Every year, the Michigan Library Association chooses a Rising Star librarian - someone who, despite being in the field less than five years, has shown great leadership. Award winners are energetic efficient librarians who push the boundaries of originality and creativity to establish a library culture that sets high expectations, promotes learning, and creates understanding of the library as an integral part of the community.
And this year, they chose our very own Dani DiAmico, children's librarian at the Sage Library!
She is a source of new ideas and innovations in the system, including a number of new and successful programs. Her idea to create Buddy Benches for several local elementary schools has spun off into a regular series of Kids Helping Kids programs that encourage participants to think about the larger community while creating together.
She has also been innovative in her approach to school outreach services. She was an enthusiastic collaborator on the breakout room outreach project our department has been testing in several elementary schools, helping to smooth out wrinkles and create scripts for library staff to more effectively run the program for all classrooms in grades K-5. Beyond that, she shares what she knows; along with other colleagues in the program, she presented on the classroom breakout programs to a full house of library staff from across Michigan at the 2019 MLA Spring Institute.
The list of programs and outreach tools she has created goes on, but it is important to note that these are not the only reasons that Dani is an exceptional librarian. Her warmth and kindness is notable from the moment you walk into her children’s room. The care she takes to know her patrons and make them feel welcome in the library is very clear.
Dani is truly a rising star in libraries – having only been a department head for just over a year, her list of accomplishments, her inspiration to other staff, and desire to make libraries increasingly relevant in the community is already remarkable. And I have no doubt that it will only rise from here. She is deeply deserving of this recognition, and we look forward to seeing what she has in store for libraries.