With pride, Stony Creek Library Trustee Sandra Payne displays the coveted regional ‘Trustee of the Year’ award she was presented by the Southern Adirondack Library System, which serves 34 libraries and a population of 330,000 spread over four counties.
A woman who was a key player in boosting the local library’s fortunes and programs has received a prestigious regional award for her efforts.
The Southern Adirondack Library System has chosen Sandra Payne of Stony Creek as “Library Trustee of the Year.” Payne was one of only two trustees awarded in the SALS widespread service area, which spans four counties with a combined population of 330,000.
The award was presented at a banquet held recently at Echo Lake Lodge in Warrensburg.
Payne served as the temporary president of the Stony Creek Free Library’s Board of Trustees this past year after the departure and retirement of a number of library officials.
She then recruited dedicated trustees and a new library director who have all demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication, establishing new programs, devising successful fundraisers, and boosting local citizens' involvement with the library, said Sara Dallas, Director of SALS.
“Sandi Payne is just amazing, and the Stony Creek Library is now truly a community hub,” she said. “She is very generous with her time and her expertise.”
Payne and other trustees chose charismatic local resident Lisa Bartow as the new director — and Bartow subsequently instigated a variety of programs, including the immensely successful Dirty Dozen Garden Club, which is composed of local citizens ranging in age from 3 to 83.
Also, Payne has been key in launching new fundraising campaigns that have kept the library bankrolled with much-needed funds.
Those fundraising efforts in 2011 included bake sales, a Halloween benefit event and an ongoing food concession at weekly town-sponsored summer concerts. These activities resulted in $6,000 in new revenue for the library’s operation, fellow library trustee John Brosseau said in his nominating letter.
Brosseau said Payne personally set up, staffed and dismantled the food concession, as well as prompting citizens to buy 50-50 raffle tickets, and shopping for the concession food beforehand.
“Sandra Payne has shown exemplary leadership and dedication,” he said.
In addition, Payne has focused on the library’s future, helping develop ongoing plans to expand the library’s facilities. Plans now call for the library to move into the former Methodist church next door, and perhaps build an addition to the structure in the process.
Brosseau and Dallas both noted that during the ravaging 2011 Memorial Day weekend floods, Payne responded as floodwaters swamped the library. Brosseau said Payne waded through water flooding the facility to retrieve materials, help clean up, then help coordinate compensation with an insurance firm, Brosseau said.
“Sandi's commitment to the library has been unlimited,” he said.
Dallas offered a similar thought.
“Sandi is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get done whatever needs to be done,” she said.
Payne said the “Trustee of the Year” award came as a surprise.
“I’m extremely honored and touched,” she said. “The Stony Creek Library is an awesome place — since 1921, it’s been a cherished part of our community, and I am pleased to help continue the tradition as we move into the future.”