2015 MLA Librarian of the Year – Denise Hooks

MLA is pleased to name Denise Hooks as the 2015 MLA Librarian of the Year for her contributions to the library community through collaboration, advocacy, continuing education and unparalleled support of her cooperative members.

Beginning in 1980, Denise served as director of the Mott Community College Library until she moved to her current position at Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative (MMLC) in 2009. During her tenure at Mott was a key member of FALCON, the automated circulation system that was one of the pioneer projects bringing multi-type libraries together.

In her role as director of MMLC, Denise has endeavored to build bridges among Michigan’s various library service agencies and organizations. Her actions clearly demonstrate her dedication to the power of collaboration. She is the current chair of the Cooperative Directors Association, a past board member of Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) and sits on the board of the Friends of Michigan Libraries. She has also been very active in MLA, serving on several work groups. One of the most visible results of Denise’s passion for interlibrary cooperation has been the continuing education collaboration that she helped create. The group now includes the Cooperative Directors Association, MLA, MCLS, Library of Michigan, Michigan Academic Libraries Association (MI-ALA) and Michigan Association for Media in Educators (MAME). The results of that collaboration have been several well-attended and high quality programs.

In addition to collaboration, Denise has a passion for library advocacy. She organizes an annual delegation of librarians and trustees from Michigan to attend ALA Legislative Day in Washington D.C. An organized, knowledgeable and well-spoken advocate, Denise not only stands up for Michigan libraries, she encourages and supports less-experienced advocates in speaking up and being more knowledgeable about the issues affecting libraries statewide and nationally.

 Denise is a leader. She brings people together so that they speak with one voice. She has been an example of a fine academic librarian and now as a cooperative director has been a great asset to the public library community. While her cooperative is primarily public libraries, it is one of the few in the state that is a true multi-type library organization. Academic and school libraries play a part in the success of her cooperative.

It’s clear from her actions and accomplishments that Denise enjoys her serving the Michigan library community and in turn inspires enthusiasm for libraries in those around her.


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