Shannon Bowman-Sarkisian, a senior information assistant with the Monroe County Public Library and master’s of library science student in the Information and Library Science program at theSchool of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, has been honored with a 2019 Indiana Library Federation Outstanding Library Staffaward.
Bowman-Sarkisian created the Creating Access for Violence Survivors program, which created library protocols for Monroe County residents who are in hiding or in transitional housing in the wake of escaping domestic violence. Those protocols include training library staff on domestic violence and related issues, reducing library access barriers for domestic violence survivors, and more. The CAVS program partnered with Middle Way House in Bloomington to provide library access for those who are without a permanent address.
“I’m really humbled to receive this award from the Indiana Library Federation,” Bowman-Sarkisian said. “I'm a domestic violence survivor who ended up quasi-homeless after leaving my abuser, and I relied heavily on my public library for internet access, job skills workshops, books and movies, and to have a safe place to be where I didn't have to have an excuse or money to be there. It was instrumental in helping me put my life back together. It's wonderful to see this work resonate with my community and to see the library community recognize the importance of information access for survivors.”
The Indiana Library Federation Outstanding Library Staff award honors and recognizes a non-certified staff person who has contributed to his or her employing library or media center in Indiana. Bowman-Sarkisian will be honored at the Indiana Library Federation Awards and Honors Banquet Nov. 3 at the Indianapolis Marriott East in conjunction with the Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference.