Furman University Library Outreach Assistant Laura Baines has been chosen for the Outstanding Library Paraprofessional of the Year Award by the South Carolina Library Association. She received her award in November at the annual Association conference in Columbia.
The award recognizes active paraprofessional members of the Association who demonstrate excellence in their field of expertise, promote staff development, foster communication amongst library employees, and strengthen the image of paraprofessionals.
Baines began her career at Furman in 2008 as a Reference and Government Documents Assistant. In her current role supporting the library’s Outreach Division, she helps library patrons at the Research Assistance Desk and coordinates orientation sessions for international students, transfer students, and new faculty. She serves as the library’s principal liaison to the entire Furman staff, creates numerous online resource guides and training materials for student assistants, and writes witty and engaging posts for the library blog.
“Without a doubt, my favorite part of my job is helping students,” said Baines. “I’m just really proud of our library.”
Baines has developed a number of popular initiatives at the library including the Scholar of the Month Study Room and “Blind Date with a Book,” designed to introduce students to new authors and a variety of genres.
“Beyond her industry and creativity, Laura’s kindness and sensitivity render her a delightful colleague,” said the Library’s Laura Baker, Jenny Colvin, Mary Fairbairn, Steve Richardson, Patricia Sasser, Andrea Wright, and Libby Young, who all nominated Baines for the honor. “We are proud to call her our colleague and friend.”