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2012 Awards

The 2012 Nevada Library Association Conference, “ Nevada Libraries: Byte the Book” , was recently held in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the President’s Reception, on October 5, 2012, this year’s President, Robbie DeBuff, recognized the following individuals who received this year’s Nevada Library Association Awards:


Arlene Caruso, Henderson Libraries

Arlene has been a passionate supporter of Nevada Libraries her entire time in Nevada. She has held more than a few positions with the Association and has coordinated numerous aspects of annual conferences over the years. She is one of the “go to” people when it comes to the conference and programming. She is a leader within NLA and she most certainly is a leader in librarianship in this state and within her library system.
Arlene is an active member of MPLA as well, and has been instrumental in bringing several major programs to the Henderson library. She is well known throughout southern Nevada as a mentor to those new to the profession.
Anyone who works with Arlene knows that she is a hard worker and can be counted on no matter the circumstances. I believe she is well known throughout the state for her commitment to librarianship. While there are many more achievements and endeavors surrounding Arlene, it should also be noted that she is a fine librarian and uphold all the principle and ethos of the profession. Arlene has accepted a position back east, and our loss is Maryland’s gain. We wish Arlene all the luck in the world in her new position.

Sara Jones, Carson City Library

As Director of the Carson City Library Director, Sara Jones has managed to make significant and profound changes in library services for the community.  Sara was one of the motivators that spurred the concept of a city sponsored resource center to consolidate the City’s regulatory function with a library business center into one location called BRIC---the Business Resource Innovation Center; additionally, Sara is working tirelessly to establish another branch library for Carson City, and we wish her the best of luck in that endeavor.
Sara has also been instrumental in creating a computer center for children and young adults and a robotic library on the premises of the Boys and Girls Club in Carson City. Finally, Sara has helped to facilitate programs that create a sense of community. Sara has been called a rock star and a wizard by her staff, and we are proud that she is a Nevada Librarian.
Sara has also been a long time member of NLA, serving in many aspects of Board leadership and working to assist fellow professionals throughout the state and region.


Joy Gunn, Henderson Libraries 

Joy Gunn has been the NLA Webmaster since 2007 – maintaining our website, to include ALL updates, and our membership database as well as providing support with development of annual online conference registration form. Joy has also recently undertaken a complete and much needed redesign of
Currently Joy is doing pro bono web development for the Henderson Libraries Tax Initiative for the website but she stays close to her traditional librarian roots by co-chairing the Mystery Readers’ Book Club at the Paseo Verde Library. She reads about another million books on her own and writes book reviews for Library Journal.
Joy is more than worthy of our thanks and the honor of being awarded the Special Citation Award. As for myself, I couldn’t have managed this past year of conference development and working through Presidential duties without Joy Gunn


Barbara Mathews, formerly of the Churchill County Library

Barbara Mathews, NLA President in 2011, has always taken an active role in Nevada Libraries. She helped to develop the Cooperative Libraries Automated Network (CLAN) Consortium and has been an active member of the Continuing Education Committee and helped with the passage of the Public Librarian Certification law and program through the University of Nevada. Barbara is also very generous with her time and experience, and has been very willing to offer help and advice to librarians throughout the state. She has been the library Director of the Churchill County Library since 1987 and has just retired this year. As Barbara says “I was a Public Servant of Fallon and Churchill County for 30 years and damn proud of it”.
We wish her a happy retirement, and I know she will continue to share the wealth of her experience with librarians all across NV, as a valued member of NLA.


Laura Oki, Elko-Eureka-Lander County Library System

In the Beginning
October 4, 1976, started a long journey for one person that has remained a champion of Nevada's libraries.    Little did she realize, at the time, how libraries would impact her life!  She has devoted 36 years of her life to providing and improving library service to Nevadans but especially to the communities of Northeastern Nevada. 
Elko-Lander-Eureka County Library System
Laura has performed almost every job in the Elko-Lander-Eureka County Library System, but I believe the one closest to her heart is being responsible for the operations of the Northeastern Nevada Regional Bookmobile!  She has advocated for this necessity in front of the Library Board, County Commissioners, State Council on Libraries and Literacy, Nevada State Library Administrator, and the Ways and Means Committee!  During once letter writing campaign, she was actually called and asked to please stop because they had nowhere else to put the letters in support of the Bookmobile!  The bookmobile provides services to those citizens that live to far from a library facility but Laura is also responsible for the 10 Branches of the Elko-Lander-Eureka County Library System!  She has been actively involved in the construction of almost every single branch from locating funding through the Grand Opening!  Her last one will be the Carlin Branch Library which we are currently working on and will soon be holding their Grand Opening!  She has served as Interim Director on two occasions (over three years), ensuring a smooth transition of library operations to the new Directors for staff, patrons, and the communities served.  She has given back to her community by being involved with the Friends of the Elko County Library; the last 4 years as their President!
Nevada Library Association
Laura has helped plan and Chair at least 4 NLA Conferences.  Any of you have done either know the amount of time and dedication that goes into it!  Most of us are done after one!  She has done four!!!!  She has worked the Registration desk at many conferences.  She has been Northeast District Chair numerous times and has served on numerous other NLA Committees throughout her career in libraries!  She has mentored many people new to NLA.  She is always ready to pitch in with a helping hand.
Nevada Library Community
Laura has mentored many people in her own library system as well as other libraries throughout the state.  She is always encouraging and builds confidence in people.  She has demonstrated great leadership ability through her mentoring.  She has been an avid library advocate at the local, state, and national level by participating in Library Legislative Days in Carson City and Washington DC. 
Laura is a true role-model for libraries and is a tremendous asset to Nevada Libraries and deserves to have a Lifetime Membership in NLA!