North Providence Union Free Library receives state library awards

North Providence Union Free Library receives state library awards

From left are North Providence Union Free Library Director Stefanie Blankenship, Dorothy Swain (Trustee of the Year award recipient) and Deputy Director Liz D’Amore.

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The North Providence Union Free Library is the recipient of two Rhode Island Library Association Awards. The awards are given annually during a two-day conference, this year and last year held virtually, to individuals who work in or contribute to libraries in outstanding manners. The North Providence Library received the Paraprofessional of the Year and Trustee of the Year awards.

The Paraprofessional of the Year award went to Lynda LaCava, Children’s Program specialist. Her supervisor, librarian Jenny Durant said, “Lynda is integral to the success of our wonderful Children’s Department here at the North Providence Union Free Library. Being a teacher, Lynda easily incorporates literacy skills into the story times she performs, and has many creative ideas for working with the children in North Providence to help instill their love for reading. During the pandemic, Lynda helped create video story times for the kids and even dressed up as a shark to help entertain the kids who were facing so much uncertainty. She knows the children that come into the library by name, and kids often color pictures for her and seek her out when they come into the library. Lynda is always thinking of new ways to make our department better, and puts in the work to make it happen. She always goes above and beyond anything that is expected of her.”

The Trustee of the Year award went to Dorothy Swain, who has served as chairwoman of the Board for four years. Library Director Stefanie Blankenship said, “When I ponder who has given me and our library the best support and advice anyone can ever give based on years of experience and knowledge, one amazing individual comes to mind: Ms. Dorothy Swain. Ms. Dorothy Swain is a woman of many talents and abilities, although that vague description does not do her justice. As chair of the Trustees, Ms. Swain gives her all and then some to provide the library’s administration with valuable tools for success. She has led us through one of the most difficult years without once faltering. Though she has seen this library go through many transitions, this past year was without a doubt the most jolting. Yet, her steadfast manner held us all together and with confidence, we can proceed into the bright future ahead.”

The annual RILA conference will be held virtually June 3-4, during which the award presentations will be played for attendees. The Rhode Island Library Association is a professional organization that serves its members through career development, education, advocacy, networking partnerships and legislative action.

• Events: The Tuesday Book Club for 3rd- to 5th-graders will meet on Tuesday, June 8, at 6:30 p.m. This month’s book is “The Witches of Brooklyn,” by Sophie Escabasse. Registration is required. Call the Children’s Department for more information and to register at 401-353-5600, ext. 5.

From left are the North Providence Union Free Library Children’s Team: Ann Rawlinson, Jenny Durant, Lynda LaCava (Paraprofessional of the Year award recipient), Talia Katowicz, and Kathleen Napolitano.