Minot AFB library named Air Force Library Program of the Year

Books from the base library are stacked at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., July 6, 2017. The library was recently awarded Air Force Library Program of the Year for 2016. This award is given to the library that excels in mission accomplishment and innovation, leadership and management, and customer focus. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Senior Airman Sahara L. Fales)

Books from the base library are stacked at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., July 6, 2017. The library was recently awarded Air Force Library Program of the Year for 2016. This award is given to the library that excels in mission accomplishment and innovation, leadership and management, and customer focus. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Senior Airman Sahara L. Fales)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The Minot Air Force Base library was recently awarded Air Force Library Program of the Year for 2016.

This award is given to the library that excels in mission accomplishment and innovation, leadership and management, and customer focus.

Sharon Emerich, 5th Force Support Squadron library circulation technician, attributes their achievement to the hard-working staff who created the events hosted throughout the year.

“We take ideas that we see elsewhere and put a creative spin on them to improve our programming,” Emerich said.

During 2016, the library provided free services such as book rental, movies, music and printing which saved Airmen approximately $1.7 million.

“I think the major factor for us winning this award is our programs,” said Julie Reiten, 5th FSS supervisory librarian. “We have special programs happening at all times to promote education and literacy.”

With programs such as a library quest, puppet shows, and interactive story times, Reiten said the focus is on families.

“After we implement a program, we work on it over the years to make it better and better,” Reiten added. “We don’t settle for mediocracy--we go the extra mile.”

In addition to their unique programs, the library staff stood out above the rest by participating in many events throughout the year such as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fair. During this event the staff demonstrated their STEM materials such as a Lego robot, a remote control car built with an electronic kit, and a 3D printed object.

Although they have a sufficient sized staff, Reiten believes their success is due to help of volunteers and collaborations with other base agencies.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without assistance from volunteers and other organizations,” Reiten said. “They help us do a lot more than is typical of a staff our size. They also lend us equipment we need but can't buy, which is a major factor for us during our events.”

Although it’s always good to receive recognition for hard work, Reiten feels this award is only a challenge to do better.”

“This award gets the word out to people what kind of library we are and the type of services and programs available,” Reiten said. “But we’re not going to rest on our laurels. We have to live up to it and keep on improving.”