INFOhio Spence White Service Award, 2014
Rupa Emani (SWOCA), Connie Sickels (SPARCC) and Jeanne Steele (NEOnet)
Rupa Emani, Educational Support Liaison/INFOhio Liaison for the SouthWest Ohio Computer Association (SWOCA); Connie Sickels, Software Specialist supporting the Stark/Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC); and Jeanne Steele, Media Services Support Specialist supporting the Northeast Ohio Network for Educational Technology (NEOnet), have been named Spence White Service Award winners for 2014.
Rupa was chosen for the award in appreciation for her communication skills and the day-to-day support she gives school librarians.
“Rupa truly understands the daily issues that confront school librarians,” said INFOhio Executive Director Theresa M. Fredericka. “She is an invaluable source of information on using library software and digital tools to help students read and learn.”
Rupa has been with SWOCA since 2011. Before that, she was a library media specialist in the Cincinnati area. Her nominators say that her exhaustive knowledge of INFOhio resources helps them save money for their districts. In addition to the annual training sessions she provides on INFOhio resources, Rupa sends monthly updates that librarians throughout the SWOCA area can share with their faculty, staff, and students.
Connie was chosen for the award in appreciation not only for her exemplary service and first-rate problem solving skills.
“Connie makes the librarians she serves feel as if they are her only priority,” said Fredericka. “Even though she serves several school districts in two counties, she somehow manages to get them all the technical help they need to make sure the students always have access to library services and digital tools.”
Her nominators describe her as a wealth of knowledge who always makes herself available to answer questions big and small. "She always makes you feel as if you are her only priority," the said. Connie has been with SPARCC for 9 years. Before that, she was the Middle School Librarian at James A Garfield Middle School at Garrettsville in Portage County.
Jeanne was chosen for the award in appreciation of her patient teaching and passion for library service.
“Jeanne is an innate problem solver, always willing to help school librarians work through technology issues or learn new digital tools over the phone or onsite,” said Fredericka. “She is passionate about the need to improve student achievement and has a strong desire in helping them to succeed.”
Jeanne worked as a library media specialist for 18 years before joining the staff at NEOnet. The schools she serves especially rely on her in-depth knowledge of the Workflows automation system. As one of her nominators put it, "Her dedication to libraries, information literacy and research has enabled staff and students to become better users of information and technology. Our library world is more efficient and better able to use INFOhio resources because of the hard work of Jeanne Steele."
All of us at INFOhio want to add our congratulations and thanks to Rupa, Connie, and Jeanne. We are proud to work with you!