The Up & Comer Award was established in 2012 to recognize a librarian who shows leadership early in his or her career. While new to the profession, he/she expands the role of librarian through being forward-thinking and moving libraries into the future. Winners of this award will be energetic efficient librarians who push the boundaries of originality and creativity. They will help to establish a library culture that sets high expectations, promotes learning, and creates understanding of the library as an integral part of the community. The Up & Comer Award winner will also have been a librarian for 5 or less years. Only one person may receive the award each year. Self-nominations are acceptable. A nomination form can be found here.
Andrea Estelle lives by the motto, "Brighten the corner where you are." By consistently putting her heart, soul and energy into her passion for libraries and literacy, Andrea has served as a visionary leader delivering bright new ideas to the libraries and communities she has served.
After receiving her undergraduate degree in early elementary education, Andrea worked as a youth paraprofessional at Kent District Library where she fell in love with libraries. She decided to pursue her MLIS degree and shortly after was hired as the part-time director of Leighton Township Library. In 2013, less than a year after completing her graduate work, Andrea was hired as director of the Otsego District Library.
Her goal is to make her local library a destination of choice for preschoolers, students, teens, families, seniors, book clubs and for all community members seeking education, entertainment and enrichment. Andrea’s accomplishments have been accelerated by her ability to find funding and by her personal creativity and energy, which in turn provides momentum for the staff to work as a team to implement the vision.
Among her accomplishments at Leighton Township Library, Andrea established the first Village Post Office to be housed in a library in the United States, developed an early literacy center and secured a $24,744 Reinhardt Grant to completely revitalize all of the library technology.
During her first year at Otsego District Library, Andrea hit the ground running. She created an early literacy center; identified new sources of revenue; suggested a new Summer Reading Program style that nearly doubled participation; added many technology upgrades; worked toward increased efficiency and customer service; revitalized the collection; attracted a national sculpture exhibit; started a new summer concert series and hosted a very popular Patrons Appreciation Day.
MLA is pleased to honor Andrea Estelle with the 2014 Up and Comer Award for her professional expertise, leadership, personal creativity and energy to provide the best library service and value to her community.