The McJenkin-Rheay Award was established by an anonymous donor and approved by the Executive Board on July 17, 1981. It is given to recognize a librarian early in his/her career who has made outstanding contributions to the Georgia Library Association, to leadership as exemplified by the careers of Virginia McJenkin (school libraries) and Mary Louise Rheay (public libraries).
This year’s winner is Oscar Gittemeier, Director of Library Services of the Teton County Library!
Oscar has been active in Georgia’s libraries in numerous ways. His Libraries Are Such a Drag calendar fundraiser raised thousands of dollars for the Beard Scholarship. His work with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System allowed him to create connections with individuals throughout the city and to promote libraries wherever he went. He was also principally responsible for work that received grants of more than $500,000. Inside of GLA, he was Vice President of Membership where he worked to make connections with librarians across the state, to increase the presence of GLA at state library events, and to encourage excitement about GLA and all of its activities. As Vice-President/President-Elect, Oscar’s voice was a welcome addition to the GLA Executive Board. He recently accepted a job that has taken him out of state, but his impact on Georgia’s libraries will linger for years. Oscar has gained the respect of both new and seasoned professionals, and his multiple nominations attest to the inspiration that he provides within the field.
GLA-Mid Career Award
The GLA Mid-Career Award was established by the GLA Executive Board in 2018 to honor significant and ongoing contributions to the library profession, Georgia’s libraries, and the Georgia Library Association by individuals who are in the middle of their library careers. This award honors the accomplishments of recipients while also denoting GLA’s belief in the ongoing potential of the recipients.
This year’s winner is Casey Long, Head of Research and Instruction Services at Agnes Scott College.
Casey has had a continued positive impact on the library community throughout her career. Her numerous roles inside of GLA include Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, Interest Group Chair and Vice-Chair, and GLA Secretary. Casey found the GLA StoryCorps project that sought to record the stories of GLA’s past and current leaders. She was instrumental in forming the Conference Recommendations Task Force that led to the current version of the Georgia Libraries Conference. She was also a dedicated member of the Careterette Webinar Series, helping to significantly raise its profile and winning the GLA Team Award in 2017 for these efforts. On top of all of this, Casey has been an advocate for change, a friend and mentor to GLA members both new and old, and an independent voice for good in Georgia’s libraries.
The Nix-Jones Award is given to a practicing librarian for distinguished service to Georgia Librarianship. It recognizes substantial contributions to the library profession, such as: stimulation of library development, leadership in library programs, unusual and imaginative services, and outstanding support of Georgia’s libraries.
This year’s winner is Alan Harkness, Director of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.
Alan’s multiple nominations for this award spoke to his incredible energy, his passion for public service, and his dedication to the advancement of Georgia’s libraries. Alan has worked in numerous libraries throughout Georgia in a variety of capacities, from children’s librarian and training manager to library director. In all of these roles, he used his platform to expand the library’s capacities, and he used his creative and effective teaching style to better all those he comes in contact with. Alan is at the forefront of the fine-free movement in public libraries, working hard to persuade funding agencies that this compassionate act increases public library’s empathy and effectiveness. He is unafraid to speak his mind while still remaining an excellent listener. He epitomizes librarians in Georgia, and he raises the bar on quality and excellence for every Georgia librarian. For his distinguished and long-time service to so many of Georgia’s libraries, GLA is proud to award him the 2020 Nix-Jones Award.