The Andrew L. Bouwhuis, S.J. Library received the 2012 Outstanding Library or Library Program Award from the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) on Wednesday, October 17 at its 46th Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, October 17, at the newly renovated Hotel @ The Lafayette.
This prestigious award was given for Outreach Programming and Services for Non-Traditional Students in the Buffalo and Western New York Communities before an enthusiastic audience of colleagues at WNYLRCs 46th Annual Membership Meeting at the newly renovated Hotel @ The Lafayette .
The library was nominated for its work with YALT, a Day- Habilitation program located on the Canisius Campus. Through an ongoing and growing solid support program in the library, young adults with developmental disabilities enrolled in People Inc.’s Young Adults Learning Transition (YALT) have an enhanced opportunity to experience life on a college campus while developing functional skills. The nominators cited the librarians and staff for developing personal relationships with these students, and creating additional programs to be supportive of their needs as well as and beyond attending to those of the Canisius students.
Since 2009, under the direction of your Canisius librarians, YALT students have engaged in a book club, creating library displays (see the display in the lower level), learning how to use databases to search for resources, and reading call numbers. Staff have worked with YALT students through the gamut of library services to provide tours of departments with an eye toward learning job skills, and encourage participation in library programming such as Banned Book Week, Seasons Readings, Black History Month and Archives Speaker Series, and become more fully engaged in local history tours. Their newest venture—composition of a graphic novel.
People Inc.’s Brandon Morrisey wrote in his nominating remarks: My students are not traditional college students--they have disabilities that would typically bar them from experiencing college. The students work on life skills such as: getting a job, becoming independent, moving out of their parents’ house, and obtaining a GED…Our presence on campus is largely the result of the exemplary role Canisius provides regarding inclusion, serving the community and promoting education. Specifically, the library has shown itself to be particularly supportive and beneficial to my students…My students choose to go to the library in their free time. This is due to the warm environment the staff provides. Their appreciation and love of libraries will be forever marked by the enthusiastic and welcoming attitude shown to them in the library. The staff’s willingness to create independent learning situations … will dramatically affect (students’) futures,(and) speaks to their dedication. The intimidation these students might feel elsewhere is absent in this friendly and supportive environment. Their efforts are awarding-winning level.
Mr. Morrisey lauded individual librarians and staff by name, and stressed the librarians and staff all know YALT students by name, and they know ours
Sheryl Knab, Executive Director of WNYLRC stated in her award announcement that among the principles upon which this award is based are “development of a program that touches the lives of individuals who frequently are underserved by the community at large” and “creation of an innovative program …that enhances the lives of the library’s constituents or reaches a diverse representation of the Western New York community.” The awards committee was suitably impressed by how the Outreach Programming fits the bill. “Judging from the supporting documentation from the participating YALT students, not only are they being reached, they are embracing all aspects of the library …you should be very proud that your library serves such a broad based constituency.”
Accepting the award for the Canisius College Andrew L. Bouwhuis, S.J. Library were Kristine E. Kasbohm, Library Director, Kathleen DeLaney, Archivist/Reference Librarian and YALT Library Program Coordinator and Brandon Morrisey, Program Instructor, People,Inc.