IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – In a celebration of library excellence, Megan Buck, the dedicated Director of the Dickinson County Library, has been named the recipient of the Public Librarian of the Year award in Michigan. This accolade, presented by the Michigan Library Association, signifies her outstanding contributions to the field of library science. Up until 2020 the award was titled ‘Librarian of the Year,’ and in 2020 the award was changed to ‘Public Librarian of the Year’.
Buck’s humility and appreciation shone through as she expressed, “It’s a huge honor, I mean even just to be nominated is an honor, and to win, it’s just so humbling and exciting. You know, there were 70 librarians from across the state that were nominated, and I can’t thank my colleagues and my team here at the Dickinson County Library enough because it wouldn’t be possible without all of the great people that I work with.”
The recognition of Buck’s excellence was a proud moment – not just for her, but for the entire Upper Peninsula. At the MLA annual conference, she wasn’t the sole award recipient from the U.P. Jim Bolton, a passionate volunteer with the Pickford library project, also claimed the “Heart of a Champion” award, representing the spirit of the U.P. in the library community.
Megan Buck’s enthusiasm for her work is contagious. She shared her future aspirations, saying, “I would like to think I haven’t peaked in my career, but I do love working here in the U.P., especially at the Dickinson County Library, so, I see myself just continuing with a lot of the projects that I either started or worked with, that earned me this nomination in this award, and I look forward to just continuing to work here in our community, and also across the U.P. – and the state. I was recently appointed to the Library of Michigan board by the Governor, and so I’ll be serving that term, and working with that state board, which is very exciting…and also representing the U.P. on that board. And I’m just very involved in our library community across the U.P. and the state, and I just love my job.”
One of the impactful projects Buck has championed is the “UPs” mentoring project, fostering collaboration among libraries in the Upper Peninsula. She explained, “So, I think one of the big ones that spoke to the influence that I’ve had, and my desire to collaborate and work with others, is a project that I’ve worked with called UPs, which is a mentoring project across UPRLC, and its unexpected partnerships. So we pair U.P. and northern lower Michigan librarians together, and just try to facilitate collaboration, communication, networking, and reducing the feeling of isolation. Libraries in the U.P. are pretty far apart, and it’s really easy in some of the smaller libraries to feel like you’re all alone, so we work really hard to pair librarians together, so that you kind of form a friendship and a partnership.”
Buck shared some of the collaborative work she’s been doing with libraries across the U.P.
“Its really easy for of the smaller libraries to feel like you’re all alone, so we work hard to pair librarians together, so that you kind of form a friendship and a partnership. I have worked with Marc Boucher, who’s with Lake, Superior State, and Amanda Winnicki, who recently retired from Menominee county, and the three of us worked really hard to put together the ‘UP’s’ program, – and it’s still going – so that’s something that’s really exciting, and kind of a passion project for me… So I’ll be continuing with that,” she stated.
Ensuring intellectual freedom, and a welcoming atmosphere at Dickinson County Library, is a top priority. Buck affirmed, “Here in Dickinson County, one of the things that, of course, is always on the horizon for libraries is intellectual freedom, and making sure that everyone in our community feels represented and welcome in our library, and can find materials that are going to fit their informational and their entertainment needs. So we’re just going to keep fighting for the right to read, and making sure that everyone in our community feels welcome and represented in our library, and ensuring that our staff feel empowered, and that they have what they need to do the great jobs they’ve been doing. Programming is really important to us, we have a very robust summer reading program, but we do programming all year long for all ages, and so we just want to keep going and building on the successes that we’ve been having.”
Megan Buck’s heartfelt message to the community was, “I would just say this was such a huge honor, and I can’t thank the team here at DCL, the board here at DCL, and my colleagues across the U.P. and the state of Michigan because without the hard work of librarians all over the state, this wouldn’t be possible.” Buck’s dedication and passion for libraries continue to shine as she leads the way for the future of library services in Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
For more information about the Dickinson County Library’s programs, visit:
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