Two iSchool alumni, Jennifer Bueche (MS '94) and Lucas McKeever (MS '13), have been selected to receive awards from the Illinois Library Association (ILA).
Bueche, director of KidSpace at the Gail Borden Public Library District, has received the 2018 Davis Cup Award from the ILA's Youth Services Forum. This annual award, sponsored by the ABDO Publishing Company, recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in library services to youth. Bueche has proven to be a dedicated role model to the youth services librarians in Illinois, spending twenty-four years providing outstanding public service at the Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin. She not only serves on the Board of the Elgin Partnership of Early Learning but also has brought on-site developmental and social-emotional screening to the library, working with Easter Seals, Kane County Health Department, and Elgin Area School District U-46. She was instrumental in helping Elgin to be named as an Early Childhood Innovation Zone. Bueche has worked with U-46 to offer the innovative Summer Reading Challenge camps, whereby summer school classes are held at the library, with a focus on STEAM education and the library's Summer Reading Challenge. Underher leadership as manager, the library has revamped its summer reading program to ensure more opportunities for children in area schools and day cares to participate. Bueche has been active in ILA, serving twice on the iREAD Committee and as a board member of the Youth Service Forum.
McKeever is the recipient of the 2018 TBS, Inc. Technical Services Award. This annual award, presented by ILA's Resources and Technical Services Forum and sponsored by Today's Business Solutions, Inc., is awarded to an individual who has made a substantial contribution in the area of library technical services, particularly with regard to commitment to leadership, programming, and professional development in the technical services field. McKeever has been the head of technical services at Elmwood Park Public Library (EPPL) since October 2015. He has taken on new initiatives in recataloging and developing procedures for new collections including Wi-Fi hotspots, Explore-to-Go kits, and early literacy teaching materials. His accomplishments also include two large-scale projects that are part of the EPPL Strategic Plan: a library wide inventory project, and the organization and digitization of the local history collection. His commitment to improving patrons' accessibility has included projects such as the creation of a new call number system specifically designed for improved access to graphic novels. He has demonstrated his supportive, inclusive, and community-focused philosophy by spearheading an innovative staff training day and being an integral part of successful fundraising efforts for an oral history project and a community mural. McKeever serves as a member of the Harrington Park Press Advisory Board for Library and Information Resources and was recognized as one of the Windy City Time's "30 under 30."
The awards will be presented in October at the 2018 ILA Annual Conference in Peoria.