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Heather Brown, 2017 Julie Klauber Award Recipient

The Julie Klauber Award Committee and Keystone Systems are excited to announce Heather Brown, North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped's Supervisor of Patron Processing, as our 2017 Julie Klauber Award Honoree. Congratulations Heather! Your dedicated service to your patrons, staff, and community are an example of leadership and make you an incredible asset to your library. We look forward to having you join us at the 2017 KLAS Users' Conference in Atlanta! On Tuesday, March 21, Heather will be presented with the award during the Opening General Session of the conference. An official press release will be published prior to the conference on www.klas.com.

Catherine Rubin, Assistant Regional Librarian, North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, nominated Heather. This is the nomination Catherine submitted:

Reason for Nomination

I would like to nominate Heather Brown for the Julie Klauber Award, because I think that she meets so well all of the criteria for the award, particularly in providing outstanding service and very much in the spirit of Julie Klauber. She contributes to our library in such major ways with KLAS, customer service, and staff relations. She is an exemplary employee who has served for 26 ½ years in a variety of different positions at North Carolina Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped. Currently, as Patron Processing Unit Supervisor, she excels in meeting the many changes and challenges of our evolving network library environment while providing excellent customer service and being a real go-to person for staff. Heather’s most recent major accomplishment in 2016 was to very adeptly lead NC LBPH’s transition from CMLS to PIMMS. She sets very high standards for quality control, which makes the entire integrated system work successfully. Because our database was so accurate, when she and her team performed preparatory work for the transition, they completed the database reconciliations with very few problems and well ahead of the deadline. Once PIMMS went live, the whole process went pretty much without a hitch. When PIMMS was in place she quickly spotted and reported some system bugs. Also, as processes have changed with PIMMS, she comes up with sound solutions and communicates them to staff as needed. Heather totally shines in her dealings with people too, whether they be her staff, coworkers, or the general public. With her enthusiasm, positive attitude, excellent problem-solving skills Heather also helps create a real team spirit in the library and makes a significant impact on the library’s image and self-image. She is friendly with everyone and is very adept at handling prickly circumstances. Coworkers know that they can always count on her to help in whatever way she can with everything from technology to work processes to helping out with library programs.

Effect on Library

Heather's contributions to the library and community are significant. With approximately 12,000 patrons in our database and constantly changing contact information, suspensions, transfers, and deaths, it is no small accomplishment to keep it accurate, so that books get to patrons as quickly as possible. No one else has the knowledge of patron records in the patron database that Heather does, and she leads the way in ensuring that our database is current, which has a huge impact on our library and our service at large. Heather affects the library, not only as a very effective manager with extensive knowledge of KLAS and other library technologies, but also as a catalyst for change who readily takes on new projects with creative ideas and an adventurous spirit. She sets a wonderful example for those she supervises and other staff as well, and she has a direct effect on patrons each day when she provides terrific customer service.

Job Responsibilities

Heather supervises the group in charge of processing patron applications and recordkeeping. She has used KLAS for many years, since NC LBPH, as the very first Keystone library, began using it. She and her staff currently use KLAS for recordkeeping purposes such as adding/transferring applications, changing data, and ensuring quality control. She collaborates often and well with staff in various departments on projects and is an outstanding team player in working with everyone. Heather is an expert at troubleshooting, invariably spots any database problems before anyone else, and promptly finds solutions. In addition to her more behind-the-scenes managerial and recordkeeping work Heather also supervises the Receptionist and reception area and often handles front desk calls when staffing is low. She also does some reader advisory work daily. As a former full-time reader advisor herself, she continues to work directly with patrons on the public service end of the KLAS system as well, skillfully making book selections and fulfilling a wide range of requests. She also often helps out with our public programs and is a wonderful representative for our library, because she is so personable and helpful. I think that Heather would uniquely benefit from the training and network that the conference provides, because she is such a critical resource person for our library’s database, and her extensive knowledge of KLAS and NLS database systems and functions equips her to come at training with perspective to think “outside the box.” She would definitely put her learning to good use on returning from the conference.

Additional Comments

In her 26 ½ years with NC LBPH Heather has worked full time in almost every unit, so she has a very well-rounded background and has used different versions of KLAS in many different ways in most--if not all--of those 26 ½ years. She started out as a Circulation Assistant, then became a Machine Unit Technician, then a Processing Assistant for the Patron Processing Unit, then a full time Reader Advisor, and finally Supervisor of Patron Processing. (Luckily for us, she still does an hour of reader advisory work each day.) If anyone has further questions I would be very glad to answer them.