Lautzenheiser Receives Georgia’s Public Librarian of the Year Award

By January 19, 2017In the News

MACON, GA.—January 12, 2017—Jennifer Lautzenheiser was presented with the Georgia’s Public Librarian of the Year award by the Georgia Public Library Service on Jan 12 at Washington Memorial Library.

Representatives including State Librarian, Julie Walker, and Macon- Bibb Commissioner Gary Bechtel gave remarks on Lautzenheiser and her commitment to the betterment of the community and public libraries.

Bechtel, whose father served many years on the library board, and grew up coming to Washington Memorial Library for the children’s services, spoke of Lautzenheiser’s character, saying the honor was well deserved.

“She’s always willing to work with our staff members and our commissioners to try to grow the library, to try to grow the opportunities for our children, for our families,” Bechtel said.

State Librarian Walker spoke of Jennifer’s leadership qualities and generous support to her colleagues throughout the state as well as the staff in the Middle Georgia Regional Library system.

“She’s really a shining example of all that’s best in our profession.” Walker said. “She’s the first to offer encouragement, acknowledgment, and congratulations and give credit to those around her.”

Since beginning her role as director of Middle Georgia Regional Library two years ago , Jennifer has worked with serval community groups to bring new opportunities and resources to the community through the library. She worked alongside her team to accomplish goals that sometimes seemed hard to reach.

Walker said there were many things she admired about Lautzenheiser including her willingness to make difficult decisions, diligently do her homework, consult all the appropriate parties, an then make a call.

Walker presented Lautzenheiser with a glass plaque and check for five hundred dollars. In her remarks Lautzenheiser expressed her gratefulness for being chosen to receive the award and recognition and the need to give credit to everyone from the librarians in the system’s branches to the administrative team for their efforts.

“I’m from the school of librarians build community,” Lautzenheiser said. “I came into a community that had already done the hard work of learning how to work together…it was kind of right for me to come in and say ‘hey we want to join in’.”

The Public Librarian of the Year award recognizes a full-time and professionally licensed public librarian whose innovative and creative talents are instrumental in the delivery of outstanding library service to his or her library and to the communities it serves. Lautzenheiser has brought several initiatives to the community through the library including the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, the Funding Information Network through the Community Foundation, and new programming provided at each branch library location.

“Our library system is dedicated to connecting community members with the information necessary to improve their lives, whether that is through access to credible information, technology literacy, cultural heritage or recreation,” she explained. “Change can be hard, and we’ve seen a lot of it in our community and in our library system. We appreciate the flexibility and patience given to us by so many residents as we strive to redefine library service to Middle Georgia and provide a sustainable effort of dedicated service and community building in the years to come.”

According to a news release by GPLS, nominations for this year’s GPLS-sponsored awards were submitted from public library directors and trustees, members of recognized Friends of the Library groups and GPLS staff members. Collectively, GPLS received more than three dozen nominations from every corner of the state.

In addition to the individual presentation events, this year’s winners will be recognized at a public ceremony during the Georgia Council for Public Libraries’ annual Public Library Day at the Capitol on Feb. 8.


About Middle Georgia Regional Library

The Middle Georgia Regional Library services six counties across Central Georgia. The library’s mission is to connect all people to the information necessary to improve their lives through excellent services and materials.

For more information, contact:

Alex Hughes, Marketing Coordinator, Middle Georgia Regional Library,


Jennifer Lautzenheiser, Director of Libraries, Middle Georgia Regional Library,