Burnsville Public Library Wins Library Programming Award

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that the Burnsville Public Library, in Burnsville Miss., is the recipient of the 2011 Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award.

This award, donated by the Marshall Cavendish Corporation, honors a school or public library that demonstrates excellence in library programming by providing programs that have community impact and responds to community needs. Advocacy, partnerships and creative of use of resources, regardless of the size of the library, are taken into consideration.

The Burnsville Public Library receives this honor for two outstanding programs—their Library Model Aircraft Program entitled ALOFT: A Learning Opportunity—Flight Technology, and their instructional program for youth to raise awareness of common ruses used by child abductors entitled SAFE: Stop Abductions Forever.

According to Jury Chair Tim Grimes of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library, it was especially noted that the Burnsville Public Library has a staff of only one librarian with some part-time help. The librarian, Robert Forbes, is responsible for both ALOFT and SAFE programs at the library.

The ALOFT program, which targets 4th- through 8th-grade students, helps to correlate math and science concepts learned in school with practical applications in model building. Sessions are taught by librarian Robert Forbes, who is also a Mike Monroney Aeronautical Institute FAA Certified Instructor. Students read the model plans, then select and install the appropriate material. The models are completed with a silkspan or monocote covering and are installed with rubber, electric and fuel powered motors.

Throughout the project, plan reading, theory of flight, aerodynamics, weather, building and flying techniques are taught. The program operates daily after school, and models are flown on Saturdays at the Burnsville Sports Complex or at Iuka Airport. The project has numerous local partners including banks, the TriState Educational Foundation, WalMart, local physicians, the Town of Burnsville and the Friends of the Library.

The SAFE program depicts several scenarios of the most common ruses used by child abductors. These simulations are play acted and filmed using home video equipment and are complimented by two actual live abduction videos.

The program, aimed at preteens and teens, was begun due to the number of increases in child abductions nationwide and due to five recent local incidents involving students of the Burnsville Elementary School and the surrounding area. Sessions are taught by Robert Forbes, who is also a trained 911 operator. Recipients of the project include the 21st Century Community Learning Center, Iuka and Booneville Mississippi Boys and Girls Clubs, a 4H Club, several churches and a local Girl Scout troop.

The Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award includes $2,000 and a 24k gold–framed citation, donated by the Marshall Cavendish Corporation. Other members of the 2011 jury were Karen Apland, Santa Clara County Library in Gilroy, Calif.; Dr. Barbara A. Burd, Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach S.C.; Denise Kwan, Chicago Public Library; and Dawn Zeig, Renaissance Oak Elementary School in Mahwah N.J.

The 2011 Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception Tuesday, June 28, during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, which runs from June 23–28 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

The deadline for submissions of applications for the 2012 Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award is December 1, 2011. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA website.

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