The Baltimore County Public Library is pleased to announce that Michelle Hamiel, branch manager of the Woodlawn Branch, is the 2012 recipient of the James Partridge Outstanding African American Information Professional Award. Presented by the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and the Citizens for Maryland Libraries, the award honors the unsung members of the library profession who contribute greatly but who are often behind the scenes and do not receive public recognition for their important contributions to librarianship and the library community. The award ceremony will take place on November 9, 2012 at 12 p.m. at the Nyumburu Center, University of Maryland College Park.
"My job gives me the opportunity to change people's lives and I love it!" said Ms. Hamiel. "I am truly grateful to be honored for it."
Ms. Hamiel received her MLS from the University of Maryland in 2003 and has worked for the Baltimore County Public Library for over 23 years. She has been the manager of BCPL's Woodlawn Branch for nine years, where she has led the branch through an aggressive series of outreach and partnership efforts intended to involve underserved segments of the community, launching after-school programs for teens to enhance their academic and life skills, a support project for ex-criminal offenders, bilingual/multilingual story times to promote early literacy and special sensory story times for autistic children.
Ms. Hamiel was also instrumental in the expansion of the Woodlawn Branch and the construction of Storyville West, one of BCPL's two award-winning interactive early literacy learning centers designed specifically for children ages birth through 5 and their caregivers to promote the development of important kindergarten readiness skills. More recently, she has taken part as a mentor in the Information and Diverse Populations Concentration at the University of Maryland iSchool.
The James Partridge Award is presented annually to an outstanding African American information professional in honor of contributions made to the information profession. James Partridge, for whom the award is named, was a true advocate for the right of all people to read and to learn. His life-long dedication was without accolades and the deserved level of recognition. A recipient must, like James Partridge, exemplify the highest ideals of the library/information profession including, career-long dedicated service, leadership and a commitment to the empowerment of those whom they serve.