UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Library Wins Regents Award

David A. Cofrin Library Director Paula Ganyard accepted the UW System Regents Award for Excellence on behalf of the library staff last Friday, April 8 at its regular board meeting, in Green Bay. The Cofrin Library was one of three 2016 recipients. This is the UW System’s highest recognition bestowed on members of its academic staff. Read Ganyard’s full comments here:

Regent Milner, President Cross, Regent Mueller and the award selection committee, THANK YOU!   I was thrilled to hear that we had been selected for this award because it recognizes the hard work and dedication of an excellent library staff. Many of whom are here today. Would you all please stand to be recognized?

This is one of the most dedicated group of individuals with whom I have ever worked. Each day they do their do their best to make the Cofrin Library an indispensable resource, and a place of choice for the students and faculty of UW-Green Bay. They continue to find innovative new solutions and services no matter what the obstacles put in front of them. I could not be prouder of this amazing team. A special thank you to all of the students who are currently working for us and to those who have worked for us. Each and every one of you has made a difference and an impact on this library and we could not accomplish the things we do without you all have been part of our team, so THANK YOU.

I would also like to thank the UW-Green Bay Academic Staff Committee, Provost Davis and Chancellor Miller for putting the Cofrin Library nomination forward.

I was asked to make brief remarks on what it takes to be an outstanding academic staff program. I gave this a lot of thought and three things in particular rose to the top. First, it takes hiring bright and talented people who have a passion for what they do. Giving those individuals clear understanding of their responsibilities. Giving them the necessary authority to meet those responsibilities. Understanding the obstacles they face and help remove those obstacles when possible. Then get out of their way! Trust that you have hired bright and talented people and they won’t disappoint.

Second, it takes teamwork and collaboration. It is important to understand that your little piece of the puzzle matters in the big picture. No matter if your job is selecting a book, putting that book on the shelf, or helping someone do research; all of it matters and it only works because we are all part of the team.   I don’t just mean teamwork and collaboration within the library. I also mean collaboration across the university. Events like our Bash in the Stacks only happens because of collaboration with Student Life & FOCUS. Collaboration with local schools is necessary for success of programs like our National History Day Regional competition.

It takes collaboration across the UW System to build a world class library collection. Without collaboration we, the Cofrin Library, would not be able to do what we do. In particular, if it was not for the collaboration of the UW System Libraries, UWGB would only be able to afford a small percentage of the collection we offer. I strongly believe that the UW Libraries are the shining example in the UW System of how collaboration can save millions of dollars and work well year in and year out to the benefit of all. This is why it is critical, especially to us here at UWGB, that we all do whatever we can to protect, encourage, and grow this collaboration.

Finally, and most importantly it takes a shared vision to be an outstanding program. Our shared vision is to support the teaching, learning and research of our students, faculty and community. We accomplish this shared vision by providing the access to resources, and access to the expertise of librarians, who can help guide people to the information they need.

It seems fitting that we accept this award just as National Library Week is about to get underway this Sunday. This year’s National Library Week slogan is “Libraries Transform.” Libraries help people transform by providing people with access to information that they then transform into knowledge, which is further transformed into innovative and creative solutions to address the multifaceted problems facing today’s world.

When UW-Green Bay was founded 50 years ago, Chancellor Weidner specifically put the Library at the center of the campus because he believed that the library is the heart of the academic institution. We do our very best to live up to that vision every day. On behalf of these talented individuals with me today, and those back in the library who are keeping things running, I thank you for recognizing their outstanding work with this honor. Thank you.

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