2015 Heart of a Champion – Barbara Pallotta

Through her work as Clerk of the Township of Independence and her passion for libraries, Barbara Pallotta has been instrumental in the survival and success of the Clarkston Independence District Library.

When Barb took office in 2010, the library was one of several departments of the charter township, governed by the township board. The law under which it was incorporated was repealed in 1976, causing major funding and legal issues for the library.  From the beginning, Barb was a strong advocate for re-establishing the library with a district form of governance.

Through the complicated process, her support was steadfast and impactful. As Township clerk, Barb kept herself and the other township board members informed as to the necessary steps to keep the process moving forward, as well as help the board see the best path to resolution. As a member of the Friends of the Library, Barb helped keep the community engaged in the needs of the library and to supply some of the extras that bring in new and existing users.

She was also instrumental in educating the community on the importance of properly funding the library. In her role on the township board, Barb campaigned for critical repairs on the library building that had been neglected for many years. Once the re-establishment was completed, she worked with the library and its director to get the library board appointed and served as facilitator in the financial separation of the township and the library.

According the library director Julie Meredith, Barb is the very definition of a library champion. “She’s not the one standing on the soap box shouting the praises of the library at the top of her voice,” said Meredith. “She quietly develops support one conversation at a time, allowing her genuine passion to help educate people about what the library truly means to life in Clarkston and Independence Township.”

For these reasons and many more, MLA is pleased to present Barbara Pallotta with the 2015 MLA Heart of a Champion Award.

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