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Open House to Honor Toni Buckner, September 22nd

Celebrating 34 Years of Service to Sierra Madre

An Open House will be held at the Sierra Madre Public Library on Thursday, September 22, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to drop in and sign a keepsake book and express their best wishes to Toni, whose last day as Director of Library Services will be Friday, September 23, 2011.

In addition to the Open House on September 22nd, the City of Sierra Madre and the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library hosted a reception on Friday, September 16th, to honor Toni Buckner, Director of Library Services for the City of Sierra Madre, who is retiring at the end of September after 34 years of dedicated service to the City.

In 1977, Toni Gollands Buckner began working for Sierra Madre as a Library Assistant, under the tutelage of then Library Director Mary Tumilty. After acquiring a Masters in Library Science from USC in 1980, she was promoted to Associate Librarian of Children's Services. Upon Mary Tumilty's retirement in 1985, Toni moved to the directorship, a position she held for the next 26 years.

Her many accomplishments during her tenure as Director of Library Services include shepherding the Library from the era of the card catalog to the age of the worldwide web and online databases, tireless grant and fundraising to ensure the Library acquired much-needed building improvements and kept pace technologically; co-chairing the City's 2007 year-long Centennial celebrations; and heading the project of which she is admittedly most proud, The Friends Garden, a beautiful and welcoming native-plant "oasis" fronting the Library, where members of the community can read, socialize, eat lunch, use the Library's free Wi-Fi, or just relax and enjoy the mountain views.

For her outstanding work on the Library's 1987 Centennial Celebration, Toni received the prestigious John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award from the American Library Association, for distinguished achievement in public relations and education.

Under her guidance the Library is now a nationally-recognized Family Place Library, dedicated, through programs, services and resources, to empowering parents to take an active role in their young children's growth and development.

The capstone of Toni's achievements has been her tireless commitment to the redesign and development of the City of Sierra Madre's new user-friendly website which was launched in July 2011. She was recently named recipient of the City of Sierra Madre's 2011 Public Service Award, otherwise known as Employee of the Year, which is presented to a City employee for exceptional customer and public service, as well as dedication to the citizens of Sierra Madre over the course of a year.

Through Toni's inspirational leadership and personal example, the Sierra Madre Library has become well known for its "people come first" philosophy, and personable, can-do staff. As a result, the Library's usage has steadily increased, despite the current economic downturn.

Toni will round out her "official" efforts to promote literacy and lifetime learning this fall by appearing on Sierra Madre's final READ campaign poster for 2011, which will be displayed October through December at the Library.