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Appearing in photo (l-r, front) Sheryl Knab, Ex. Dir. WNYLRC; Kristine Kasbohm, Library Director; l-r,back Kathleen DeLaney, Archivist/Reference Librarian/YALT Program Library Coordinator, and Brandon Morrisey, PEOPLE, Inc. YALT program instructor

The Andrew L. Bouwhuis, S.J. Library received the 2012 Outstanding Library or Library Program Award from the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) at its 46th Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, October 17, at the newly renovated Hotel @ The Lafayette.

The library was nominated for its work with People Inc.’s Young Adults Learning Transition (YALT) Day- Habilitation program located on the Canisius Campus. Since 2009, the library staff has worked with YALT students through the gamut of library services, including Information Literacy skills; a Book Club; tours of departments with an eye toward learning job skills, and most recently, creating exhibits and displays, and participation in library programming such as Banned Book Week, Seasons Readings, Black History Month and Archives Speaker Series.

Brandon Morrisey, an instructor in the program wrote, “My students are not traditional college students-they have disabilities that would typically bar them from experiencing college. The students work on life skills such as: getting a job, becoming independent, moving out of their parents’ house, and obtaining a GED…Our presence on campus is largely the result of the exemplary role Canisius provides regarding inclusion, serving the community and promoting education. Specifically, the library has shown itself to be particularly supportive and beneficial to my students.”

He continued, “…projects included doing research, listening to the guidance from librarians and the final assembly. … The (weekly) Book Club followed the traditional format of sharing books that we had read, but…quickly (we) realized the students were far more interested in getting to know about local history and library functions. Soon our book club morphed into a free-flowing weekly meeting that involves my students on so many aspects of the library, it would be difficult to cover all the topics.” Mr. Morrisey points to the Curriculum Center as an excellent resource that provides a variety of materials and books that supplement primary and secondary curricula. He mentioned the dedication of one staff member who chased down a “Street Sign Bingo” game that she’s use to help YALT students studying for their NYS driver’s permit test. Another project on writing about animals of their choosing would not have been possible without the excellent resources of the Curriculum Center.”

Mr. Morrisey lauded individual librarians and staff by name, and stressed the librarians and staff all know YALT students by name, and they know ours.

“Whenever given free time, my students usually choose to go to the library, and this is largely due to the warm environment that the staff provides…beyond that the librarians are just plain helpful.”

Sheryl Knab, Executive Director of WNYLRC stated in her award announcement that among the principles upon which this award is based are “development of a program that touches the lives of individuals who frequently are underserved by the community at large” and “creation of an innovative program …that enhances the lives of the library’s constituents or reaches a diverse representation of the Western New York community.” The awards committee was suitably impressed by how the Outreach Programming fits the bill. “Judging from the supporting documentation from the participating YALT students, not only are they being reached, they are embracing all aspects of the library …you should be very proud that your library serves such a broad based constituency.”

Accepting the award for the Canisius College Andrew L. Bouwhuis, S.J. Library were Kristine E. Kasbohm, Library Director, Kathleen DeLaney,Archivist/Reference Librarian and YALT Library Program Coordinator, and Brandon Morrisey, Instructor, People,Inc.