2022 Summit County Library Volunteer Appreciation Awards
Each year, library staff and the Summit County Library Board acknowledge the hard work of the library volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to making the Summit County Library a welcoming and enriching environment for both residents and visitors.
For 2022, we are pleased to present the Van Woodford Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award to two deserving recipients; Dale Stein and R.E.A.D Animals. Plaques with their names will hang in the Main Library in Frisco.
Volunteer of the Year
The Summit County Libraries would like to acknowledge the amazing and unique contribution that our Reading Dog Teams have provided to our Libraries. Each team is made up of a registered therapy dog and their owner. They go through training and certification in order to be the best in class and offer our patrons a fun and safe experience. These teams help create an environment that allows kids to relax and enjoy reading. Smiles, pets and tail wagging are the order of the day. While we know dogs can’t read, the dogs in the program are great listeners. These teams have been outstanding ambassadors for the library as they meet and interact before and after the programs making all who come in contact with them feel better and enhance our patrons visit to our libraries.
The Summit County Libraries are so fortunate to have these amazing teams as a part of our Summer Reading Programs, Special Events and now helping kids enjoy reading every Saturday morning at our North Branch Library. We thank these teams for helping the library create a unique experience as we help patrons of all ages enjoy reading.
The Summit County Library would like to thank the teams who have volunteered over the past ten years and honor them with this award:
- Holly Holden and Oliver and Harry (our first reading cat)
- Linda Hrycaj and Jigs
- LeeAnn Lumsden and Owen
- Brad Perry and Jack and Ruby
- Jan Shipman and Trooper
- Sandee Smith and Manny
- Patty Smith and Ingrid
- Pat Spitzmiller and Josie
- Beverly Young and Cody
Past recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award include Leah Arnold, Barbara Parry, Jaime Bailey, Andrew Armour, Gini Bartley, Kathleen Martynowicz, Barbara & Gary Weis, Joyce Timpson, Brian Edney, Shirley Beaty, Eileen Finkle, Mary Kidd, Kristina Nethaway, Sue Paluska, Becky Morgan, Brett Teatre, Richard Hale, Kay Bullington and Beverly McArthur.
Van Woodford Award
The Van Woodford Award was started after branch manager Van Woodford dedicated 37 years to Summit County Library. The Van Woodford Achievement Award was her farewell and our standard for the kind of public servants we aspire to be.
Our 2022 winner of the Van Woodford Award is Dale Stein. Dale began working with the South Branch Library in Breckenridge in 2013 when he was with the Town of Breckenridge engineering department. He soon learned that working with librarians and library entities was like nothing he had encountered before; Foundations, Boards, Friends, staff, fundraising, naming rights - who could keep all these entries straight, let alone ensure each group felt heard. But Dale was able to field their daily suggestions, while managing the huge challenges of renovating a 1909 historic schoolhouse complete with 160-seat theater.
Library staff descended on the building in 2015 and that is when our punch list demands to Dale really took off! He patiently resolved them one by one, answering frantic calls from library staff way beyond his 9-5 working hours. (We admit, these sometimes might have been user error.)
Fast forward to 2020 and he once again found himself working with Summit County Libraries, this time as Capital Projects Manager for Summit County Government. Dale had déjà vu as he again patiently walked the novice library staff through the process step by step; choosing an architect, working through contractor questions, budgeting everything from benches to lighting, overseeing the strangest carpet install (requiring above and beyond geometry skills), to a finale of colorful furniture and bilingual signage. The Covid pandemic didn’t stop the project or the library operations as Dale helped Main staff move our desks into the satellite meeting room and continue to operate curbside pickup. By March of 2022, he was quite relieved to have two beautiful libraries back open, while knowing (dreading?) that there was still a 3rd one to go!
In the summer of 2022, we embarked on the North Branch expansion. By now Dale is an old pro when dealing with shelving counts, circulation desks, children’s size chairs and programming needs. But it is his willingness to go above and beyond to devote his after-hours and weekends to our staff and buildings which makes him the undisputable recipient of the Van Woodford Award. You can find Dale, with his faithful assistant Ruby by his side, installing changing tables, play areas for kids, or hanging random objects with his trusty level. His attention to detail and care for each project he works on is truly admirable.
Library staff are many things, but experts in construction we are not. We cannot imagine how we could have made it through these daunting, but exciting library projects without Dale and are grateful for his commitment to all 3, now beautiful, Summit County Libraries. Summit County Library would like to thank Dale for his dedication to our library system and honor him with this award.
Van Woodford Award recipients from previous years include Judy Regis, Mary Gessner, Karen Musolf, Kristina Nethaway, Paul Olson, Helen Barker, Mary Lynne Kneller, Ken Gray, Dan Taylor, Randall McKinnon, Ron & Kathy Schuman, Joyce Dierauer, Cass Dombrowski, Carolyn Wiseman, Maggie Cox, Susan Donaldson and Janet Good.
To learn more about volunteering for Summit County Library, visit our Volunteer page; follow the library on Facebook or Instagram ; or visit us at any of the three locations, in Frisco, Breckenridge and Silverthorne.