Tuesday, July 21, 2015
We all make a difference. It takes each and every one of us to contribute to making our county vibrant, vital and current. Some of us doing it very public ways and others do it quietly and more in the background. Bessie Sullivan, the CEO of our county library is being recognized by the Ontario Public Library Association (OPLA), a provincial organization with 5000 members who ensure that everyone has access to free information. The OPLA has members who work in public, school, academic and special libraries. Members do research and education to provide the best library services possible across the province. Bessie is recieving the OPLA’s Leadership in Adult Readers Advisory Award for all of her work in our libraries across our county. Bessie is an avid reader who has loved books her whole life and she is passionate about supporting readers of every level. When Bessie told me about this award she was quick to share the credit with her incredible staff and volunteer Board of Directors who work hard every day to provide excellent service and support. Bessie recognizes that the system is strong because every staff person plays an important role. All anyone has to do is visit the library on any day this summer and you will see locals, cottagers, camp staff and tourists using the place. Everyone is welcome and there are people of all ages and interests engaged. There is something for everyone. Bessie and her staff work to hard to ensure that our collection of books are up to date and what people want. She and her team have embraced the use of technology in the library including the use of computers and ebooks . Bessie has developed connections with the local papers and radio stations to promote the libraries and their services and she sits on local committees to ensure that the library system is integrated into all aspects of planning for the county. I have known Bessie from the very first day she arrived in Haliburton to start her job as the CEO and I have watched her quietly make a difference. She always has good questions to ask, she listens to what people say, she loves Haliburton County and is always the first person to stand up and talk about why we are so great. Bessie travels across the province speaking at conferences, attending best practices workshops related to libraries and she ensures that what we have our in county meets the provincial standards and expectations. She quietly advocates for all readers. We should all be incredibly grateful for having such a great library system. If we want to attract people to come and live here, and vacation here our library system is a selling feature!! Congratulations Bessie, and all who make our libraries great. We are proud of you and we are grateful!