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Augusta County librarian honored by Virginia Library Association

Augusta County LibraryAugusta County will recognize Ali McCue, the Adult Services Programmer and Middlebrook Library Station Manager, at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 13 for receiving the 2019 Up and Comer Award from the Virginia Library Association.

McCue was honored recently at the association’s annual conference and awards celebration on Oct. 23 in Norfolk.

The Up and Comer Award recognizes an energetic librarian, with less than five years of professional experience, who pushes the boundaries of originality and creativity and expands the role of librarian with forward-thinking efforts that help move libraries into the future. McCue was chosen for this award because of her community outreach efforts, innovative programming, and desire to promote inclusivity both in the workplace and in her community.

Director of Augusta County Library, Diantha McCauley, said, “Ali started with the Augusta County Library only three years ago and immediately made an impact with her carefully planned programming that has not only increased public engagement with the library but also expanded the demographics of who we typically attract. Ali’s diverse and interesting offerings have energized the community, bringing exciting, free educational opportunities to our citizens.”

In the last fiscal year, the number of adult program offerings increased by 52 percent and attendance jumped by 218 percent.
McCue has initiated many projects and collaborations including a Virginia Public Libraries Director’s award-winning weekly radio reference show and popular American Sign Language classes. Some of her most collaborative projects include the monthly Redbeard Readers book club with the Staunton Library at Redbeard Brewery and the quarterly Library Trivia Nights with both the Staunton and Waynesboro Libraries held at Seven Arrows Brewery. Both programs appeal to a younger crowd.

Other recent successes include a Downton Abbey Tea and a Health Fair in partnership with community agencies. McCue also helped develop the Healthy Eating series, a long term cooperative effort with the Allegheny Mountain Institute and Augusta Health and was instrumental in advocating for and securing the library on local public transit routes.

“I was honored to be nominated for and receive the Up and Comer Award. There are so many exciting avenues to explore in librarianship – digital access, freedom of speech and information, community conversations, intergenerational programming, diversity in the industry- and I have been so lucky that my first library job is encouraging Augusta County citizens to engage with their public libraries in new ways,” said McCue. “I’m looking forward to growing my skills and expanding services to patrons of all stripes.”

McCue earned her Master’s Degree in Library Science from Syracuse University and a BA in Religion Studies from Appalachian State University.

Her current projects include developing programming using the library’s new 3D printer and virtual reality headsets.