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Laura Sherbo honored at ALA

Friday, July 13th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Laura Sherbo honored at ALA

Laura Sherbo with her mom at ALA

One of the first sessions I attended was the Unconference (wonderful, by the way).  At the Unconference I was talking with one of the other attendees about this being our first ALA and she said, “Oh wait! Someone forwarded this to me this morning.  There is free food on Saturday! Give me your phone number and I’ll send you the information.” Lo and behold it was the ASCLA Awards Ceremony.  Initially I was a little indignant.  How could these moochers attend the awards ceremony for anything besides honoring Laura?!?!?!  Maybe they are serving champagne, I thought, to console myself (turns out it was pretzels shaped like Mickey Mouse).  Or maybe ALA just knows that the best way to spread a message is with free food.

On Saturday I dressed in my conference best and went to meet Laura and all the other conference goers enjoying mini quesadillas and cake pops.  I also got to see Jeff Martin again and meet Laura’s Mother, who is twice as nice as she is charming. As an aside, I now look forward to my own mother’s presence at all future awards ceremonies in my honor.  The awards honored librarians, students, partnerships, and programs in specialized libraries with five different awards.  When the presenter read all the wonderful reasons why Laura won her award, Laura received the loudest round of applause of all the recipients. I can only imagine the myriad of emotions and admirations running through the minds of every person in the crowd.

Laura has been my supervisor for three years now, and more than anyone I have ever worked for, she is able to motivate her staff to greatness.  In the beginning, I was astounded by the loyalty everyone felt toward her and the Institutional Library Services, but now I understand.  Through budget cuts and layoffs, it becomes more abundantly clear with each hurdle she has encountered, that Laura is dedicated not only to serving the underserved, but also her staff.  She has the strength and high standards of a Titan, while still somehow making her staff feel comfortable giving input, starting new programs, and questioning her decisions, sometimes incessantly, probably much to her chagrin.  In short, Laura is the embodiment of leadership and all of us at ILS are lucky to work for her.

Also, she said the reason she won the award is because of her staff, which I’m not going to argue, because we’re pretty great.

Program Manager honored by national organization

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Program Manager honored by national organization


Laura Sherbo

The American Library Association (ALA) has just released the news that Laura Sherbo, Program Manager for Washington State Library’s Institutional Library Services, will receive the 2012 ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. After more than thirty years of library service to incarcerated patrons, no doubt Laura has some interesting tales to tell……perhaps in future blog posts! In the meantime, we’ll let her bask in the glory of the Anaheim sunshine as she travels to the ALA Conference this summer to accept her award.

Check out my letter of recommendation here.  Kathleen Benoun’s letter of recommendation and Neal Van Der Voorn’s letter of recommendation here.