for her work as the Children and Family Services Librarian
Marion Public Library
"Children light up under her attention, teens laugh and discuss, and adults relax and listen. Her dedication to learning and people is something that shines through her and lights the way for others to follow in her path and continue the incredible work that she has begun."
During her time at MPL, Renee facilitated and created an abundance of dynamic programming for the Marion community, from engaging toddlers and preschoolers with music and movement and evening “Pajama Story Time” for families to a sensory browsing hour designed to welcome patrons with sensory or behavioral needs. With help from community partners, Renee also helped facilitate Marion’s first Pride event, which featured a Pride parade around the library, a drag queen story time, a panel with local LGBTQIA+ agencies and more.
In the summer of 2020, Marion and the surrounding areas were struck by a very powerful windstorm called a derecho, devastating the local community and forcing the library to close its doors permanently. In the storm’s wake, Renee worked to provide vital services to the community, helping building inspectors assess the structural safety of homes and staffing temporary technology locations across the city to provide internet access and FEMA assistance. She also started the Marion Derecho Digital Archive to collect the stories, photos and feelings of the community, which is available online and continues to grow.
Since receiving this award, Renee began a new position as the Director of the Vinton Public Library in Vinton, Iowa.
Renee was honored during the 2022 I Love My Librarian virtual award ceremony. Listen to her remarks below!