Beebe Library's Leane Ellis Named to Library Hall of Fame
Leane Ellis, a librarian at Beebe Library, was inducted to the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Hall of Fame during the organization’s Annual Conference held May 9-10 at The DCU Center in Worcester, MA.
Inductees to the Hall of Fame are practicing or retiring librarians who have made at least a ten year, substantial, sustained, statewide contribution to advancing the cause of Massachusetts librarians or librarianship. Inductees’ contributions may be in the fields of public service, education, advocacy, mentoring, service to the profession, or other areas. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, inductees’ contributions must have been recognized on a regional, statewide, or national level. Inductees may work or have worked in school, public, special, or academic libraries, in library education, agencies, or associations.
As an enthusiastic Readers’ Advisory librarian, advocate and educator, Ellis, Reference and Readers’ Advisory Librarian at the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, has been a librarian since 1994. That year, while as a student at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, she worked at the Framingham State College’s Whittemore Library as a part-time reference librarian. Joining the Beebe Library staff in 1997, she began her position as Readers’ Advisory Librarian, becoming the first in Massachusetts to have that as part of her job title and description.
In addition to creating print materials for Beebe Library, she maintains an Internet presence on Beebe Library’s web site that provides an array of lists and reviews for anyone who wants them. In Wakefield, she conducts two very different book groups, has collaborated with the Wakefield High School English Department for 12 years on their summer reading assignments, and has contributed to six different town-wide “Wakefield Reads” over the past 10 years.
Ellis co-wrote and received an LSTA Readers’ Advisory grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and trained all of the Wakefield staff in Readers’ Advisory practice, also conducting her first genre study for 12 staff members from 2005 to 2006.
Since 2001, Ellis has been training New England librarians by conducting many and varied workshops, seminars, and Round Tables in Readers’ Advisory practice and genre study for the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE), the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System (NMRLS), the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), MLA, and the New England Library Association (NELA), as well as individual libraries. She helped create and has sustained the MLS Readers’ Advisory Round Table since 2008. Ellis is also a judge for Adult Fiction for the 2012 Massachusetts Book Award.
In accepting the honor, Ellis thanked her mother, husband and co-workers for encouraging her as a librarian and readers’ advisor.
“I believe that no matter what format a story comes in — whether it is audio, Nook, Kindle, IPad, a microchip implanted in the brain or paper,” Ellis said, “readers will always need librarians to listen and respond to their reading needs.”
Beebe Library Reference Department head Jeff Klapes nominated Ellis for the Hall of Fame and introduced her at the induction ceremony.
“Reader’s advisory is one of those things that librarians should be particularly proud of,” Klapes said. “We do it better than anybody else, and Leane has taught us to value it and do it much better. She sets the standard by which many of us now measure our ability to connect readers with the right book.”
Beebe Library Director Sharon Gilley agreed.
“Leane found her passion, and it’s infectious, Gilley said. “Because of her, we’re all better librarians.”
MLA introduces inductees to the Hall of Fame Award during even numbered years at its Annual Conference. Nominations for induction are approved by the MLA Executive Board.