June 17, 2009 – Gloria Hughes, Site Manager of The New York Public Library's Grand Concourse Branch, received the 2009 Maher Stern Award for Service Excellence at a ceremony held June 16th at the Grand Concourse Branch, located at 155 East 173rd Street in the Bronx. Allison Maher Stern established the Award for Service Excellence with her husband, Leonard Stern, in 1993. The award encourages high standards in branch library service by honoring a librarian and his or her staff for excellence. Included is a $1,000 prize for the winning librarian along with $1,000 to the branch to enhance its quality of service.
The Maher Stern Award was presented by Library President Dr. Paul LeClerc. “Gloria Hughes has introduced a wide range of innovative programs and concepts to better serve the community of library users in the Grand Concourse neighborhood,” said Dr. LeClerc. “Her flexibility and willingness to experiment with new approaches have resulted in significant growth in the use of the branch during her tenure as Site Manager. Additionally, we are deeply appreciative of the support of Allison Maher Stern and her husband Leonard Stern, which allows us to honor dedicated librarians like Gloria.”
Ms. Hughes joined the Library in 1997 as a Young Adult Librarian Trainee at the High Bridge Branch. During her time with the library, Ms. Hughes earned a Master’s Degree from the Pratt Institute in Library and Information Science. She transferred to the Mosholu Branch in 2001 and then joined the staff of the Grand Concourse library in 2002. She became the library’s Supervising Branch Librarian in 2007 and was named Library Site Manager when the new position was introduced in November 2008. In 2002, Ms. Hughes was quoted in The New York Daily News regarding her branch’s innovative music-friendly teen study room, the first of its kind in the library system. Under her leadership, the Grand Concourse Branch staff has implemented a diverse array of new programs including a Reading Buddy system that allows older children to mentor younger children to promote readership, and an open-forum discussion for young adults to connect with library staff entitled “You Talk, We Listen.” Ms. Hughes has received numerous accolades for her excellence in library service. She was nominated for The New York Times Librarian Award in 2006 and was accepted into The NYPL Leadership Academy in 2007.
About the Grand Concourse Branch
The Grand Concourse Branch, located at 173rd Street between Morris and Selwyn Avenues directly behind Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, is a 13,500 square-foot, five-story facility, which was redesigned and renovated in 2002. Initially built in 1958, the branch contains adult, young adult, and children’s collections available for borrowing and use in the library. The branch was the first in the New York Public Library system to feature an enclosed glass sound-proof teen room solely for young adults. Grand Concourse additionally features an extensive Spanish-language collection, along with selections of videos and audiocassettes, a Community Information collection, and personal computers with software and internet access for free public use. A multi-use room is also available for community group meetings as well as library programs.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers - the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library - and 87 Branch Libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves over 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through its website, www.nypl.org.
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