I am pleased to announce that Kirstie Venanzi, President of Cranbury Public Library Board of Trustees, has been selected to receive the Libraries of Middlesex Trustee of the Year award. Kirstie has worked tirelessly for the Library since being appointed to the Board in 2006. She has served as Library Board President since 2008.
During Kirstie’s term as President, the library has undergone many changes. The public library space was reconfigured and a lease agreement was negotiated with the Cranbury School. Under Kirstie’s direction the Library Board began to seriously look at the construction of a free-standing community library. By the end of 2009, a Library Foundation was established to assist in fundraising. Kirstie participates as a Director of the Foundation and is currently serving as the Campaign Chair of the Foundation’s Capital Campaign, Building Spaces, Expanding Minds, Creating Community. Under Kirstie’s capable leadership, the library is truly moving forward toward a new community library.
Kirstie has done much more than just advocate for our local library. As a librarian at the Institute of Advanced Studies, she keeps abreast of all library issues. The year 2010 was a difficult year for library funding in New Jersey. With the outrageous cut of 73% to the NJ State Library budget, Kirstie knew the library community needed to take action. This cut would affect shared services of every library in the state by impacting inter-library loans, delivery service and access to research databases. Kirstie contacted a group of local library directors to meet with their Assemblywoman to discuss the funding issue. Senator Greenstein (then our Assemblywoman) was very receptive to our comments. It was agreed that she would bring a new the budget proposal to the Assembly Budget Committee. Because of Kirstie’s initiative, the NJ State Library had a champion in the assembly and most of their funding was restored.
I’m proud of all that Kirstie has done and continues to do for Cranbury Public Library and all libraries in New Jersey. Kirstie will receive her award on December 3rd at the Libraries of Middlesex Awards Reception at the Pines Manor in Edison. The other awards winners are:
Public Official of the Year – Assemblyman Craig Coughlin
Library Employee of the Year – Carolyn Cullum of Edison Public Library
Library Partner of the Year – Lauren Aretakis of North Brunswick Public Library
Library Service Award – Christine Skurka of Monroe Public Library
Friends of the Library Group – Friends of East Brunswick Public Library
Certificates of appreciation to:
Erica Solomon of Piscataway Public Library
Shirley Hicks of Matawan – Aberdeen Public Library
Ruth & Lease Ruddick of South Brunswick Public Library
and former Director Sunnie Randolph of South Plainfield Public Library
Congratulations to Kirstie and all the award winners!