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RPL earns award for excellence

The Russellville Public Library has seen a few changes over the past four years, and the hard work put in by director Ashley Cummins and her staff has paid off. Cummins was recently notified RPL has received the 2018 Bronze Level Standard Award for Public Libraries from the Public Library Division of the Alabama Library Association.

“Meeting those standards is an honor,” Cummins said.

There are different levels of achievement awards; bronze is the first level. Cummins said the library had to complete a checklist of criteria to be able to receive the award.

“This award reflects the dedicated effort of Russellville Public Library to meet and surpass the core standards for public libraries in Alabama,” explained Gloria Repolesk of ALLA.

Some of the criteria include things people wouldn’t normally think about, Cummins said, like building requirements, as well as funding and policies on record. Other requirements involve circulation and turnover rate, or how many books are being checked out. For example, 10 percent of the library’s non-fiction collection must be published within the past five years.

“We have been building that collection to provide better information for our patrons,” Cummins said.

All of the changes that have been made are part of a five-year plan Cummins developed when she took on the director role in 2014. She said she evaluated everything in order to get the library updated. Changes include new computers for the public to use, a new circulation system that is available online and a bigger Hispanic collection.

“We started working on the five-year plan with the goal in mind to meet this checklist,” Cummins said.

She will attend the President’s Awards Reception April 4 and receive the award for RPL.