Awards

2018 Outstanding Adult Program

Death Cafes and Bereavement Groups

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) partnered with Alane Ford (formerly Alane Miles) of James River Home Health and Hospice to provide programs dedicated to supportive discussion of death and grief. People of all ages experience the loss of loved ones and colleagues, and, like many other localities, Henrico County is experiencing the effects of the age wave as the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement. Facing the need to provide information and support to a population increasingly experiencing grief, and desiring to break through the stigma surrounding conversations of death and dying, Ms. Ford offered her expertise to provide Death Cafés and Bereavement Groups at HCPL. The programs provide a needed community service, leverage the reputation of the library as a safe space to learn and explore ideas, and provide an outreach opportunity for James River Home Health and Hospice. Programs have been attended by community members of all ages, and due to demand, the program has expanded from annual Death Café events into monthly Bereavement Group meetings.

2018 NACo Achievement Award

Night Sky Astronomy

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) first partnered with the Richmond Astronomical Society to present “Observe the Moon Night” in 2015 at Twin Hickory Library. The program aimed to provide a community event that would be educational and enjoyable for library patrons of all ages. It was an instant success, attracting 100 participants ranging in age from small children to senior citizens. Members of the Richmond Astronomical Society supplied high-quality telescopes, instructed viewers on using the equipment, and provided information about the moon and other celestial objects they could view. Observe the Moon Night was soon replicated at the Tuckahoe Library, drawing another large crowd. In 2017, HCPL was invited to participate in the national NASA @ My Library project and continued a partnership with Richmond Astronomical Society to increase STEM programming in Henrico. The program goal was expanded beyond providing an event for families to increasing access to scientific learning opportunities for Henrico residents. “Night Sky Astronomy” programs at Libbie Mill and Varina Libraries drew large and highly diverse crowds at little cost to the library system.

2018 NACo Achievement Award

Interactive Teen Displays

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Teen programming in public libraries typically emphasizes group participation in scheduled events and provides opportunities for teens to socialize with their peers. As a result, introverted teens and teens who lack transportation may not have the same opportunities as their more sociable or mobile peers to engage with the library. To accommodate these teens through an engaging, passive program, librarians at Libbie Mill Library in Henrico, Virginia began creating monthly, interactive displays aiming to inform, entertain, and encourage teens to contribute and explore responses. Since June 2016, more than 3,300 teens have interacted with the displays which have covered a range of topics including: New Year’s Resolutions, Summer Reading, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, and Earth Day. Librarians have found that the displays foster and strengthen relationships between teens, their peers, and library staff. The displays successfully engage teens with library services on their own schedule and on their own terms with the ultimate goal of inspiring teens to become lifelong library users. 

2018 NACo Achievement Award

Death Cafes and Bereavement Groups

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) partnered with Alane Ford (formerly Alane Miles) of James River Home Health and Hospice to provide programs dedicated to supportive discussion of death and grief. People of all ages experience the loss of loved ones and colleagues, and, like many other localities, Henrico County is experiencing the effects of the age wave as the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement. Facing the need to provide information and support to a population increasingly experiencing grief, and desiring to break through the stigma surrounding conversations of death and dying, Ms. Ford offered her expertise to provide Death Cafés and Bereavement Groups at HCPL. The programs provide a needed community service, leverage the reputation of the library as a safe space to learn and explore ideas, and provide an outreach opportunity for James River Home Health and Hospice. Programs have been attended by community members of all ages, and due to demand, the program has expanded from annual Death Café events into monthly Bereavement Group meetings.

2017 Public Library Innovator Award

Adrienne Minock

Awarded by the Virginia Library Association

This award recognizes public librarians or public library project teams who have made an outstanding contribution to advance the mission of a public library in Virginia through an innovative project, program or service during the nomination period. Projects, programs, or services should demonstrate creativity, quality, and innovation within the context of a public institution. HCPL Librarian Adrienne Minock was recognized for her work developing curricula and programming for the Digital Media Lab at Libbie Mill Library. 

2017 George Mason Award

Gerald M. McKenna

Awarded by the Virginia Library Association

This award recognizes Individuals (librarians or professional associates), libraries, or other organizations distinguished for advocacy of libraries and/or information access. Gerald McKenna, Henrico County Public Library Director from 1995-2018, was recognized for his achievements in Henrico County and in library advocacy across the state during his distinguished career.

2017 Outstanding Service Innovation

NeighborhoodAwardChildren’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

Neighborhood Collections are a new way of organizing materials that is more responsive to the way that children and teens look for books. The program began in Henrico County Public Libraries (HCPL) in 2012, when Erin Lovelace, a Children’s Librarian in the county, noticed a need for children’s books to be organized by subject to improve ease of access. The first Neighborhoods were created for children, and the subjects were Dinosaurs, Transportation, and Farms. Each of these Neighborhoods included both fiction and non-fiction titles for preschool to early elementary children. The program was then expanded to encompass teen literature, and teen books were grouped into Neighborhoods based on emotion and mood. After assessing the program, both the Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections added to the customer experience and improved circulation of materials.

2017 NACo Achievement Award

Library Nature Study

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

NatureStudyAwardThe Nature Study Series at Henrico County Public Library provides environmental education programs that begin in the library, and then explore surrounding outdoor natural areas. The Nature Study Series of programs began at the Libbie Mill Area Library in June 2016, as a partnership between Henrico County Public Libraries and Gumenick Properties, the developer of the placemaking complex that surrounds Libbie Mill Library. Each Nature Study Program blends literature, nature, science, storytelling, exercise, and outdoor adventure in a manner designed to inspire curiosity in Henrico County families and to show off the practical use of the library’s collection. These library programs are unique in their content and format and use the resources found inside and outside of the library. The program has expanded to include three additional libraries. Nature Study Programs are attended by entire families while reaching the intended audience of four- to twelve-year-olds. The Nature Study Series will be offered annually and will continue to expand its reach and scope of natural topics through development of additional programs and offering them at more library locations.

2017 NACo Achievement Award

Library Heritage Wall

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

HeritageWallAwardThe Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) opened its new Libbie Mill Area Library in October 2015. The Library wanted to tie in the rich history of the county with its new, modern building. Henrico County is over 400 years old and is rich with history that is unknown to most residents. The new library space provided an opportunity to bring light to this history. The Heritage Wall Interactive project was accomplished by a team consisting of members from HCPL, the Department of General Services, and architectural firms BCWH and Tappe, as well as the Department of Recreation and Parks, working to create the infrastructure and gather historical research. The team worked with Second Story, a firm specializing in experiential video installations, to create an immersive and engaging visual learning experience for patrons that they would not have anywhere else. The Heritage Wall is a museum-quality, visually stunning, and highly informative representation of Henrico County’s rich historical record, situated in an accessible location in a neighborhood library.

2017 NACo Achievement Award

Library Author Showcase

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

authorShowcaseAwardThe Henrico Community Author Showcase is a public library program which allows local authors to present and promote their books and discuss and connect with other writers and readers in the community at a Henrico County Public Library (HCPL). A unique feature of this program is that it operates as “self-serve.” The program allows local authors to sign-up and share their books during a 90-minute evening time slot at an area library. Authors can read, discuss their writing process, sell, sign, and promote their book. The program enables authors to donate a copy of their book to the library’s collection for checkout and to make an optional donation to the Friends of the Henrico County Public Library. The program is mutually beneficial to authors and libraries. The Henrico Community Author Showcase meets all three key points of the library’s mission via this program: promoting reading, connecting people with the information they need, and enriching community life.

2017 NACo Achievement Award

100 Brilliant Ideas at Work Award: Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

NeighborhoodAwardNeighborhood Collections are a new way of organizing materials that is more responsive to the way that children and teens look for books. The program began in Henrico County Public Libraries (HCPL) in 2012, when Erin Lovelace, a Children’s Librarian in the county, noticed a need for children’s books to be organized by subject to improve ease of access. The first Neighborhoods were created for children, and the subjects were Dinosaurs, Transportation, and Farms. Each of these Neighborhoods included both fiction and non-fiction titles for preschool to early elementary children. The program was then expanded to encompass teen literature, and teen books were grouped into Neighborhoods based on emotion and mood. After assessing the program, both the Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections added to the customer experience and improved circulation of materials.

2017 AIA/ALA Award

Library Building Award

VarinaBuildingAward

Awarded by the American Institue of Architects in partnership with the American Library Association/Library Leadership and Management Association

The Henrico County Public Library’s Varina Area Library won the prestigious 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Award. The library, designed by Richmond architecture firm BCWH and Tappé Architects of Boston, was one of eight American and European libraries to be recognized. The Library Building Award is presented by the American Institute of Architects in conjunction with the American Library Association, and is the only award that recognizes whole library buildings for their design. All library buildings completed after 2012 and designed by an architect licensed in the United States were eligible for the award.

2016 NACo Achievement Award

3 Books 4 Me

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

3bks4MeNacoHenrico County Public Library’s (HCPL) 3 Books 4 Me reader’s advisory service was developed in an effort to expand public service interactions with teen patrons. Teen services librarians began providing form-based and online readers’ advisory in February 2014. This service was so successful that in 2015 Henrico County Public Schools provided a link to the online form on their Summer Reading assignment sheets. Providing reading recommendations using this service allows library staff more time to provide thoughtful recommendations since there is not the immediacy of in-person interactions. Teens are provided at least three recommendations with links to the title in the HCPL online catalog. There they can read more about the title and place a request to have the item put on hold for them at their choice of pick-up location.

2016 NACo Achievement Award

Literacy and Math Nights at the Library

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

LitMathNacoSince the spring of 2013, the children’s department of the Tuckahoe Area Library partnered with a nearby Title I elementary school, Ridge Elementary, to host Literacy Nights and Math Nights each year for students and their parents. Since many of the families live within walking distance of the library, attendance at these events has consistently been high. On average, 150 students and family members have attended each program. Before the programs, Children’s Librarians Sue Van Tassel and Kathleen Harris, attend meetings with the teachers at the school to plan activities for the night. On the night of the program, teachers volunteer to assist with the program, along with library staff. Literacy Night is held in the fall of each year and Math Night in the spring. The popularity of these programs has helped the school to meet its goal of getting more parent participation and the library to meet its goal of reaching out to members of its community.

2016 NACo Achievement Award

SuperHero Science

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

superheroSciNaco

During the summer of 2015, Children’s Librarians Rachel Sharpe and Kathleen Harris offered several interactive, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-based activities for children to explore while visiting the library. Superhero Science was created whereby each activity focused on a certain superhero trait, such as sight, speed, or balance, and incorporated scientific concepts, such as friction, measurement and magnetism. A small table near the children’s desk was designated as the Superhero Science station where the eight activities were displayed on a rotating basis. The activity station was on display for a total of eleven weeks during the summer and quickly became a favorite spot in the children’s section of the library. Each activity station included easy-to-follow directions and a scientific fact sheet. Some of the activity stations allowed children to use new technology such as a digital microscope, while others used everyday materials such as cut-up cardboard squares. All activities encouraged children to use their scientific reasoning skills and promoted informal learning opportunities in the library. By the end of the summer, parents reported feeling more comfortable talking about science with their children and children discovered that learning about STEM concepts could be fun.

2016 Outstanding Program for Adults

appyhour logoAppy Hour

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

The Appy Hour program at Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) invites members of the community to bring their smartphones and tablets to learn about helpful free mobile applications, better known as apps. Accessing the Library’s eBooks and digital magazines using a tablet or mobile phone requires the use of mobile apps. While helping patrons with library-specific apps, library staff found that many patrons wanted to know more about apps and how they work in general. The first Appy Hour took place on January 13, 2014 and was successful with 10 people in attendance. The program has now been adopted by other libraries in the system further helping citizens in the County with their digital needs.

2016 Outstanding Cooperative Program with other Libraries or Agencies

2015Oct17DU FarewellRepurposing Library Assets

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

When Henrico County closed an old library to make way for its new building, it had to make a decision about what to do with the collection of books and the building’s furnishings and fixtures. Rather than giving items that would not be used in the new library to the County surplus sale, Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) created an innovative program that repurposed the majority of the old collection and the building’s furnishings and fixtures. By reaching out and methodically inviting in other county departments to “shop” the leftovers, the Library was able to save the County money by responsibly repurposing most of the inventory to other departments, especially Henrico County Public School (HCPS) libraries, enhancing their collections and providing desired or needed furnishings and fixtures. The inter-departmental cooperation and communication that this program required was accomplished seamlessly and enthusiastically as everyone benefited and saw its value. Henrico County’s Finance Department Purchasing Division played a large part in reassigning these assets and helping to have them delivered to their new homes. With the creation of this program, Henrico will continue this repurposing tradition with the next opening of a new library.

2015 VACo Achievement Award

2015VacoJumpstartJumpstart Your Summer Teen Volunteer Fair

Awarded by the Virginia Association of Counties in the category of Community and Economic Development

Beginning in the spring of 2013, the Tuckahoe Area Library's Teen Librarian, Mandy Arnold, invited and hosted representatives from non-profit organizations for a 'Jumpstart Your Summer' teen volunteer fair to meet with teens to discuss opportunities for volunteering. The teen volunteer fair brought together non-profit organizations and local high school teens as a way to serve the community and help teens earn community service volunteer hours prior to graduation from high school. The fair was so successful, that it has become an annual event for Henrico County Public Library (HCPL). The program is a great way for the library to partner with local businesses, nonprofits and other county agencies, while helping local teens earn community service hours.

2015 NACo Achievement Award

GA 2Study Abroad

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Beginning in August 2011 Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) began a staff study abroad program which required all public service staff to work at another library within the system for a total of at least 24 hours or three days each year. This supported the new Area/Branch Library model for staffing that the library had adopted to help solve staff coverage challenges. HCPL consists of four Area Libraries, five Branch Libraries, a Municipal & Law Library, and a Mobile Library Service. These libraries are arranged into "clusters" so that an Area Library works in coordination with two or three of the closest branch libraries to coordinate staff coverage and programming.

2015 NACo Achievement Award

VolunteerFairJumpstart Your Summer Teen Volunteer Fair

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Beginning in the spring of 2013, the Tuckahoe Area Library's Teen Librarian, Mandy Arnold, invited and hosted representatives from non-profit organizations for a 'Jumpstart Your Summer' teen volunteer fair to meet with teens to discuss opportunities for volunteering. The teen volunteer fair brought together non-profit organizations and local high school teens as a way to serve the community while teens earn community service volunteer hours prior to graduation from high school. The fair was so successful, that it has become an annual event for Henrico County Public Libraries (HCPL). The program is a great way for the library to partner with local businesses, nonprofits and other county agencies while helping local teens earn community service hours.

2015 NACo Achievement Award

ArticleAboutHomeworkHelpSuccess1 Page 2Promoting Online Homework Help to Teens

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

In October 2012 Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) launched two online services for library customers, Credo Homework Help and Literati. Both are products of the company Credo Reference. Credo Homework Help includes help from a "live" teacher with math, reading or writing for students in grades 3-12. Literati Public allows library customers to search the full-text of online versions of hundreds of top quality reference books in all major subjects. Access to these online resources was provided to Virginia's public libraries by the Library of Virginia. HCPL teen librarians coordinated with Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) to get the word out about these new services, especially Credo Homework Help. Mandy Arnold, Teen Librarian at Tuckahoe Area Library, used several techniques to get the attention of middle and high school students, including in-person presentations at schools, videos and pizza parties.

2015 NACo Achievement Award

TeenCertTeen Community Emergency Response Teams

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Henrico County Public Library, in partnership with the County of Henrico Division of Fire and Office of Emergency Management (OEM), offered teens a chance to become members of the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT). Teens were prepared for and responded to hypothetical emergencies, including a hurricane, mass casualty accident, and an epidemic. The first program in 2013 consisted of nine Saturday sessions and the 2014 program consisted of five consecutive day sessions. Both years culminated in a four-hour scenario drill at the Fire Training Facility.

2015 NACo Achievement Award

Trophy Challenge PhotoSummer Reading Club Trophy Challenge

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

The Summer Reading Club Trophy Challenge is a contest between all of Henrico County's elementary schools hosted by the Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) since 2012. The schools with the highest percentage of students who meet the HCPL Summer Reading Club's reading goal receive a trophy that can display in the school's library during the school year. In addition to the trophy, each school receives a Barnes & Noble gift card valued at $50 for the school library. Schools are grouped into three regions - North, East, and West - to better promote the program and allow for several elementary school winners across the county.

2015 Outstanding Program for Young Adults

2015programYAJumpstart Your Summer Teen Volunteer Fair

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association.

Beginning in the spring of 2013, the Tuckahoe Area Library's Teen Librarian, Mandy Arnold, invited and hosted representatives from non-profit organizations for a 'Jumpstart Your Summer' teen volunteer fair to meet with teens to discuss opportunities for volunteering. The teen volunteer fair brought together non-profit organizations and local high school teens as a way to serve the community while teens earn community service volunteer hours prior to graduation from high school. The fair was so successful, that it has become an annual event for Henrico County Public Library (HCPL).

2014 Outstanding Website Award

Awarded by Virginia Public Library Director's Association

homepage for awardsHenrico County Public Library (HCPL) launched its new website (henricolibrary.org) on February 17, 2014. It had been nearly five years since the last website redesign in March 2009. The two goals of this most recent web redesign was to move to a content management system (CMS) and to make the website easier for customers to use and find what they need. Some small but important changes should be noted in the current site. Changes that make the new site more useable and modern include:

  • Larger "slider" graphics on the front page
  • More informative sidebar banners on the front page
  • Improved "How do I" mega-menu in the navigation
  • Reorganization of Kid's site content and more kid-friendly design
  • Blog-driven "For Grown-ups" page that allows Children's staff to contribute new content
  • Dynamic and informative location page and branch pages

2014 NACo Achievement Award

ESL Conversation Cafés

HenricoLibrary ESLConvCafe Supplement TimesDispatchArticletitleandphotoAwarded by the National Association of Counties

The ESL (English as a Second Language) Conversation Café is an English language conversation program offered by Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) in which non-native-English-speaking residents can practice speaking English in a relaxed environment, while learning more about the United States and their local community. The ESL Conversation Café offers any adult member of Henrico's immigrant community the opportunity to practice speaking English, meet new people, and participate in an American experience. The program was developed by library staff in response to the growing diversity of the county. The Cafés are also an opportunity to introduce immigrants to the many resources of the Henrico County Public Library, and often conclude with a tour of the library for first time participants.

2014 NACo Achievement Award

Transition from Bookmobile to Mobile Library Service

HenricoLibrary TransitionFromBookmobile Supplement Photos-1

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

Henrico County Public Library's (HCPL) Bookmobile service began in 1977 with the goal of bringing books and people together outside the traditional library setting. From 1977 through 2011 HCPL's bookmobile service used a large 32-foot bookmobile vehicle that allowed patrons to walk up into the vehicle to browse the collection. In response to budgetary changes and to address the needs of elderly patrons HCPL decided to transition from the 32-foot Bookmobile to a Mobile Library Service using a specially outfitted Sprinter Van. HCPL not only changed the vehicle but how programming and service stops were approached.

2013 Star Library Honor

Henrico County Public Library receives Star Library honor

Awarded by Library Journalawards 4star

Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) earned a Star Library designation from Library Journal based on national rankings that consider per-capita circulation, visits, program attendance and public computer access.

HCPL received a Star Library honor for the first time and was among six library systems in Virginia and 263 libraries or library systems in the United States recognized in 2013.

Library Journal, a national publication for library professionals, has compiled its list of Star Libraries annually since 2008. For 2013, Library Journal rated a total of 7,573 public libraries across the country and awarded Star Library status to the top 30 libraries in groups with similar levels of expenditure. Henrico was one of three libraries in Virginia to receive a four-star rating, which is the second highest class.

For information on the Star Library ratings, go to www.lj.libraryjournal.com.

2013 NACo Achievement Award

Electronics Recycling at Twin Hickory Area Library

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.awards electronic recyc250x169

In October of 2011, Henrico County Public Library staff at the Twin Hickory location began collaborating with Henrico Public Utilities to offer an electronics recycling event for area residents. Instead of disposing of old, outdated electronics at the county landfill, residents can drop off items at the library for recycling. The Twin Hickory Library is located in a highly populated residential area and has proven to be an ideal location for this service. Accomplished by a successful partnership between the library and Public Utilities, this one time program has grown into a regular service offered in October and April.

2013 NACo Achievement Award

eBook Classes at Senior Centers

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.awards eBook classes250x176

Henrico County Public Library has maintained continuous community outreach, especially through our Bookmobile, now known as Mobile Library Service. In their regular visits Bookmobile staff saw an increasing demand to support the needs of its senior patrons’ need for eBooks from the libraries. In response, Bookmobile staff partnered with our Emerging Technologies Librarian, Matt Phillips, to provide classes and one-on-one help with library eBooks. Beginning in January of 2012 Matt and Bookmobile staff made special visits to senior centers in the county who were most interested in learning about library eBooks and how to check them out on their devices.

2013 NACo Achievement Award

Time Travel Programs

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

Two librarians helped commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Henrico County by creating a series of entertaining and educational family programs that explored the history of Henrico County. Using a spray-painted refrigerator box as a “time machine,” the librarians traveled back through time and kidnapped two historical figures from Virginia’s past: patriot Patrick Henry and aviator Richard Byrd. The historical figures were brought back to the present day where audiences asked them questions about their lives and times before they were returned to their respective historical periods. The purpose of these Henrico History Time Travel Programs was to offer interactive family programs at Henrico County Recreation and Parks events intended to commemorate the quadricentennial of the County. Librarians Chris Holliman and Peter Belton performed the Time Travel Programs three times throughout 2011. At each one, costumed actors portrayed the historical figures and videos projected on a large screen gave the audience the idea that they were actually traveling back through time. Due to their success the time travel programs have become an annual event at the Twin Hickory branch of the Henrico Public Library.

2013 Outstanding Program for Seniors

eBook Classes at Senior Centers

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

Henrico County Public Library has maintained continuous community outreach, especially through our Bookmobile, now known as Mobile Library Service. In their regular visits Bookmobile staff saw an increasing demand to support the needs of its senior patrons’ need for eBooks from the libraries. In response, Bookmobile staff partnered with our Emerging Technologies Librarian, Matt Phillips, to provide classes and one-on-one help with library eBooks. Beginning in January of 2012 Matt and Bookmobile staff made special visits to senior centers in the county who were most interested in learning about library eBooks and how to check them out on their devices.

2013 Outstanding Program for Children

Time Travel Programs

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association.

Two librarians helped commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Henrico County by creating a series of entertaining and educational family programs that explored the history of Henrico County. Using a spray-painted refrigerator box as a “time machine,” the librarians traveled back through time and kidnapped two historical figures from Virginia’s past: patriot Patrick Henry and aviator Richard Byrd. The historical figures were brought back to the present day where audiences asked them questions about their lives and times before they were returned to their respective historical periods. The purpose of these Henrico History Time Travel Programs was to offer interactive family programs at Henrico County Recreation and Parks events intended to commemorate the quadricentennial of the County. Librarians Chris Holliman and Peter Belton performed the Time Travel Programs three times throughout 2011. At each one, costumed actors portrayed the historical figures and videos projected on a large screen gave the audience the idea that they were actually traveling back through time. Due to their success the time travel programs have become an annual event at the Twin Hickory branch of the Henrico Public Library.

2012 NACo Achievement Award

eBooks Launched at the Public Library

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

With the advent of e-readers, the way in which consumers obtain and read literature has changed permanently. Henrico County Public Library began an extensive planning process in January 2011 that included a variety of focus groups, community meetings, individual interviews, as well as online and print surveys in an attempt to identify the e-book need in the community. Of the 7,000 responses, an overwhelming number of our community members specifically asked, “When was the public library going to get eBooks?”. A collection of downloadable books for computers was already offered through NetLibrary (approximately 7,000 – 10,000 titles), but had no digital copies that were specifically designed for downloading to portable devices had been purchased. Since then, on June 16, OverDrive was launched and has become the library community’s most popular new product. There is a high public demand for these new formats in Henrico County, as well as significant misinformation in the public’s mind about what these formats were and how they could use them. As a result of this program, the county has revolutionized the way in which citizens can obtain books from the public library. An e-reader program will not only reduce operating and staffing costs at local libraries, it will also increase the educational efficacy of citizens in the community.

2012 Cooperative Program Award

Programming Publication Saved at the Library

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association.

2011 NACo Achievement Award

Notable Henricoans Database in honor of Henrico County's 400th Anniversary

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

Henrico County, Virginia surrounds the city of Richmond (Virginia’s state capitol) on three sides. To celebrate its 400" anniversary, Henrico County established a core group of county leaders known as the 400" Anniversary Commemoration Commission charged with developing a comprehensive plan for celebrating this event. Henrico County Public Library felt they could make a major contribution by creating a database of notable Henrico citizens. This online database now provides thoroughly researched information on 130 deceased Henrico citizens compiled from numerous print and online resources. Accessed through the http://www.Henrico400th.com website and http://www.henricolibrary.org website, the unique database can be used by people of all ages throughout the world who have interest in persons important to Henrico County history. Following the commemoration year, it will continue as an online resource through Henrico’s public library website.

2011 Outstanding Public Relations Award

Notable Henricoans Database in honor of Henrico County's 400th Anniversary

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association.

Librarians coordinated; public nominated; committee decided, researched to create a database of 130 Notable Henricoans for the 400th Anniversary of the County.

2011 Outstanding Service Innovation Award

Workshops for Childcare Providers

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association.

In 2010 presented 8 workshops to 202 attendees, used staff & ourside presenters, offered Continuing Education credits with the State Department of Social Services.

2010 NACo Achievement Award

Senior Outreach Program

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

In the fall of 2007, the Friends of the Twin Hickory Area Library began collaboration with library staff to offer monthly Senior Programs for residents of assisted living facilities in the area. After two years, this program is still going strong and continues to receive positive feedback from the community. The programs, both entertaining and educational, have included musical performances, travelogues, film screenings, and games. Accomplished by a successful partnership between the Friends of the Twin Hickory Area Library and library staff, the Senior Programs have reached a segment of the Henrico population that was underserved and in need of activities tailored to their interests.

2010 Outstanding Public Relations Award

Senior Outreach Program

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association

In the fall of 2007, the Friends of the Twin Hickory Area Library began collaboration with library staff to offer monthly Senior Programs for residents of assisted living facilities in the area. After two years, this program is still going strong and continues to receive positive feedback from the community. The programs, both entertaining and educational, have included musical performances, travelogues, film screenings, and games. Accomplished by a successful partnership between the Friends of the Twin Hickory Area Library and library staff, the Senior Programs have reached a segment of the Henrico population that was underserved and in need of activities tailored to their interests.

2010 NACo Achievement Award

Teacher Cadet Days

Awarded by the National Associatioin of Counties

What kind of county program involves Elvis sideburns, silly-string and bubble machines? The staff at the Twin Hickory Area Library in Henrico County, Virginia recently used all of these materials in a workshop designed to get teens pumped about pursuing a career in education. When the local chapter of Teacher Cadets was seeking space and programming material for their annual meeting, the Twin Hickory Area Library extended its hand. The library not only provided enough space for the crowd of 150 students, but also addressed the students in a 90-minute workshop that motivated them to become excellent future teachers. Chris Holliman, a former teacher turned librarian, led the workshop and energetically gave advice on working with children and books. Holliman captivated the high schoolers with humorous anecdotes from his own time as a teacher as well inspiring them with stories of how teachers have changed lives. The workshop ended with Holliman, wearing Elvis glasses and backed by motivational music, enjoining the audience to take an oath to “teach with passion from this day, to the ending of the world!” He and the staff then sprayed the audience with silly string and bubbles. It was a dynamic finale to a successful partnership between County agencies that greatly benefited area high schoolers.

2009 NACo Achievement Award

Linking Libraries, Communities, and Cultures Program

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

The American Library Association’s Linking Libraries, Communities, and Cultures 2008 public affairs slogan became the perfect theme for the 2008-09 ALL HENRICO READS project sponsored by Henrico County Public Library and Henrico County Public Schools. This type of project is not unique where an author or a book title is chosen with the intent that the entire community will read the book(s) and have public discussions. This project was very much in keeping with one of the goals of the public library – to promote literacy. This year’s literacy project, however, met a broader goal. Selected author, Julia Alvarez, wrote stories of the immigrant experience that could help us reach our growing Henrico Hispanic population and generate community discussion about this controversial political issue. We wanted to communicate to our Hispanic families that public libraries and schools were eager to assist them in helping learn English and find reading materials that would help with their assimilation into the American way of life.

2009 George Mason Award

Linking Libraries Communities, and Cultures Program

Awarded by the Virginia Library Association

The American Library Association’s Linking Libraries, Communities, and Cultures 2008 public affairs slogan became the perfect theme for the 2008-09 ALL HENRICO READS project sponsored by Henrico County Public Library and Henrico County Public Schools. This type of project is not unique where an author or a book title is chosen with the intent that the entire community will read the book(s) and have public discussions. This project was very much in keeping with one of the goals of the public library – to promote literacy. This year’s literacy project, however, met a broader goal. Selected author, Julia Alvarez, wrote stories of the immigrant experience that could help us reach our growing Henrico Hispanic population and generate community discussion about this controversial political issue. We wanted to communicate to our Hispanic families that public libraries and schools were eager to assist them in helping learn English and find reading materials that would help with their assimilation into the American way of life.

2009 NACo Achievement Award

Books on Wheels Program

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

The Librarians at Twin Hickory Library wanted to reach out to other literacy organizations in the area and create a joint venture that would benefit the community. We pursued a joint venture with a local literacy and transportation non-profit organization, Books on Wheels. Books on Wheels distributes books, bikes and bike repair services to needy areas in Virginia and all along the East Coast. We wanted to support their efforts and also harness the wonderful charitable spirit in our own community. We created and promoted a day-long Book and Bike Donation Drive for Books on Wheels. It was a wonderful success with over 1,700 books donated, 31 bikes donated, and 12 helmets donated (8 of which were given away. Books on Wheels gives helmets to any kid that asks for them, regardless of economic status). We also had our very own Bookmobile out for part of the day so that patrons could see another aspect of our outreach services.

2009 Intellectual Freedom Committee's Banned Books Week Display Award

Banned Book Display at the Twin Hickory Library

Awarded by the Virginia Library Association.

2009 Outstanding Service Innovation Award

Unplugged: Expanding Customer Service the Wireless Way

Awarded by the Virginia Public Library Director's Association. 

2009 Outstanding Library Friend Award

Awarded by Virginia Public Library Director's Association.

A former president of the Friends of the Henrico County Public Library was recognized for her role at a major catalyst for the rebirth of this organization.

2009 Award of Excellence to Fairfield Area Library

Youth Outstanding Contributions in the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities

Awarded by the Henrico Area Mental Health & Retardation Services.

2007 NACo Achievement Award

Art Contest! Celebrating the New Tuckahoe Area Library

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

To promote the opening of the new 53,000 square foot Tuckahoe Area Library, and to obtain a permanent art collection created by local artists, an art contest was launched. Open to all ages with eight categories of winners, the contest was sponsored by the Friends of the Tuckahoe Library and implemented by the library staff. Publicity was designed and disseminated, entries were received by the library, and a panel of judges selected 32 winners and 16 honorable mentions. To commemorate the opening, pieces of art donated by citizens were professionally framed and hung in the new library. Winning artists received prizes and recognition at a sneak preview of the new facility just days before it was opened to the public. As a result, a stunning collection of art created by local citizens graces the walls of the new Tuckahoe Library and serves as the backbone of its permanent art collection.

2007 NACo Achievement Award

Library Card to Go! Registration at Middle Schools

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

Library cards are very powerful tools in today’s world, offering access to databases, the internet, books, audio books, and downloadable materials. In an effort to put a public library card in the hands of every Henrico County middle school student, the Henrico Public Library took its registration process on the road and went directly to the students and their parents. Annually, each middle school hosts a mandatory fee collection day where parents are able to pay for many materials (gym suits, locks, etc.) prior to the beginning of the school year. These “Fee Nights” provide an ideal opportunity for the library to enlist teens and their parents as patrons. Formerly, this service was offered at only one middle school. In 2006, this program was expanded to include nine additional schools encompassing the entire County. Laptop computers and library staff specializing in teen services and circulation, as well as the bookmobile, were deployed to all locations. Utilizing wireless network access and mobile computers, families were able to apply for library cards using an online application process. Cards were then mailed to the homes of the families with a letter stating how the card could be activated – by a simple visit to their local library.

2006 NACo Achievement Award

Outreach Pizza & Pages' Teen Book Group


Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

Since 2003, The County of Henrico Public Library has successfully offered “Outreach Pizza & Pages” Teen Book Group book discussions/pizza parties to library users in grades 6-12. Recognizing the importance of the Library’s role in promoting the recreational and social aspects of reading to underserved populations in the community, a county library offered this program, both at the library and off-site, to at-risk young adults participating in Henrico County’s afterschool CONNECT program.

2006 NACo Achievement Award

Book Links

Awarded by the National Association of Counties.

The County of Henrico Public Library developed a unique outreach program to target the elementary school with the lowest participation in the library’s 2004 summer reading program. The neighborhood around the elementary school was an area that did not use the public library regularly. Children’s services staff members visited the school with a variety of motivating activities aimed at exciting these students about books and reading. The goal of this program was to increase participation in the 2005 summer reading program.

2006 NACo Achievement Award

Library Mobile Computer Lab

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

County of Henrico Public Library developed a flexible method to formally instruct computer skills to the public with laptop computers within libraries with no dedicated computer classroom limited space. The Mobile Computer Lab (MCL) is composed of nine laptops, each with Internet access, Windows XP, and Office 2003. The MCL allows hands-on computer instruction for the public at seven library branches. This ‘classroom to go’ enables the library to provide technology instruction to a greater number of individuals countywide. While the primary use has been for basic computer classes, the MCL has also been flexibly utilized for other library programs and staff training as well. During 2005, nearly 60 MCL classes have been offered. The classes offered with the MCL provide hands-on practice for a variety of computer topics. The classes taught are “Basic Computer Literacy,” “Getting Started on the Web,” “Introduction to Word,” “Introduction to Excel,” “Excel Charts and Formulas,” “Practical Excel,” and “Getting the Most from your Library Catalog.

 

2005 NACo Achievement Award

Outreach Storytime at Hilliard House 

Awarded by the National Association of Counties

While the Henrico Public Library has always been extremely successful in offering a variety of activities for children of all ages, staff recognized that there was a need to reach the underserved segments of the population. Despite the strong attendance at storytimes, interactive craft activities, musical programs, puppet shows and other events, it was clear that many children were not able to visit a county library to enjoy these educational programs. The best option for reaching this group was to have qualified library staff visit facilities in the community that served residents who were unable to utilize traditional library services. Hilliard House was identified as an ideal partner for library outreach efforts. As a facility that provides temporary housing for single women and women with children, almost half of the residents are children. The shelter is able to accommodate up to thirty residents, most of whom have suffered homelessness due to a crisis such as domestic abuse or financial difficulties and often lack transportation. Children from these traumatic backgrounds, in need of support and stability offered by Hilliard House, would clearly benefit from positive exposure of regular storytimes. The storytime program at Hilliard House is the only library outreach program offering regular onsite storytimes at a homeless shelter in the Richmond metropolitan area. It has reached children from twelve months to twelve years. Parents have reacted very positively to the program and are pleased by the Library’s efforts to introduce reading and storytelling to their children.

2005 Award of Excellence

Youth Outstanding Contrubutions in the employment of Individuals with Disabilities 

Awarded by Henrico Area Mental Health & Retardation Services.