John Augelli, executive director of the Rosenberg Library, was recognized as Librarian of the Year at the Texas Library Association conference in San Antonio on April 15. The award is given annually to a TLA member who exhibits extraordinary leadership or service within the library community.
Many members of the Galveston library community were present to applaud Mr. Augelli as he accepted the award. Present were: Karen Stanley, Barbara Arnold, Poom Taylor, Margaret Scofellia, Mary Perroni, Shelley Leader and several other Houston/Galveston librarians attending TLA in San Antonio.
During Hurricane Ike, Augelli weathered the storm in the building and spent the night, protecting key pieces of equipment and resources. Despite devastating damage to the first floor where the Children’s Room, Circulation, Technical Services, and Operations were housed, the library’s historical collections and artifacts remained safe. Because of his quick action after the storm to bring in specialists to remove the water and reduce the temperature and humidity in the building, the extent of the damage was controlled with no visible evidence of mold or other damage to the famous archival collections.
Restoration of library services to the Galveston community was his top priority, and the library’s operations staff worked temporarily out of his home. Library staff offered innovative new services such as “Books to Go” and pulled requested items from the collection.
Augelli has willingly shared his experiences in disaster preparedness and recovery with other library and museum officials at conferences and through national publications. He has been an active fundraiser for the library and has diligently worked to provide the residents of Galveston with needed library and information services.
“John Augelli is a hero who has earned the respect of his peers in the Texas library community. His advance preparations and his decisive response to this critical situation are testimonials to his leadership,” said Patricia Smith, executive director of TLA. “We are thrilled to recognize him as our Librarian of the Year for 2010.”
About the Texas Library Association
The Texas Library Association is the largest state library association in the United States with approximately 7,000 members who work in public, school, academic and special libraries, plus library vendors and citizens who support libraries. Founded in 1902, TLA offers a wide range of services, including an annual conference that attracts more than 7,500 librarians and exhibitors, a leadership development program, continuing education, legislative advocacy, and publications. For more information, see www.txla.org.