Celebrating our Staff: The 2023 McConnell Awards

Last Friday, CADL staff members across all 13 branches converged at the Downtown Lansing Library for our annual staff conference--CADL Con. During CADL Con, coworkers connect and attend breakout sessions and reflect on CADL’s accomplishments from the year. We also recognize new and long-time employees and announce the winners of our annual McConnell Awards.

The McConnell Awards are a long-standing CADL tradition. Since 1999, CADL’s Board of Trustees has recognized staff members who demonstrate exceptional customer service or have developed innovative approaches to improve library services. The awards are named after founding CADL Board member Dr. L. Robert McConnell.

The 2023 McConnell Award for Innovation was presented to Thomas Moore, regional head librarian of CADL Haslett and Okemos. The 2023 McConnell Award for Customer Service was awarded to Christie Nikoloff, a circulation head at CADL’s Lansing branches. Learn more about the winners below.

McConnell Award for Innovation

Moore is a strong advocate for the library and is known for his innovative approaches to bring the library to community members, including having a regular presence at the Meridian Township Farmers Market. He is a collaborative leader who has developed impactful outreach initiatives that help CADL have a greater presence in the community. In addition to helping staff and patrons at the library, Moore serves the community through numerous organizations.

"The library is a place of connections. We connect people to resources and to each other. It is the connections that we make in the community with our residents and other community organizations and partners that make the library truly part of the community. By strengthening those connections, relationships, collaborations and partnerships we can work together to build a healthier and stronger community," said Moore. 

 "Thank you to the Board and all my fellow co-workers at CADL for this honor. And a special thank you to my team at our Meridian Libraries, the Haslett and Okemos Branches, who help make all of our work possible. It is my great pleasure to be doing this work with all of you."

McConnell Award for Customer Service

Nikoloff’s problem-solving, compassion and leadership have tremendously impacted CADL. She consistently demonstrates kindness and patience when interacting with patrons and ensures they feel respected, heard and cared for by their local library. She also leads by example and inspires her coworkers to provide better customer service and bring their best selves to every interaction. Nikoloff’s dedication to customer service makes employees feel supported and patrons want to come back.

“I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Library Board and my coworkers for recognizing my work with this year’s McConnell Award in Customer Service," said Nikoloff. "The library gives me the opportunity to serve our community in a meaningful way and I am truly thrilled that I get the wonderful job of welcoming people into our branches each day.”