Albany, N.Y., May 24—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and his Senate colleagues last night honored Carol Berry of Hornell, a long-time regional library professional and currently director of the Dormann Library in Bath, as a 2011 “Woman of Distinction.”
The Senate's "Women of Distinction" program, which began in March to coincide with Women's History Month in New York State, allows senators statewide to select one honoree from their respective legislative districts. Berry is the inaugural honoree for O’Mara, who’s in his first Senate term after being elected last November.
Berry, who began her career in 1980 as the school librarian at Hornell High School, was nominated for this year’s award by Lorraine Patti, president of the Board of Trustees of the Dormann Library, where Berry has been the director since 2003.
Patti said, “The Board of Trustees of the Dormann Library is delighted that Senator Tom O'Mara has chosen Carol Berry for this distinguished award. She certainly deserves this recognition. The Dormann Library has flourished under her direction. She has provided great vision which has allowed the library to expand its programs and services for patrons significantly. We are certainly fortunate to benefit from her vast knowledge and expertise, and it is because of her hard work and dedication that our library continues to grow.”
[In the photo above from yesterday's ceremony, from l. to r.: Senator O'Mara, Carol Berry, Carol's son Richard, and Lorraine Patti, President of the Dormann Library Board of Trustees]
O’Mara noted that Berry is widely respected as a local library professional. In addition to her tenures at Hornell High School (1980-1990) and the Dormann Library (2003-present), from 1990-2002 Berry helped guide the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES library system and concluded her time there as Supervisor of Library Media Services.
Berry will represent O’Mara’s 53rd Senate District and join honorees from across New York at the Senate’s 14th annual “Women of Distinction” awards ceremony this evening in the Legislative Office Building, where Berry’s biography and photo will be displayed as part of a special Senate exhibit.
"The Senate tribute says it best, ‘Wherever Carol Berry goes, a high quality library is sure to follow.’ It’s a well-deserved testament to an outstanding life’s work. Local libraries play a vital role in shaping the quality and strength of our local communities and schools, and Carol Berry has dedicated her career to building and leading high quality libraries across our region. Her work has been inspiring and she’s made an enormous difference in the lives of so many area students, families, seniors and everyone else for whom a library is a lifeline," said O’Mara, whose legislative district encompasses Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties, and a portion of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield, and Ulysses).