CHICAGO — Hubbard (Ohio) Public Library’s “Toy Lending Library” and the Children’s Room Team, Mary Anne Russo, Heather Phibbs, Dana Tirabassi and Amanda Balla, have earned ALA’s 2022 Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession. The award, supported by the DiMattia Family, recognizes a librarian or library for demonstrating leadership in anticipating emerging trends in services, products and technologies that will enhance the library’s position in its community.
The new “Toy Lending Library” in the Children’s Room at Hubbard Public Library officially opened July 20, 2020. It is the only toy library in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. This new venture offers exciting opportunities for hands-on learning with challenging, educational toys and other resources.
The wide range of offerings include a doll house, a musical llama, family games such as Zingo, which uses sight words to help children learn to read, SmartGames that facilitate problem-solving skills, and “Sprout Early Learning Backpacks” filled with books, educational toys and games.”
Grateful families included the “Evans Seven,” the family of Jason and Heidi Evans and their five daughters. They were kept engaged during the first months of COVID-19 by the games and toys they borrowed.
Heidi Evans wrote, “Because of COVID-19, we were limited in the activities that were available for our girls. Literally every activity was canceled.”
The time was filled by such games as their favorite, the Little Red Riding Hood game.
Sherri Giancola wrote that her grandchildren enjoy the toy boxes, which contain toys that are “durable” and “educational.”
The Toy Lending Library was made possible by a generous gift from Barb and Loren Kindler in honor of their grandchildren.
It is one example of the many exciting things offered by the Children’s Room Team.
Children’s Room happenings included a program providing “Grab, Go & Read” bags containing age-appropriate books for infants and toddlers, funded by a grant from the Ohio Children’s Foundation.
The annual award, consisting of $5,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in June 2022.
Members of the ALA Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession Award Committee are Chair Dora Ho, Young Adult Librarian, retired, Los Angeles Public Library, California; Julianne Bedel, Director, Medina County District Library, Ohio; Glen Benedict; Kristin Buxton, Science Librarian, University of Oregon; Susan Earl, Library Direct, Brentwood, Tennessee; John P. Holt Brentwood Library Director, Brentwood, Tennessee.
More information about the Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession including how to submit a nomination is available at the ALA website (www.ala.org).