Awards

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.