2022 FLA Award Winners


Lifetime Achievement
Marshelle J. Berry

Marshelle Berry is worthy of the Lifetime Achievement Award because she has demonstrated her commitment to the library profession by serving in a variety of leadership roles for the past 35 years. She is willing to take risks and try new things, as evidenced by her work with children and teens, with authors and with elected officials, through library design and space management. She’s led multiple teams through the changing landscape of library service, helping staff transition to increased focus on the communities they serve using data-driven approaches to community engagement.


Library of the Year
Boynton Beach City Library

At the Boynton Beach City Library, service to their community is not restricted by location, language, or income level. They strive to meet their patrons where they are needed most; whether that meant working out of a temporary site while their new building was being constructed, providing virtual programming during the pandemic, or creating free resources to kickstart local entrepreneurs. They took a year of inevitable change and transformed it into a challenge to be the library their community needs. A brand-new library was opened with modern technologies, a Creative Edge Studio makerspace, increased support of small businesses and entrepreneurs, revamped marketing, and they opened a Friends Bookstore.

Leader of the Year
Eric Head

Eric Head is a superb and passionate leader who for the past 26 years has and continues to give his heart and time to FLA, libraries and the community.

His passion for intellectual freedom and free access are what he advocates for on a daily basis. His involvement in early literacy in the community is commendable and is to be emulated. He encourages his staff to invest in themselves and the Florida Library Association by getting involved in committees and the library community. He is a true leader who always does what is right for the greater and not for himself.



Outstanding New Librarian
Katrina Brockway

Katrina Brockway received her MLIS in December 2020 and is everything we want our new librarians to be: enthusiastic, dedicated, creative, and informed. She has a flair and a passion for programming, and is willing – excited, even – to innovate and iterate to meet the needs of the community. She doesn’t, however, let her enthusiasm for programming detract from other areas of librarianship. She currently serves on two system committees, and dedicates a significant amount of time to advancing their goals, especially goals related to equity and inclusion. She consistently provides excellent customer service to both internal and external customers, frequently receiving particular praise for going above and beyond when helping. In all, Katrina embodies the future of librarianship.


Outstanding Paraprofessional
Niurka Olivera de Ojeda

Branch Clerk Niurka Olivera de Ojeda meaningfully improves the lives of the numerous students that take her Citizenship Inspired (CI) classes. Pivoting to a virtual format in 2020, Niurka provides free classes that help local immigrant residents prepare for the Naturalization Interview and Test. Through her herculean efforts, she has taught CI over 160 times to over 3000 students and conducted 67 one-on-one mock interviews. At least 74 students have passed under her tutelage. Niurka’s passion for citizenship education extends beyond the classroom. She promotes CI through various media, provides guidance and assistance to other CI instructors, and has spoken at a regional library conference about the program to offer guidance about starting the series for libraries outside of Orange County.


Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Children
Palm Beach County Library

Virtual Sensory Story Time or (VSST) was created to provide an opportunity to engage members of this community through an inclusive and interactive zoom story time complete with books, songs, and sensory activities. VSST was one of the most well-attended virtual programming for the Palm Beach County Library with a weekly average attendance of 22 members. Since its inception in May 2021, over 523 individuals have attended these story times with a passive viewership of over 342 participants. Due to the Palm Beach County Library System’s ability to recognize a need in the community during a difficult time, VSST has become a beacon for the special needs community where members continuously attend and enjoy quality programming.

Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Teens
Broward County Library

The Ready for College Workshop Series provides outstanding, potentially life-changing services to teens by helping them apply and prepare for college admission. By packaging the college-ready and SAT/ACT prep workshops and moving them online, BCL staff was able to eliminate barriers to program attendance, increasing it in a year’s time by over 200 percent. It can be easily replicated by public and academic libraries. 




Excellence in Marketing and Public Relations Award
Broward County Library

By not only meeting but exceeding its clear objectives, the BCL Marketing section's campaign to increase the open rates of Broward County Library's Fresh News enewsletter proved highly successful and worthy of an FLA Excellence in Marketing and Public Relations Award. Starting with a well-defined goal, the campaign was carefully planned, strategically executed and creative in implementation. Objectives were clear, and they were accomplished and then exceeded. In addition to increasing open rates, this campaign resulted in further awareness of library services, a stronger connection to library customers and a higher-quality product. Fresh News also received a gold award, the second-highest honor, in the 2021 Hermes Creative Awards competition’s the eNewsletter category.

Exemplary Instructional Programs or Service Award
Jessica Daly

Jessica is worthy of this recognition due to her relentless dedication of improving health literacy of patients, family caregivers, and community members within the state of Florida. Her virtual health literacy program, which originated in March of 2020 on the cuff of the COVID-19 pandemic, continues today reaching people from across the country and around the world.  Jessica has shown the importance of librarians working together to reach the needs of the community.  Her work as a Consumer Health Librarian has been recognized by SC/MLA, MLA, ALA, and FLA.  Jessica also published her first professional article this year which explains her work and this program.

Intellectual Freedom
Palm Beach County Library System

The Palm Beach County Library System made an exceptional contribution to increasing the right of access to stories featuring black girls as the lead character in print, electronic and audiobook content through adoption of the national #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. The displays, bibliography and catalog-searchable hashtag have raised awareness in the community that this it is important for every child to see themselves in the books they read, and due to the ingenuity and perseverance of staff, young black female library members now have a resounding presence among the Library’s collection.



Library Innovation
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library launched its Read or Reject (ROR) program in March of 2021, the library’s newest way to bridge Borrow by Mail and Reader’s Advisory. Users tell us about their favorite things to read by completing an online form, and, based on that, librarians will pick three titles they think the customer will love from their branch and drop them in the mail. When the customer opens the box, they look at our picks and decide if they will READ…or REJECT! ROR had more than 450 requests during its first week.



Outstanding Business or Media Partner Award
St. Johns Cultural Council

The St. Johns Cultural Council has provided multiple avenues of enhancement to our Library System as part of a mutual interest in the quality of life of the citizens of St. Johns County. The new partnership with the Main Library and Waterworks building will increase opportunities for the Library and FOL to provide programs and events at a library location that had been unable to do as much in the past.



Outstanding Scholarly Contribution
Marielle Veve

Marielle is well deserving of the Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Award because she has dedicated most of her 20-year library career to research and publish on practical, but unexplored topics with a high demand in the library field. Examples of these are her free RDA cataloging Booklet and E-book cataloging workshop (Serials Librarian), in addition to many other articles and presentations on non-MARC metadata duties, workflows, harvesting processes, authority control, and electronic theses & dissertations. Her publications are known for transforming complex, unfamiliar topics into simple manageable ones that have helped many librarians in their every day work tasks.

Friends Newsletter of the Year
Friends of the Library of Alachua County

The Library and its Friends, the quarterly newsletter of the Friends of the Library of Alachua County (FOL), is produced by a committee of FOL volunteers who write articles, submit original photographs, and promote FOL and library programs and activities. Most FOL members receive the newsletter on-line, where bright color photographs and clear, concise writing attract readers and encourage their engagement with all eight pages of the publication. Printed copies are distributed to branch libraries for community readers and to FOL members. During the recent pandemic while the book house was closed the FOL newsletter was a major source of information and communication with FOL members. 



Friends Website Award
Friends of the Citrus County Library System

In January of 2021, the Citrus Libraries Web Development team partnered with the Friends and began the research phase of what a rebranding and website update would look like. Through their efforts, an updated logo, additional secondary logo, and a set of brand guidelines were developed. With much input and encouragement from the Friends, the team then embarked on the updating process of the website, taking the current website down for about three weeks, to rebuild it in-house, from the ground up. The team worked closely together with the Friends to bring a professional and engaging format to the new website giving the Friends of the Citrus County Library System (FOCCLS) a platform to share their mission with all of Citrus County.


Friends Special Projects
Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon Public Library System

In 2022, the Friends undertook a new project: A Library of Things for the community. A Library of Things is a collection of items available for checkout other than books, such as household and gardening tools, indoor/outdoor games, and musical instruments. Based on the community input received, the Friends proceed with awarding a grant to the library of the purchase of the items. The initial grant from the Friends of the Library was $15,000. To date, over $4,000 has been spent on 53 items.