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Pioneer Library System earns award for innovation

Special to the News-Star
From left, Pioneer Library System Community Engagement Manager Jennifer Fourcade, Executive Director Lisa Wells, and Kelly Sitzman, director of communications and employee development, stand inside Norman Public Library East with the 2020 Opie Award, presented to the library system by Orangeboy, Inc. The Pioneer Library System is one of eight libraries nationally to receive the honor from the library consulting company. The cash award for the honor will go toward services for students in rural school districts within the library system’s service area.

The Pioneer Library System is one of eight public libraries from across the country to receive the 2020 Opie Award, given out by Orangeboy, Inc., a leading consultancy for public libraries and provider of Savannah, the community engagement platform built exclusively for libraries.  

Winners were selected from across the country by an independent board of library leaders that evaluated proposals submitted by applicants outlining inspiring or innovative ideas designed to further support the communities served by each library.   

“Pioneer Library System is excited to be one of eight public libraries to have received the 2020 Opie Award,” said PLS Executive Director Lisa Wells. “These funds will enable us to give special focus to some of our most rural school districts. We look forward to working with these communities and OrangeBoy to increase access to library resources and break down barriers to learning.”   

In October, OrangeBoy announced a $10,000 pool for award grants would be available in 2020 but increased this amount after receiving a high number of innovative proposals. Grants awarded this cycle more than doubled the original pool, totaling $22,500.   

“The evaluation committee was very impressed by the Pioneer Library System proposal,” said OrangeBoy founder Clark Swanson. “We are excited to support the library’s goal of increasing access to highly valuable learning tools for students in many of the rural areas served by the library with this year’s Opie Award and grant. We look forward to the continued positive impact the library will make in the community.”   

Joining PLS as 2020 Opie Award recipients are: Cedar Park Public Library, Cedar Park, Texas; Elkhart Public Library: Elkhart, Ind.; Glendale Library, Arts & Culture, Glendale, Calif.; Grosse Pointe Public Library, Grosse Pointe, Mich.; Missouri River Regional Library, Jefferson City, Mo.; Saint Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, Ind.; and Whitefish Bay Public Library, Whitefish Bay, Wisc.  

The Opie Award is an annual award from OrangeBoy, Inc. named after the founding OrangeBoy, Opie. The Opie Award honors OrangeBoy clients that present new or ongoing ideas that embody the characteristics and values of OrangeBoy’s namesake - curious, confident, and competitive. The Opie Award celebrates libraries serving their communities in inspiring and innovative ways.   

Honoring the outstanding achievements of award recipients serves as a reminder that libraries positively affect their communities, and the way individuals live and succeed. Recipients and amounts awarded are selected by an independent, impartial committee of library leaders not employed by OrangeBoy Inc.  

Find out more about any of the Pioneer Library System’s services by going online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org, or by downloading the Connect App, available through the Apple Store and Google Play.