Bani Christine (right) of Kearney is the 2015 Advocacy Award winner. This award recognizes a trustee, user, friend, foundation, or library board that has provided exceptional support for their local library.
Bani was unable to attend the PLTS luncheon to accept her award in person, but sent the following remarks:
First, a heartfelt thank you to the Kearney Public Library leaders and staff for nominating me. Also, a sincere thank you to the leadership and staff at the Public Library & Trustees Section of the Nebraska Library Association for acknowledging my small part in supporting Nebraska libraries! I was surprised, pleased, and very much honored by your recognition. I never expected to be recognized for simply doing what I love to do: supporting my library! Your recognition humbles me.
C.S Lewis wrote, “Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies; let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” As a child, I was orphaned at an early age. I learned very quickly that the opportunities to rise above my circumstances were few and far between and my cruel enemies were numerous. I survived… and thrived, because of the library. At the library, I found extraordinary librarians, imagination, knowledge, inspiration, bravery, creativity, opportunity, challenges, courage, dignity, perspective, laughter, passion, and more. And, just like the character Matilda, my books, and my librarians, gave me a hopeful and comforting message: I was not alone.
Literacy can CHANGE lives; libraries can SAVE lives. It saved mine. In the Talmud, it is written: “And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” The library saves entire worlds, DAILY! I know,
without a doubt, that regardless of who you are or where you are in life, if you make use of your local library, you’ll ALWAYS have a chance to live happily ever after. Share that with everyone you know, please! Libraries are essential to all of us!
This is why I add my two small hands and my tiny voice to support the thousands of others who sustain our libraries… just like each of you here today! If you support the library in any way, by volunteering, by being an employee, by ‘friending’, by sharing, by advocating… then this award belongs to you too. I am proud to be included in a group that loves libraries, ESPECIALLY Kearney Public Library, as much as I do! Thank you ALL for what YOU do! And thank you, again, for this unexpected and much appreciated award!