The prestigious John Cotton Dana Award for excellence in public relations has been awarded to the Pasco County Library System for its innovative and highly popular teen event Rockus Maximus: Battle of the Bands. Since 1946, Florida Libraries have received the honor of this prestigious award only fourteen times, most recently in 2003. The Pasco County Friends of the Library is the major sponsor of the event. This event combines a music contest for Florida bands as well as on-line voting to choose the band with the best on-line presence in responding to a "challenge" each week for six weeks. The weekly challenges can be found at MySpace.com/pascolibraries.
The John Cotton Dana award could be called the Library Oscars. The annual national honor is regarded as the most coveted and celebrated of the awards given by the American Library Association. The Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA), the division of ALA that cuts across type-of-library lines to select libraries that have distinguished themselves by their public relations efforts, oversees this award. The award is named for John Cotton Dana, a man who revolutionized the American Public Library. He believed the 20th-century library should throw open its doors, encouraging everyone to join in the building of a community cultural center,
instead of considering the library as simply a warehouse that hoarded books for a select few. He was a key figure in progressive politics and the innovation of libraries. He also was a pioneer in what we now call public relations. He was an early practitioner of publicizing the myriad programs and events offered by libraries while considering needs assessment, target audiences, goal setting, planning, and evaluation.
In 1946, the American Library Association and the H. W. Wilson Publishing Company inaugurated the public relations award, naming it after him. The John Cotton Dana Award contest has strict standards for the selection of winners, honoring libraries that have produced a public relations program, including a series of integrated activities, throughout an academic or calendar year. The award will be presented to representatives of the Pasco County Library System at the annual conference of the American Library Association to be held in Washington, D.C. beginning June 24 through 29, 2010.
Linda Allen 2008 Nominee - The Herman W. Goldner Award for Regional Leadership 17th Annual Future & Region Awards
Pasco County Library Cooperative received the We The People Created Equal Bookshelf grant "Picturing America" from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The eight libraries in the Pasco County Library Cooperative were among 4,000 libraries in the nation selected to receive this honor.
Pasco County was chosen to participate in the 2009 Reading with the Rays Summer Reading Program for children in grades 3, 4, & 5 in cooperation with the Pasco County School Board. Other counties include Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee counties.
Linda Allen, Libraries Director, was selected as one of 10 librarians nationally to receive the "I Love My Librarian" award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times. These awards are given to librarians from across the country who have demonstrated outstanding public service and who make a difference in their communities.
The Hudson Library Teen Advisory Board won an Outstanding Youth Organization Award from the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce. The Hudson Teen Advisory Board consists of teen members who meet to make suggestions on programming, services and materials especially for teens. Their service is invaluable to the library.
The Pasco County Library Cooperative received the We the People Created Equal Bookshelf grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The eight libraries in the Pasco County Library Cooperative were among only 3,000 libraries in the nation selected to receive this honor.
The Pasco County Library System received the 2008 Florida Library of the Year Award from the Florida Library Association. This award recognized the Pasco County Library System as a leader in E-government services and recognized its innovative programming, award-winning staff members, exceptional quality marketing materials and excellent ratings by the public.
The Friends of the Pasco County Library System received a $10,000 PetSmart Charities grant in support of grant in collaboration with the Coalition for Animal Welfare /West Central Florida and Pasco County Animal Services to spay/neuter 200 pit bulls as part of local efforts to education citizens about pet adoption and ownership. Additionally, Classroom Pet Adoption Educational packets containing brochures and handouts with age appropriate materials on pet adoption, pet ownership and pet care were purchased. A partnership was developed with Marchman Technical Education Center Veterinary Assisting students and Television Production students to produce pet training videos on the Library's webpage.
The Friends of the Pasco County Library System received a $10,000 St. Petersburg Times Inc., in support of the summer reading programs in Pasco libraries for summers 2008 and 2009. The summer reading program promotes literacy and lifelong learning and focuses on family involvement as an important element of the program.
The Pasco County Library System received a Future of the Region Awards Certificate of Excellence and Commemorative program for Public Education in Catastrophe Readiness and Response: Proactive Roles for Public Libraries for the Library System's support of the Office of Management's Resident Information Center.
Leslie Jones was chosen as one of the Library Journal's 2007 Movers & Shakers - The People Shaping the Future of Libraries, sponsored by the American Library Association, which is an honor bestowed to emerging leaders in the library world.
Gerald Lankton, Libraries Custodian, was selected as Employee of the Month for November 2007. While on his way from Land O'Lakes to New Port Richey, he spotted a Sports Utility Vehicle in a ravine. Mr. Lankton reached the vehicle, under a foot of water, and pulled the occupants, a young mother and her young child, out of the vehicle. Mr. Lankton dialed 911 and stayed with the family until emergency responders arrived. The driver indicated that although the morning traffic was steady and she was sure someone had to have seen the incident, no one else stopped to help.
William Giering, Libraries Courier, was selected as Employee of the Month for August 2007. While on his way back to New Port Richey from the Land O'Lakes Library, Bill stopped to assist at a house fire. In spite of the dangers involved, Bill attempted to enter the home after hearing that there was an occupant. Although overcome by smoke, and having to exit the home, he remained on the scene to assist until Fire Rescue arrived. He kept the fire from becoming worse as he managed to move a propane grill away from the burning building.