INFOhio Spence White Service Award, 2007
Dianna Ashburn, SPARCC and Christina Schmoll, NOECA
Dianna Ashburn, Manager of Library Automation Services at the Stark/Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC), and Christina Schmoll, Library Services Support Specialist at the Northern Ohio Educational Computer Association (NOECA), have been selected as the 2007 recipients of the INFOhio Spence White Service Award.
On the SPARCC staff since 1968, Dianna has been instrumental in writing and implementing local and Library Services and Technology grants that have provided more than $1.3 million to automate almost 140 of the 150 SPARCC buildings.
Jan Misch, Lake Middle School Library Media Specialist, has seen first hand the results of Dianna's efforts for more than a decade. "Through all the training, technology issues and hundreds (more likely thousands) of phone calls, Dianna has always been professional, kind and helpful," Misch states. "She has worked many additional hours in the evening or on weekends to make our transition to INFOhio happen smoothly. Dianna has been the one constant in all the software and personnel changes we have experienced in our automation journey. She always gets us answers and always gives us reliable information. I cannot imagine a better person to have as a resource."
Pennie Gamber, Library Media Specialist at Tuslaw High School, concurs with Misch's comments. Dianna "has spent many hours scheduling and conducting training sessions to make sure all her users are proficient" in the library automation software. Gamber adds that Dianna "has followed through with in-service trainings, with telephone and e-mail support, and by encouraging networking among users. She has always made herself available to visit the district, if needed. She continues to make herself available to answer questions or troubleshoot any problems."
Janet Kell, Library Media Specialist at Jackson Middle School, concludes her nomination letter with high praise. "I cannot imagine the INFOhio program in the SPARCC service area being the total success that is has been without the vision, service and support of Dianna Ashburn."
Chris Schmoll was the Library Services Support Specialist for 11 years at NOECA. She began working with NOECA's INFOhio participants in 1996, supporting library automation customers and electronic resource users. Chris helped write three LSTA grants that automated NOECA buildings. The award was presented posthumously as Chris sadly lost her 7-month battle with lung cancer on August 6, 2007.
Deanna Schumm, District Media Specialist for Huron City Schools, says that Chris "was known for giving 110% to providing the best service that she could to the libraries she serviced. Chris was always ready to tackle any changes or obstacles. Even while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, Chris tried to miss as little work as possible. She was still answering questions and trying to solve problems until her health wouldn't permit her to work," Schumm said.
Bobbie Warthman and Trish Baker, library services support staff at the Licking Area Computer Association (LACA), recalls the generous assistance provided to her colleagues around the state. "Anytime we needed help, all we had to do was drop Chris an e-mail or give her a call; she was always more than willing to take the time to help us figure things out." In addition to providing help, Chris served as a mentor, created documentation and volunteered for projects to improve INFOhio. "Chris was determined to roll up her sleeves and get the job done, no matter how big the task. Her contributions and dedication to the project have been astounding," Warthman and Baker wrote.
Lisa Wendt, a NOECA colleague of Chris for more than seven years, remembered the passion Chris brought to INFOhio. "You only had to meet Chris once to realize how near and dear the INFOhio project was to her," Wendt explained. "After attending my first Tech Roundtable [in Columbus] with her, I was taken aback with the enthusiasm she exuded and all the ideas she had as we made the two and a half hour trek back home. It was my good fortune to have this happen dozens of times during the years we worked together." Wendt concluded her nomination remarks by stressing that Chris's "spirit lives on and INFOhio, NOECA and its clients are better for having known Chris Schmoll."
INFOhio is proud to recognize Dianna and Chris as being the 2007 recipients of the Spence White Service Award.