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Nominate a Deserving Individual for an MPLA Award

by Ann McGinley, Rio Rancho Public Libraries

It’s awards time! Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) is collecting nominations for six awards that will be presented at the 2019 NMLA-MPLA Joint Conference in Albuquerque. Since we’re co-hosting the conference, let’s make sure some New Mexicans are honored!

The deadline for nominations is August 31. To nominate a deserving individual, please go to Don’t worry if you are not sure if a person is a member of MPLA. Just nominate the individual anyway, and the MPLA Awards Committee will figure it out.

Your nomination will be stronger if you include a 500- to 1500-word description of the individual’s contributions. Also, you can upload supporting materials such as photos, newspaper articles, and letters of support. The awards are as follows.

The MPLA Dan Chaney Unsung Hero Award will be given to an MPLA member who has consistently worked behind the scenes to create, administer, or support a library-related organization or project and who has not previously been recognized to the degree their work merits. This award carries with it a $100 stipend, added in 2017 in Dan’s honor.

The MPLA Beginning Professional Award recognizes an MPLA member who, as a librarian/media specialist within the first five years after being awarded a library/media degree, has made a positive impact on the quality and role of library service. Factors such as innovative programming and planning, use of resources, and special projects will be considered.

The MPLA Innovator Award recognizes an up-and-coming individual(s) or group(s) in the MPLA region for a creative, inventive, trail-blazing project that has significance to the library community.

The MPLA Distinguished Service Award will be given to an MPLA member who has made notable contributions to the library profession, furthered significant development of libraries in the Mountain Plains region, or performed exemplary service for an extended period of time. If the individual is retired, the nominee may be a past member of MPLA.

The Carl Gaumer Library Champion Award will be given to the individual, organization or company whose positive support of the Mountain Plains Library Association is demonstrated by repeated conscientious endeavors towards libraries, library staff, trustees and professional activities.

The MPLA Literary Contribution Award will be given to an author whose published writings have successfully furthered an understanding and appreciation of the Mountain Plains region. The author need not reside in the region. The nomination may be based on either a single work or a body of works. Published works will be evaluated on the basis of literary worth, readability, and evidence of responsible research.

New Mexico libraries are awesome because of the individuals who contribute their passion, skills, and time to our institutions, so send in your nominations for these amazing New Mexicans!

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