2014 MLA Librarian of the Year – Kenneth B. Miller, Jr.

MLA is pleased to name Kenneth B. Miller, Jr. as the 2014 MLA Librarian of the Year not only for his longevity in the library profession, but for his outstanding service leading major institutions and organizations through challenging times, creating a new library branch and a new district library and inspiring his staff and community to new heights.

Ken has served in the library profession for more than 40 years. Having earned his MLS from Wayne State University, Ken has worked as a librarian in both urban and rural libraries in both peninsulas of Michigan. For 30 years he was employed by Detroit Public Library and Jackson District Library and for the past 10 years he has been employed by Bayliss Public Library in Sault Ste. Marie, Hiawathaland Library Cooperative (HLC), and the newly created Superior District Library (SDL).

Throughout his career Ken has demonstrated an understanding of libraries and a vision for their future. His spirit of "Yes we can" has challenged his colleagues above and below the bridge to do what many thought impossible. During a downturn in the economy, Ken created a new branch library and oversaw the phasing out of the HLC and the merging with the merging with Superiorland Library Cooperative. As library funding became more difficult to maintain, Ken led a two-year plan to create the Superior District Library, serving the better part of two counties over 1,725 square miles.

Much of Ken’s success as a leader is due to the way he inspires and supports his staff, cultivating an environment that allows them to thrive and be creative. He has served as a mentor to those new to library work and has inspired and supported staff members in their decision to pursue a library degree.

Ken has a long history of service to the profession, having served on numerous committees, including 12 years of service on MLA committees and roundtables. He has been a member of MLA for 33 years and ALA for 20 years. Since 2005, he has served as board president of the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation.

He is active not only in serving his profession as a leader and mentor, but in his community as well. He is president of the Sault Lions Club and founder a support group for the visually impaired. Other community organizations that have benefited from his involvement include Habitat for Humanity, Hospice of Eastern Upper Peninsula and the Chippewa County Historical Society.

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