Catherine G. Zimmerman has been chosen for this year’s first RUSA Exceptional Service Award for her creativity and outstanding commitment to broadening library services, as well as the meaningful impacts she has made at both local community and national levels of engagement bringing resources and highly skilled interaction to a wide variety of library customers.
Ms. Zimmerman has provided numerous services to a variety of library customers and has expanded not only the user base of the bookmobile services but the range of activities that bookmobiles provide. She has created numerous partnerships at the local community level to strengthen availability of information, enriching the lives of others. She has promoted bookmobile services at the local and national level through media engagement and advocacy for these services.
She began regularly scheduled visits to all five local grade schools and the Junior High. The bookmobile currently sees over 1,200 students per month. This school service has increased to seven elementary schools, the local junior high school and two daycare/early learning facilities. The bookmobile is also included in all “Literacy Night” events at the schools and many other special events. She even brings her bookmobile to summer parades, town holiday events, and to the campground to distribute books to campers.
Ms. Zimmerman has exemplified commitment to providing user services to seniors including: Armchair travel, specialty programs, book talks and games round out the activities brought to the senior facilities.
During the quarantine stage of the pandemic, Cathy provided “window chats” to residents as part of her library engagement activities.
She Promoted bookmobile program on local TV station shows, local public talk radio, and in numerous newspaper articles across the state of Iowa, thereby promoting reading and access to information.
The selection committee was Chaired by Adria P. Olmi. The Exceptional Service Award was previously awarded by ASGCLA. This is the first year it is being awarded by RUSA.