Twila Snead Commitment to Excellence Award

Recipients will be honored at the 2023 Annual Meeting on June 2, 2023.

Congratulations to the 2023 Recipients: 
Lisa Gomez, United States Military Academy
Putnam County Historian’s Office, African American History in Putnam County Collection 

About this year's recipients:
Lisa Gomez, librarian at the United States Military Academy at West Point, worked directly with the Department of History and the cadets from the Black History Project to create and host the exhibit Foundations: Black Experiences of West Point, at the USMA library in 2023. This exhibit was created to celebrate Black History Month and remained on display through the month of March. Lisa then digitized the entire exhibit, where it remains permanently available on the USMA library website.
Foundations is a particularly consciousness-raising exhibit which served to highlight important holdings at West Point. This was a gallery exhibit, which is much larger scale than a single display case, and included audio clips, video clips, and an interactive assessment.

The Putnam County Historian's Office is represented by County Historian, Jennifer Cassidy and Deputy Historian, Sallie Sypher and a team of interns and students who helped bring this project to life . Historically most libraries and archives didn’t collect resources and stories from, about and for people of color and other minority or marginalized groups. Several years ago, the Putnam County Historian's Office began their journey to correct the noticeable absence of Black history materials in their collection. Their African American History in Putnam County Collection currently features many individual stories, with supporting research, as well as files on slavery and manumission, census research, dependent or indigent persons, crime, Putnam’s vote on Equal Franchise (1846 & 1860), Ku Klux Klan in Putnam County, Racism, migrant labor, Philipse Family and slavery, Black Lives Matter 2020 - , and military service. Read more about their research in the Putnam County Press/Times and New York Archives magazine

About the award:
This award is designed to recognize an outstanding member library, cultural heritage organization, program, service, or staff member.

This award is for Governing and HRVH members of Southeastern, including individuals at any staffing level, organizations, or programs created by member organizations.
The award:
The recipient(s) will receive a commemorative award, and the recipient's name will be engraved on a permanent award which is displayed at Southeastern headquarters. The award is presented at the annual meeting.

Individuals, organizations or programs must achieve excellence in one or more of the following:

  • Leadership in the creation of a new or enhanced service model that can be emulated by other libraries or cultural organizations.
  • Improvements in physical facilities that result in better services.
  • Creation of an innovative program or collection that enhances the lives of the organization’s constituents.
  • The development of a program that touches the lives of individuals who are otherwise underserved by their communities.
  • Provision of a service to the community that is not available from any other library, archive, cultural heritage organization or library system, or that is outside the organization’s primary mission or the individual’s job description and benefited the community in which the organization resides.

Nominees must be either a Governing or HRVH member of Southeastern. (confirm membership at­_directory)
Previous Award Recipients:
2021 Award Recipient
Ramapo Catskill Library System, Coalition for Library Workers of Color

2020 Award Recipient
Valerie Mittenberg, SUNY New Paltz

2019 Award Recipient
Cross County Reading Challenge, Sullivan BOCES School Library System

2018 Award Recipient
adLIB, Vassar College Libraries

2017 Award Recipient
Amy Hillick, SUNY Orange

2016 Award Recipient
Judy Capurso, SUNY Ulster

2015 Award Recipient
Rhonda L. Altonen, MLS, MS

2014 Award Recipients:
FRANKLIN – Access to the FDR Library’s Digital Collections
Honorable Mention: Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz, NY