At the annual Maine Library Association Conference in Orono on May 19, our Library Director, Jay Scherma was recognized as the Maine Outstanding Librarian for 2012!
For over 17 years, Jay has provided leadership not only for the Thomas Memorial library, but statewide as well. He has been a key person in ensuring that the statewide resource-sharing consortium, Minerva, has served Maine’s libraries and patrons effectively and with limited costs. He has been an advocate for the use of technology in libraries dating to his earlier work in Massachusetts as the director of a resource-sharing consortium of local libraries.
Our collection here at the Thomas Memorial Library outgrew its current space some time ago. In the last seventeen years, Jay has initiated renovations, both large and small, to help alleviate some of the library’s space problems. His creativity and logical problem solving have helped us to maximize every inch of available space in the building. Since 2007, at the request of the Town Council, he has been working with Town-appointed committees, the Board of Trustees, and the Thomas Memorial Library Foundation to pursue options for addressing the many issues related to current library building (background information and the current state of the Building Project, please visit our Building Project page.)
As a manager, Jay has always allowed staff to work from their own strengths, resulting in a level of service that goes beyond the routine. If a member of the staff has an interest and ability, Jay has always allowed him or her to work outside of his or her job description to develop new and better services. Over time, Jay has allowed individual staff members to find their natural place within the organization so that everyone is able to work to his or her full potential.
The well-deserved award includes a Paul Revere bowl mounted on a pedestal. Joining Jay at the awards ceremony were his wife Ann; our Children’s Librarian, Rachel Davis; Minerva Chair and South Portland Library Director Kevin Davis; Violet Davis; and our Town Manager, Michael McGovern. Among those nominating Jay Scherma (without his knowledge) were Trustee Chair RuthAnn Haley, Council Library Liaison Jessica Sullivan, Rachel Davis, Michael McGovern and Belfast Free Library Director Steve Norman.
“It was clear at the ceremony that Jay was a very popular recipient as the presenters became quite choked up in making the presentation,” Town Manager Michael McGovern noted in a press release.
News of Jay’s award has appeared in several news outlets this week: