Flagler County Public Library Director Holly Albanese was named the 2022 Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) “Member of the Year” at its annual conference last week in recognition of her “significant positive impact” on the library and the community it serves.
The 25-year-old Northeast Florida Library Information Network, a regional cooperative, serves 550 libraries in 24 counties in the northern and northeastern part of Florida.
“Flagler County Library Director Holly Albanese won the NEFLIN Member of the Year Award because of her many years of hard work doing things that help her library and support our organization,” said Northeast Florida Library Information Network Executive Director Brad Ward by phone on Monday.
Bunnell Branch Manager Jon Nemergut nominated Albanese.
“I’m not sure I deserve that admiration,” she said. “I am of course honored and humbled.”
Nemergut wrote of Albanese’s participation in the American Library Association, the Florida Library Association, and, of course, the Northeast Florida Library Information Network where she is a past president and former “Innovation Award” recipient.
He cited as her “most impressive accomplishment” Albanese’s determination to expand library services in Bunnell by building a multiuse facility that will include space for the Library, Health and Human Services Department, and a Community/Conference Center.
“She employed innovative thinking to get this project funded. For six years, she applied for and was ranked number one for a State of Florida Library Construction Grant,” Nemergut wrote, noting that library Passport revenue and other outside-of-the-box funding can add to the project kitty. “In early 2022, our Board of County Commissioners agreed to move forward with this project.”
In addition to library director, Albanese serves Flagler County as chief of special projects, legislative liaison and has a seat on the county’s wellness committee, evaluation plan committee, employee engagement committee, and customer service committee.
“Holly Albanese is very hard working and dedicated to Flagler County – the governmental entity and the community,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “She is an asset to us all, and I’m glad to see her recognized for it.”
The Northeast Florida Library Information Network includes: Madison, Hamilton, Taylor, Lafayette, Suwanee, Columbia, Baker, Union, Bradford, Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Dixie, Gilchrist, Alachua, Putnam, Flagler, Levy, Marion, Sumter, Volusia, Seminole and Brevard.
Roger Cullinane says
Congratulations to Holly Albanese. We are very lucky to have her here in Flagler County.
Good for her , she really works hard to keep the library running like it does . I will heat to see her leave the library.
Tony Mack says
I applaud this honor for Holly Albanese. I’m a regular user of the library system including the Main Library on Belle Terre and the Bunnell branch as well. Every employee is top notch in my book; helpful, courteous and knowledgeable. Attitudes like that start at the top with great leadership and attention to providing the best service for library users.
At a time when some people are seeking to ban books they don’t like, it is imperative that more Palm Coasters understand the worth of our library system.
Thanks Ms. Albanese — keep up the good work!
Been There says
Congratulations, Holly. You are passionate about your job and deserve to be acknowledged in this way. Thank you for all your hard work.
Palm Coast Resident says
Congratulations to Holly! When I learned about the local funding for our libraries and the innovative ways Holly made these services available to us, I was super impressed. She and her staff navigated low funding, serious homelessness issues, library expansions, and education for our citizens.
My kids loved visiting the library, and we are anxiously awaiting the launch of the new south side library. The library system helps people in intense ways, so it benefits us all, whether we often use the library or not. Such a gem.
The Flagler County Library staff are true-blue public servants and they are nothing short of phenomenal.