2019 McConnell Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to our Exceptional Staff

Each year the Capital Area District Libraries’ Board recognizes staff members who have demonstrated an exceptional ability to provide customer service, or who have developed an innovative approach to improve library services or operations. Customer service includes both public service to patrons and support service to staff. 

This year, we're excited to announce that the award for the 2019 Dr. L. Robert McConnell Staff Award for Innovation goes to Eyal Suseela, Head of Public Service at the South Lansing Branch; and for Customer Service to Hung Wu, Library Assistant at the Okemos Branch

Below are excerpts from their nomination forms:

Eyal Suseela Award for InnovationSL 2019 Eyal Code Club 400px.jpg

Eyal Suseela goes above and beyond when it comes to programming, outreach and customer service. For the past couple of years Eyal has organized a book project that delivers books to classrooms in three Lansing schools.

The project has brought the library to the students, and gave them access to material they would not normally have access to. Some schools do not have libraries that can support fully the education of students; this project helps to rectify that issue.

Eyal curates a list of books each month based on the goals/requests of the teachers she is working with. Eyal gathers those books by placing holds and checking them out to classrooms. She then wakes up very early to deliver those books. She has organized a system with the clerks at SL, so that they can identify and set aside those books. They also assist Eyal in checking in material.

Eyal has also created some great programming such as Code Club. One of our patrons raved about the impact code club has made on their son. She has created a code camp this summer that taught kids how to code in one day. (She has done much more, but too many to mention here.)

Eyal’s service to the students allows them to have access to the library and to books that they would not normally have.

Other Innovation Nominees:

  • Lindsay Anderson – Youth Services Librarian, Mason Branch
  • Susan Bissonnette – Library Assistant, Okemos Branch
  • Jennifer DeGroat – Library Head, Aurelius Branch
  • Betsy Hull – Library Head, Okemos Branch
  • Betty Juntunen – Library Assistant, Webberville Branch
  • Christie Nikoloff – Head of Circulation, South Lansing Branch

Hung Wu Award for Customer Service Hung Wu 2019.jpg

Hung should receive the Award for customer service because he consistently goes out of his way to assist our patrons and provide excellent customer service. He excels in assisting patrons with their tech problems, but he can also connect with kids. …It’s too difficult to pick out one exceptional example of customer service from Hung since he truly goes out of his way to provide an exceptional experience for everyone, every day he comes to work.

Most of us are good most of most of the time. Hung is good all of the time and he manages to bring his best persona to work every day. He uses his technical expertise to educate people, not to intimidate. This helps explain the number of the tech tutor sessions he does and why our adult in-house computer use has increased.

Most of us are good with one group: kids or teens or adults. Hung has an affinity for all age groups. He sits down on the floor with kids, has cool card tricks for the teens and keeps cool with adults and their clumsy computer fingers. 

Hung sets a high standard for people service: He greets everyone when he sees them and says thank you to them when they leave library. He cleans the computer screens – not to show he cares about the hardware – but that he cares about the people using the hardware. These simple gestures show his respect for his library work and the community it serves.

Hung speaks multiple languages: traditional Chinese, modern Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, some Japanese, now some Spanish and two words of Yiddish. He speaks computer-at-ease. Most importantly, he speaks the universal language of patience and spiritual generosity, which we all can learn from.

Other Customer Service Nominees:

  • Jill Abood – Community Outreach Specialist
  • Ramona Byrd-Pope – Library Assistant, South Lansing Branch
  • Annie Gordon – Public Service Librarian, Holt Branch
  • Beth Gordon – Processing Clerk, Technical Services
  • Brian Jerome – Systems Administrator, IT ​​​​​​​
  • Charlotte Krajniak – Library Assistant, Aurelius Branch
  • Rose Marshall – Library Assistant, Stockbridge Branch
  • Clata Raines – Library Assistant, Webberville Branch
  • Courtney Tang – Digital Services Specialist
  • Mariya Williams – Library Clerk, Downtown Lansing Branch

Congratulations to Eyal and Hung, and thank you to all our staff members who provide excellent service to our members, community and their fellow coworkers.