RILA Announces Winners of Annual Awards at Conference

Monday, June 08, 2015 11:31 AM | Anonymous

NEWPORT, R.I. – The Rhode Island Library Association announced the winners of this year’s awards of recognition for those serving the patrons of libraries of Rhode Island at the association’s conference at Salve Regina University.

This year’s Outstanding Librarian Award was given to Julie DeCesare.  DeCesare is an Assistant Professor and Commons Librarian, Head of Education & Research at Providence College's Phillips Memorial Library, where I currently coordinate instructional and educational opportunities between the library, campus community, and beyond.  As a Member at Large for RILA since 2011, she’s been a co-coordinator Money Smart Week - RI.  When looking at her role in the profession, DeCesare said, “I am committed to Information and Financial Literacy initiatives, as well as positive outreach and awareness of library services on a statewide level.”


The Trustee of the Year Award was shared by Nancy Chaput of the Cumberland Public Library and Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Mercer of the Ashaway Free Library.   


Chaput has been a trustee at the Cumberland Public Library since 2007, serving as the board’s chair for the past four years.  She has also been a Friend of the library for over 15 years, serving as president for most of that time.  She also serves on the library’s Cumberland Library  Fund, a non-profit group that started as a capital building campaign committee and evolved into overseeing the lirbary’s endowments. 


Mercer has served on Ashaway Free Library’s board of trustees for over 25 years.  She is the resident historian for the library and the community whil also playing roles in helping to make sure the library gets the funds it needs while serving on the board’s physicial plant, development, and community relations committees.  She has also served as the board’s secretary and chair.


Also during the Business Meeting at the conference, the membership elected a new Executive Board.  The following is the result:

  • President: Aaron Coutu (2015-2017), Cumberland Public Library
  • Vice President/President-Elect: Julie A. DeCesare (2015-2017), Providence College
  • Past President: Jenifer Bond(2015-2017), Bryant University
  • Treasurer: Brigitte Hopkins (2015-2017), Westerly Library & Wilcox Park
  • Secretary: Kieran Ayton (2015-2017), Rhode Island College
  • ALA Councilor: Jack Martin (2014-2016), Providence Public Library
  • Member-at-Large: Andrew Creamer (2015-2017), Brown University
  • Member-at-Large: Beth Ullucci (2015-2017), Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library
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