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Sussex County Library System staff honored at annual NJ Library Association conference

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – Several Sussex County Library System (SCLS) staff members were recognized during the Counties Section luncheon at the annual New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) conference, held in Atlantic City May 31-June 3.

Associate Library Director Ellen Callanan was named Staff Member of the Year. According to Library Director, Will Porter, this well-deserved designation was awarded for many reasons including Callanan’s “attention to detail, strong sense of mission, 20-plus year institutional memory, and genuine concern for every member of the SCLS staff.”

Headed by Branch Manager Sara Branagan, the Circulation Committee received the Great Team award for creating and maintaining a reference and training manual for public-facing staff.

“There have been a lot of changes in recent years,” Porter said. “Our ever-expanding Library of Things items come with their own checkout protocols; adapting to, and back from, COVID procedures required extensive coordination. Sara and her team helped ensure that Library services remain standardized and reliable from one location to another.”

The Great Solution award went to the Youth Services team headed by librarian Deb Fagnan, for their efforts to expand library offerings to neurodiverse children by first winning a Library Services and Technology Act Grant (LSTA) from the New Jersey State Library, and then using the funds to train and equip the Youth Services staff to offer special, Sensory Storytimes for children with sensory processing issues.

Fagnan also spearheaded the SCLS’ first-ever Autism Resource fair which brought families, nonprofit organizations, state and local social services, and more, together at the library, fostering a sense of access and community among the attendees.

The annual NJLA Conference invites all types of librarians, library workers, supporters and vendors to engage in discussions, workshops and presentations, that help libraries network and share ideas to improve and expand services for all.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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