Berkshire Athenaeum Announces Award Winners, Part of National Library Week

As part of the National Library Week (April 10-16), the Berkshire Athenaeum announces the recipients of three annual awards in conjunction with this celebration.

The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Libraries Transform.” The awards include the 25th annual Library Family of the Year Award, the 25th annual Champion Borrower Award, and the 24th annual Donald H. Lutes Volunteer of the Year Award. Award winners will have their names engraved on plaques permanently on display at the library.

The 25th annual Library Family of the Year Award is presented to the Amber Boinay family of Pittsfield. The award honors a family who demonstrates conscientious and considerate use of the library. Selected by a consensus of Children’s Library staff, the Boinay family scored high in awareness of library programs and services, were conscientious in their use of library services, and had integrated their use of the library into the family routine.  Families receiving honorable mention in this award include the Matthew and Katie Weir family of Pittsfield; the John and Karen Davis family of Pittsfield; and the Sandesh Telavene family of Dalton. The 2015 Family of the Year Award went to the Thomas and Robin Ribero family of Pittsfield.

The 25th annual Champion Borrower Award goes to Don K. Young of Pittsfield “for being a patron whose voracious reading appetite and conscientious borrowing habits constitutes what  staff considers to be the ideal library user.”  Runner-up honors for this award include Cynthia Felleisen and Cynthia Albert, both of Pittsfield, and Kimberly Ezequelle of Sandisfield.  Last year's award went to Susan Testa of Pittsfield.

The 24th annual Donald H. Lutes Volunteer of the Year is presented to Kathleen Makes of Pittsfield for her extensive work and efforts toward creating a database finding aid for the library’s genealogy research correspondence files in the Local History Department. Runner-up honors for this award include Norma Zullo of Pittsfield and Vera Silvia of Adams who both assisted in the Local History Department, and Elijah Cunningham of Pittsfield who helped in the Children’s Library. Last year's award went to Angela Rifkin of Williamstown.

Award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang serves as Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2016 and is the 2016-2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His 2006 book, “American Born Chinese”, was the first graphic novel to be a finalist for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of the nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate in this annual event.