2020 FLA Award Winners

Overall Achievement

Librarian of the Year

Andrew Breidenbaugh,
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Under Andrew Beidenbaugh's energetic leadership and commitment to an evolving library, THPL found new, effective ways to remove barriers to library resources. Andrew's collaboration with local government and library stakeholders enabled access to every school-aged child in Hillsborough County, welcomed back 15,000 customers shut out from the library's resources by fines, made library technology available to every resident regardless of account status and expanded service to underserved populations. Andrew spearheaded THPL's strategic planning process, resulting in a new staffing model, yielding $1 million in savings with no jobs lost.

Library of the Year

Broward County Library 

A host of new initiatives and projects are bringing Broward County Library’s services and resources to unusual and unexpected places, including an airport, parks, and ports.These investments have generated significant increases in usage of the library’s electronic services and attendance at libraries and programs in FY2019. Increases included growth in the following: 5.4% in total circulation; 7.9% in new library cards; 8.6% in number of programs; and 13.5% in attendance. The biggest investment in this initiative is the willingness by BCL staff to realize that library services for all, the sky – and land and sea – is not the limit.

Outstanding New Librarian

Lily Jade Dubach
University of Central Florida

Lily Dubach’s passion for student success is evident in her work in the classroom, efforts with textbook affordability, many publications and conference presentations, outreach efforts on multiple campuses, and development of new library workshops. Lily identified a need to reach out to UCF’s new program for students with learning disabilities, designing a new book club to invite these students to experience library resources. She has taken on leadership roles within the library, the FLA, and the University. Lily is that rare librarian who not only does her job exceptionally well, but also serves as an ambassador for the profession.

Outstanding Paraprofessional

Mary Renee Galloway 
Hope Place Branch Manager & Library Associate
Volusia County Public Library

Mary Renee Galloway is the representation of a 21st century paraprofessional. Mary demonstrates consistency in quality performance and expertise as manager of a small branch, as a leader in youth services programming, and as a mentor to her peers. Her readiness to redefine her role has taken her from student worker to library assistant to library associate. She networks with her peers and serves as an on-boarding mentor for other paraprofessionals. She has taken a student worker job and forged it into a career where she successfully leads from the middle- impressing peers, colleagues, subordinates, and administrators.

Embodiment of Values and Ideals

Intellectual Freedom Award

Prison Letter Program
Clearwater Public Library System

The Clearwater Public Library System’s Prisoner Letter Program answers basic reference questions and provides research assistance to prison inmates throughout Florida. The program works to fulfill the needs of an underserved population. The Prison Letter Program provides outreach to incarcerated persons and receives between fifty to eighty letters a month from more than 35 State Correctional Facilities. With the belief that the core values of intellectual freedom and librarianship should benefit all Floridians, Clearwater Public Library System gladly provides information access for inmates.

Library Innovation

The Project Welcome
Broward County Library 

The Project Welcome was created to welcome newcomers and English language learners, inform them of Broward County Library’s important resources and support them on their path towards literacy, economic prosperity and a sense of belonging. The target population for Project Welcome is Broward’s Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese-speakers, as approximately 31 percent of Broward residents speak one of these three languages. Ensuring the success of Project Welcome, BCL collaborated with a number of community and public organizations. Additionally, marketing and library resources were translated into the target languages and Amazon Echo devices are at public service desks to provide customers with assistance in a variety of languages.

Maria Chavez-Hernandez “Libraries Change Peoples’ Lives”

Tampa Hillsborough County Public Library

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library (THPL) supports adult learners through English language and basic literacy tutoring in partnership with the Hillsborough Literacy Council and citizenship classes facilitated by community partners. Each year over 100 active volunteers offer 3,000 hours of instruction. In 2019, THPL expanded its citizenship classes with the support of a $10,000 American Dream Literacy Initiative grant, incorporating tablets to make the sessions more engaging while building technology skills and familiarizing students with the online testing format. 100% of students said they learned something helpful and intend to apply what they learned.

Excellence in a Field of Endeavor

Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award (Early Learning)

Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach

"Let’s Read"is a volunteer-based reading program established by the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach.The program encourages a love of reading by training adult volunteer mentors to bring story times into academically struggling Title 1 elementary schools and pre-schools. It is designed to help children in preschool through second grade develop a love of reading. Let’s Read volunteers share stories and rhymes, distribute library cards and gift books, encourage library use and support reading at home. Since 2003, over 500 volunteers have visited over 550 classrooms to share 4,850 hours of literacy rich story times. 

Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award (Teens)

Suwannee River Regional Library

There are few programs in the Suwannee River Regional Library’s rural community for teens not interested in team sports. The library teen programs offer opportunities for teens to meet, share, create and cooperate in a safe environment. Teen programs are bringing in youth that may not have visited. The programs provide educational and character-building aspects designed to inspire teens to read about and explore different hobbies, art forms, games and occupations. These programs encourage teamwork, problem solving, creative thinking, focus under pressure, time management and respect for others, and incorporate new books and media through displays and projects.

Excellence in Marketing and Public Relations

Broward County Library 

The Broward County Library collaborated with the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Fort Lauderdale to open the Broward County FLLibrary, a satellite library location in the airport featuring the latest in streaming media technology. The project was a partnership between Broward County Libraries and the Broward County Aviation Department. Broward County Aviation was eager to create a comfortable and eye-catching space for visitors and provide a venue to promote library services to the 36 million domestic and international travelers passing through the airport.

Exemplary Instructional Programs or Services

Homework Help and Tutoring Program
Miami-Dade Public Library System

The Miami-Dade Public Library System’s Homework Help and Tutoring Program promotes literacy and learning by providing certified teachers who meet with small groups of students in one-hour sessions to provide free homework help and tutoring in reading, math and science. To date, the program has provided 40,432 tutoring sessions to students from some of the highest need areas in Miami-Dade County. The program inspires all children to a lifelong love of learning and supports student achievement in a safe and nurturing learning environment. 

Libraries Mean Business

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library 

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library (THPL) promotes economic development through resources, programs, and partnerships that empower small businesses and entrepreneurs. THPL facilitates this through a partnership with the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC), leading to strong relationships with other community organizations. Since 2016, THPL has engaged with 1,135 people through 57 classes and 684 reference hours at the ECC, 1,639 through outreach at business events, and over 3,500 through expert-led business classes in library branches. 96% of customers surveyed report learning something helpful, 96% intend to apply what they learned, and 93% are more aware of library resources and services. 

Outstanding Scholarly Contribution