Annually, the Illinois Library Association (ILA) awards a public library trustee the prestigious honor of "Trustee of the Year." In 2017, the award has been given to Bartlett Library's very own Dave Barry, president of the Library Board of Trustees.
Barry was nominated by Library Director Karolyn Nance. Nance crafted her nomination on Barry's contributions to local, state and national libraries, his years of dedication for serving on the board and several other committees and the many leadership roles that he maintains.
Selection for the winner was anonymous; nominations were gone through without the judges knowing the nominees names, so the award was solely based on the individual's accomplishments. Barry stood out to win the award due to his active participation and passion for libraries.
Barry has served as a Library Trustee on the Bartlett Public Library District Board for the past four years, the most recent two being Board President.
Not only has Barry served on the Bartlett Library Board of Trustees, he has also been a part of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) Board of Directors for the past three years. During his time at RAILS, Barry has served as a member on the Membership Standards Committee since 2015 to the present. He also chaired the RAILS Board Policy Committee, served as Vice President of the Board and then in 2016, Barry was elected to be President of the RAILS Board of Directors.
His dedication has brought him to attend many trustee workshops throughout the state, and Barry has attended state and national library conferences to keep himself informed on trending library issues. In 2016, Barry spoke at the ILA Conference with the presentation of "360 Degrees of Being Effective Trustees," and will be presenting the same session with Director Nance at the Annual Trustee Workshop put on by the Area Training for Librarians and Staff (ATLAS) organization on June 3, 2017.
Barry has traveled to Springfield on multiple occasions to meet with state library staff and discuss statewide issues, as well as RAILS priorities and needs.
Director Nance was ecstatic when Barry was announced as trustee of the year.
"While all of these extra roles help to make [Barry] a very successful trustee," she said, "it is really his dedication to the staff at the Bartlett Library that makes his leadership skills stand out."
Nance explained that he is very active at the Bartlett Library, rarely missing a function that involves the community and/or staff. He also knows every single staff member's name and makes it a point to greet everyone when he frequently visits the Bartlett Library multiple times a week.
"The support that he has offered to me as the Library Director is beyond compare," Nance said, "and his thoughtful outlook on life has influenced our library to become one of the most welcoming locations in our community."
Executive Director of RAILS Dee Brennan wrote in a support letter for Barry's nomination.
"[Barry] has been an outstanding board member, a role model for all board members," Brennan said. "[He's] supportive of staff and eager to learn as much as possible so that he can be effective in his role for RAILS, as well as for the Bartlett Public Library District."
With so much community and library involvement, it is clear why Barry is this year's recipient for the "Trustee of the Year" award.