Library Legislative Day in Washington, DC, as a member of the South Central Board. He has also been very involved in the Wood County Farm Bureau Board.
This sixth annual Cornerstone Award Reception continued a fundraising tradition that has raised more than $75,000 for the foundation.
“The annual Cornerstone Award fundraising reception is a great way to celebrate public libraries and honor an individual for a lifetime of work,” said Cindy Fesemyer, Foundation Board president.
Middleton, Portage & Verona receive awards
Middleton, Portage, and Verona Public Libraries received the first of three new awards presented by the SCLS Foundation in recognition of their efforts in 2014.
The awards were presented Nov. 20 during the 2014 Cornerstone Award Reception at the 5100 Bar in McFarland. The awards and their nomination descriptions are below. Photos from the event are available on the SCLS Facebook Page.
Super Awesome Library Award -- For the library that was overall awesome in 2014. Maybe they handled a tough situation with grace. Or took a new approach. Or found a lot of money under a rock and did something really cool with it. Or got a lot of local support and kudos because they play well with others. Or are just plain super awesome every day.
Middleton Public Library -- In 2014, Middleton Public Library staff engaged the community through new and creative collaborations including outreach to students attending afterschool programs, designing an art venue -- Community Canvases -- for local artists then combined them all to create one amazing mosaic, made visits to the American Family Hospital, provided their community with a Return On Investment Report, provided trolley rides to second-graders from all five of the elementary school to the library for a tour and card registration, reached out to at-risk students at Middleton’s Clark Street School, and partnered with various city departments to offer programs for kids and families (gardening, art, literature). In addition, Middleton was awarded a $15,000 Monsanto Grant that will engage local experts as instructors at their mobile Media Maker Lab in 2015 and will be hosting its first ever Read Together Middleton program.
Program Wizard Award -- For a super creative, innovative and fun library program created by library staff. In the library or out. For babies or seniors or anyone in between. A one-off or a regular series.
Portage Public Library -- Portage Public Library partnered with local public schools to provide summertime meals to school age children and their families. Kids on free and reduced lunch lose access to food over the summer months while school is on break. Working together, library and schools provided free lunches at the library, bringing kids and families in to nourish their bodies and their minds during those critical summer months. You can read more about this project and award in the Portage Daily Register (http://tinyurl.com/qgqyb2s).
- What a Great Idea Award -- Have you ever heard yourself say “Wow! What a Great Idea” to a fellow library nerd?
Verona Public Library -- “Meet Santa’s Reindeer” was one of the library’s most well-attended events of all time, with 650 people coming out to see three real live reindeer at the library. (Well, just outside the library in the parking lot.) The incredibly cute and docile reindeer posed for pictures with people in a festive red sleigh. “Elves” shared facts about the amazing animals with the crowd. People headed into the library to warm up with hot chocolate and enjoy card making, and a local musician played historical holiday songs with guitar and vocals by the Christmas tree. He had a hat out for donations to the library as he was “Busking for Books.” It was a truly magical evening that brought people of all ages to the library and demonstrated to the community how the library is their social meeting place.