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Exec wins national Librarian of the Year award

March 5, 2018
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Lance Werner
Lance Werner. Courtesy Kent District Library

A local library executive has been honored on a national stage.

Lance Werner, executive director of the Kent District Library, or KDL, was named the 2018 Librarian of the Year by the Library Journal.

Werner was also awarded $1,500, and he was featured in the Library Journal’s January 2018 issue. 

“As the 30th recipient of the LJ Librarian of the Year award, Lance exemplifies the dynamism and keen intelligence we expect in a winner,” said Rebecca Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal.

“His deep understanding of the importance of building and nurturing strong relationships at all levels has resulted in improved service for his community, enhanced benefits for the Kent District Library staff and improved the outlook for libraries across Michigan. We are very excited to name him LJ’s 2018 Librarian of the Year.” 

The honor was bestowed upon him, because of the series of accomplishments he archived since he began his role in 2011.

Within the past year, Werner opened a Kent District Library branch at Kelloggsville High School, which allows the public to have access to library resources outside of school hours. He  began offering health care benefits for part-time employees. He also helped to collaborate with other West Michigan libraries to collect 50,000 library materials for Port Arthur Library in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

“I don’t feel like I have a job. It’s more of a calling,” Werner said. “I’m so blessed to do work that I love, with those that I love, for those that I love. I consider myself a public servant and want to add to the greater good and touch the lives of future generations.”

The Library Journal is familiar with what Werner has been doing for Kent County and beyond.  The 2018 Librarian of the Year award is just the latest honor for Werner. He was named a 2016 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

In 2017, the Michigan Library Association named Werner the Librarian of the Year.

Before joining Kent District Library, Werner was the director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, and he also served as a law specialist at the Library of Michigan.

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