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Library receives state award for second year

Dickinson Public Library was presented with the ND State Library Star Library Award on Aug. 8. It is the second year in a row Dickinson has received the award. From left, Renee Newton, library assistant director, Mary Soucie, ND State Librarian, and Rita Ennen, library director. (Submitted)

Dickinson Public Library has received the North Dakota Star Library Award for the second year in a row.

The award, from the North Dakota State Library, was presented to the library on Aug. 8.

The Star Award is given to libraries that rank in the top three of their category.

As a Tier-5 library, Dickinson received the award along with Bismarck and Fargo.

"They (the state library) take all of the annual reports from all of the libraries in the state, and they compare you against other people in your same category, as far as expenditures go," Rita Ennen, Dickinson library director, explained.

The award is also based on a library's circulation, number of visitors, programs and number of people who attend, and number of people using the library's computers.

Ennen described the award as an honor for the library.

"It's one thing that says, hey, our community receives what we're doing well, because those are the numbers they have, the people who are actually using our services," she said.

Ennen attributes the library's success to its staff and the community.

"I have a terrific staff that works very, very hard," she said, "and a community that is interested in literature, is interested in learning opportunities for their kids, is interested in being a community together."

The award, along with growing participation numbers, help affirm the library's efforts, Ennen said.

"Receiving an award like this, and knowing the criteria they base it on, validates that, in a way, when we're in the same category as Bismarck and Fargo," she said. "Although we're smaller, we do as much for our community as those other libraries are able to do for theirs."

Ennen has personally seen that level of engagement, as the library had an especially busy summer season this year.

"It was a very busy summer," she said. "Summer reading program is always an intense time at the library. But that's exciting, too. I love the energy when you have people coming in excited and enjoying what we offer."

Winning the Star Award for a second year in a row "feels good," Ennen said.

"It feels like what we did, we continue to do. You don't want to fall backwards," she said.

The library will continue to strength and add to its offerings, Ennen said.

"It's hugely encouraging for us to continue to go down the path that we've set of community engagement and building our services," she said.

She added, "We hope to continue to do the best we can for our community."