Officials honor dedication, excellence in Mohawk Valley Library System

The Fort Plain Free Library and David Heacock, former president of the Gloversville Public Library,

The Fort Plain Free Library and David Heacock, former president of the Gloversville Public Library, received awards from the Mohawk Valley Library System last week for their work to enhance library services in the area.

Heacock was presented with the Harold and Junice Wusterbarth Volunteer Service Award for his work to replace funding the city of Gloversville could no longer provide to the library because of budget difficulties.

The Fort Plain Free Library received the 2011 Library Recognition Award for its efforts to enhance services to its community and the region through the Twain Along the Mohawk program held last summer.

The awards were presented at the system’s 52nd annual meeting Wednesday and recognize achievements in public library services within the system’s coverage area, which includes Fulton, Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties. Last year’s recipients were the Gloversville Public Library, for its summer teen reading program called the Bibliomaniacs, and Harold Wusterbarth, for his years of dedication to the Mohawk Valley Library System.

Carol Clingan, the system’s executive director, said the Fort Plain library’s summer program, which focused on Mark Twain and the time he visited the town in 1868, was “fantastic” for such a small library.

The program coincided with the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death and the release of the first volume of the author’s autobiography. The day featured a re-enactment of the speech Twain gave in Fort Plain to promote his book “The Innocents Abroad,” a concert with activities and a community dinner.

“Twain was there during the canal town’s heyday, and it was a good way for them to celebrate that,” said Clingan.

Heacock was nominated for his award by Gloversville Public Library’s current president, Christine Pesses, for working to turn the town’s old free library into a publicly funded school district library and creating the Gloversville Library Foundation.

“[Heacock’s] leadership at a time when things were really going wrong led the library into a sustainable future that is really remarkable,” said Clingan.

Barbara Madonna, director of the Gloversville Public Library, said she was glad to see Heacock get the award because of the tireless work he did for the library during the 20 years he was a board member. He still volunteers by keeping the grounds clean with the committee’s seasonal cleanup initiatives and by contributing to the bake sale fundraiser.

“It’s really a wonderful success story,” said Clingan.

Categories: Schenectady County

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