As the nation marks National Library Week, the Turlock branch of the Stanislaus County Library took time to recognize a few shining stars who have helped the branch thrive.
The Stanislaus Library Foundation bestows Shining Star Awards on individuals, businesses and organizations that go above and beyond in their support for the library. The Shining Star Awards were established in 2004 to honor individuals, businesses or organizations and Friends of the Library for their support of the library. Support includes volunteer efforts, advocacy, a special program or financial contribution. The event has been canceled for the last couple of years, including the one for this year, but the Friends of the Turlock Public Library decided to recognize those people who have done so much for the library over the years with a special ceremony on Wednesday.
The first Shining Star Award was presented to Brooks Judd, who has been a board member of the Friends organization for numerous years and a stalwart volunteer and advocate of libraries.
"Brooks believes libraries to be the key to an educated society, so he passionately supports the public library," said FOTPL Board member Diane Gray, who assisted in his nomination.
For several years Judd has taken on the responsibility of setting up and staffing the FOTPL booth at the Turlock Farmers' Market, believing it to be a valuable avenue to promote all that the library has to offer. He also routinely volunteers for shifts at the FOTPL book store inside the library and takes any opportunity he can to advocate for the library.
"Brooks is a Turlock Friends public advocacy legend, consistently writing to local and regional publications," said FOTPL Board member Sandie Sing, who helped write his nomination. "It requires research and takes courage and determination. Brooks writes a lot because he has a passion to better the life and society in the community, the state, the world and the planet. It takes a courageous warrior with a mighty pen to support the public library by sharing his words of love, joy and anger. Our nominee has demonstrated to us and so many in our community radiant ways of support beyond the meeting room."
"This is really embarrassing because I have been on the board for 11 years and I look around and see so many people that do so much work for the library," Judd said. "I just consider myself a foot soldier and I'm there if they need me."
The second Shining Star Award was presented to a group that was instrumental in ensuring that when the doors opened on the new library, it would be a true gem for the community, both now and in the decades to come.
The award was presented to the Focusing on the Future of the Turlock Library | 2020 Fundraising Committee, which was co-chaired by John and Jeani Ferrari. The committee set a goal of raising $1 million and in the end, the they brought in $1.3 million in community pledges and donations, mostly from naming rights of the various library rooms.
"The committee is without a doubt the most focused group John and I have ever worked with," said Jeani Ferrari. "Members attended every meeting, even when it was on our terrace during cold winter days and the first thing in the morning."
The funds raised by the committee have been used in part for upgrades in furnishings, lighting and materials at the library, like the 3D printer. The fund also gives the library sustainability for years to come.
"Thank you for your perseverance and your belief in the importance of the community library," FOTPL President Pat Portwood said to the committee.
Along with John and Jeani Ferrari, the committee members were: Tina Bates, Ken Bethel, Mary Jackson, Patrick Jensen, Pat Portwood, Hanna and Dieter Renning, Kathy Smith and Ashleigh Volk.