Annually, librarians and library project teams from academic, public, and special libraries across the Commonwealth are honored by the Virginia Library Association (VLA) for their exemplary contributions to their communities and profession. MRL is pleased to announce that the Awards & Recognition Committee of VLA has selected MRL's Stephanie Mullins and Lesley Perkins as winners for the 2023 association awards from a very competitive application pool.
Stephanie Mullins, MRL's Circulation Desk Manager, was selected for the 2023 VLAPAF (Virginia Library Association Professional Associates Forum) Supporter of Professional Associates Award. This award highlights an individual who has provided significant support to their staff and who has been a champion for library support staff in Virginia libraries. Mullins began her career at MRL in 2006 and moved into her current role of Circulation Desk Manager in 2014. In addition to overseeing that department, Mullins also trains all new MRL staff members - throughout MRL's seven branch library system - to ensure effective and consistent customer service and procedural consistency of ILS transactions and MRL policies and procedures. Mullins also manages MRL's robust volunteer program and ensures that volunteers are recruited by need and fit to augment the service and project needs of the library system.
Lesley Perkins, MRL's Business Manager, was selected as the 2023 Outstanding Professional Associates Award winner. This award recognizes a library associate who advances and strengthens the image of Professional Associates, as well as who fosters communication among library employees throughout the Commonwealth. Perkins first became associated with MRL as a volunteer, leading the Central Library's former Friends volunteer group and also filling shifts as needed in the Central Library Reference Department. Perkins then applied her 18 years of accounting experience toward her current position as MRL's Business Manager, a role she has held since 2016. As Business Manager, Perkins is responsible for all human resources and financial operations for the seven branch library system. Additionally, Perkins served as interim Library Director, from August 2021-October 2022, during a transition period of MRL's leadership.
The Virginia Library Association was founded to develop, promote, and improve library and information services, library staff, and the profession of librarianship in order to advance literacy and learning and to ensure access to information in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Library staff across the Commonwealth are eligible to become members of the association. The VLA engages in legislation at the state and federal levels and provides its library members with library education, training, and outreach information to assist them in meeting their mission.
Mullins and Perkins will be formally recognized at the Virginia Library Association Awards Celebration on Sunday evening, October 22, 2023, in conjunction with the VLA Annual Conference. Click here to read more information about each award and its recipient(s) for 2023 and please join MRL in congratulating these two outstanding employees on their achievements and well-deserved recognition.