Ruth Eveland, Class of ’72, has been Named “2016 Outstanding Librarian of the Year” by the Maine Library Association.
Eveland was nominated by the staff of the Jesup Memorial Library and received letters of support from board members, community leaders and other library professionals throughout the state. The Jesup staff said in a statement, “Ruth is a real visionary who encourages and supports each of us in our work for the Jesup. We love working for the Jesup under her leadership. This award is much-deserved and we’re thrilled for her.”
Marcela Peres, Maine Library Association Communications Chair, said in a statement, “Each letter supporting Ruth’s nomination was rich with stories of how her leadership and passion for libraries and their crucial role in 21st century communities is an inspiration to everyone she encounters. It was clear to the award committee that Ruth has had and continues to have a profound and positive impact on the lives of others both at Jesup and throughout the library community. We are delighted to present her with this year’s award.”
The Outstanding Librarian of the Year Award was created in 1993 to highlight professional achievement and service to the Maine Library Community. This award is presented each year to a librarian with a demonstrated record of service to his/her library, as well as service and leadership to the Maine library community and the library profession. They consider the librarian’s record of service to her library in promotion and development of library services which enrich the library’s staff and community and development of community and institutional support of the library. They also look at the librarian’s record of service to the library profession including involvement in state, regional or national library groups and activities, involvement in groups which promote the library profession and a record of professional leadership.
Eveland has been director of the Jesup since 2009 and under her leadership the Jesup has vastly increased its impact in the community. Programming at the library has increased more than 2,000% since she was hired as director. Between 2012 and 2015 there has been an increase of 104% in the number of programs offered at the Jesup for adults, with an increase of 155% in attendance at programs. For the same period, there has been a 61.5% increase in the number of children’s programs at the Jesup, with an increase of 73.4% in attendance. She is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Northern Maine Library District.
Eveland was also awarded the 2016 Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s Cadillac Award for her commitment to the Bar Harbor community. The award is given to a person that epitomizes the virtues of leadership, service, sacrifice and the quest for personal excellence. This individual, through work within an industry, an organization or the community as a whole, has demonstrated a rock-solid commitment and dedication to the highest standards of business practice, ethical conduct and selfless public service.
Eveland said, “I am honored to be recognized by my peers. I’ve worked in many different communities over my professional career, but no experience has been as challenging or exciting or deeply satisfying as my work at the Jesup.”
Previously, she was director of the Troy Public Library in Troy, New York; director of the Camas Public Library in Camas, Washington; a branch librarian for the Spokane Public Library; assistant branch librarian at the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Middleburgh Heights, Ohio; librarian at the Fairview Park Regional Library in Fairview Park, Ohio; and coordinator of services to institutions for the Burlington County Public Library in Mount Holly, New Jersey.
Eveland graduated from Smith College in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Rutgers University in 1974 with a Master’s Degree in Library Service.