VBDL honors Benson, WestonPublished 10:25pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012
DECATUR — Van Buren District Library recognized two librarians as employees of the year for 2011.
Library Director David Tate says Matt Weston, an adult services librarian, of Kalamazoo, and Toni Benson, a local history librarian, of Decatur, received the annual award.
According to Tate, Weston was an integral factor in launching the district’s e-book service in July and excelled in his temporary assignment as interim Gobles branch librarian.
“Matt worked out of two offices in the last quarter of 2011,” Tate says. “He took on the responsibility of operating the Gobles branch while maintaining his duties as adult services librarian at district headquarters in Decatur.”
Weston’s primary responsibility is coordinating the district’s adult fiction program, including large print and audio acquisitions. In 2010, he served as interim branch librarian in Covert. Weston joined the district library in 2008 after working for the Carol Stream Public Library in Illinois.
“Another valuable employee,” Tate says, “is Toni Benson, our local history librarian. Toni is a recognized authority in the area of genealogy research and family history in southwest Michigan.”
Benson, who joined the library in 1988, has a long list of accomplishments.
Highlights from the past year include her creation of the Southwest Michigan Genealogy and Local History blog, which includes news, collection highlights, upcoming events and research tips from the library’s Local History Collection.
Other achievements include overhauling the library’s 1,200-reel microfilm collection, coordinating the receipt of 78 microfilm reels from the National Archives and Records Administration, accepting a gift renewal of the online institutional membership to American Ancestors and implementing the vertical file indexing project.
Tate says Benson joins a select group of employees who have won the award three times. The Decatur native received the award in 1996 and 2005.
Honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and a monetary gift from Friends of the Van Buren District Library.
Van Buren District Library is headquartered in Decatur with branches in Bangor, Bloomingdale, Covert, Gobles, Lawrence and Mattawan.