Fennville Librarian Teresa Kline

Fennville District Library Director Teresa Kline is shown with the Public Librarian of the Year award she received from the Michigan Library Association.

FENNVILLE — A librarian who has guided the Fennville District Library through the COVID-19 pandemic while building partnerships throughout the community to promote literacy especially for migrants, has been named recognized by the Michigan Library Association.

Fennville District Library Director Teresa Kline received the Michigan Library Association’s Public Librarian of the Year award during the association’s annual awards ceremony in October.

The Michigan Library Association represents 325 libraries throughout the state and is the state’s oldest and largest library association.

The organization’s Public Librarian of the Year Award recognizes outstanding library professionals that inspire people, provide innovative library service to their community, promote collaboration among libraries, and show evidence of personal and professional achievement as well as initiative and creativity, according to the Library Association’s nomination criteria.

Kline came to the Fennville District Library in December of 2013.

“One of her most recognized achievements was writing and receiving a 3-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, providing the Fennville District Library with the resources to work with the Telamon Migrant Head Start Center in Pullman on a pilot program establishing literary services to our migrant population,” said Michele Overweg Spans, library assistant for the Fennville District Library.

One letter of support from the Pullman Telamon Center Director, Cherie Smalley, stated, “Teresa has worked at the Fennville District Library for eight years, and it amazes me how compassionate she continues to be when it comes to literacy and the communities that she serves.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kline submitted a grant to the American Library Association COVID Relief Fund. The Fennville District Library was one of 34 libraries throughout the United States, and the only one from Michigan, to receive a grant.

“With this grant the library has added more hotspots, improved technology, and are building a core collection of Spanish materials,” Overweg Spans said. “Not only did this help offset the financial stress caused by the pandemic, but it also demonstrated Teresa’s dedication to providing literacy programs, materials and technology to our rural community.”