Bob Plantz received the 2023 Myrna Chelko Volunteer Award from Westlake Porter Public Library during an April 16 Volunteer recognition event. The award is given annually to the volunteer who best demonstrates the spirit of volunteerism exemplified by its namesake, Myrna Chelko. Friends of Porter Public Library’s Vice President Jennifer Cirincione was also recognized for guiding the group’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Plantz has served as a member of the board of trustees for 20 years and received the Ohio Library Council’s Trustee Award of Achievement in 2014. He is also the President of the Library Foundation board of trustees, which has been revived and grown both financially and in membership under his leadership. Plantz is co-chair of the library’s 2023 levy campaign and served as chair of the 2018 levy campaign.
“As a library board member, Bob represents the absolute best of Westlake Porter Public Library,” said Director Andrew Mangels. “He is inclusive, he fosters learning, he encourages community growth, and he makes connections in an ever-changing world. He has been a steadfast and unwavering example of what it means to be a library trustee.”
Myrna Chelko was a long-time library volunteer who was known for her dedication to the library and her hard work. She helped found the Friends of Porter Public Library 50 years ago (1972), and her many volunteer services include being an officer of that group and a Library Board member.
In recognition of the need for a grand gesture to celebrate the Friends of Porter Public Library’s 50th Anniversary in 2022, Cirincione brought up the idea of the Friends Pavilion. She championed its design and construction, as well as the $100,000 donation toward its construction, and spearheaded a campaign to design and sell bricks for a brick path around it. That campaign has already sold 200 bricks with more ordered. In addition, Cirincione was the creative force behind a documentary about the Friends of Porter Public Library. Using her son’s videography company she wrote, directed, produced and served as key grip for the film, which can be found at westlakelibrary.org/friends. Cirincione has served on the Friends’ board since 2003, filling many positions, and was the 2011 recipient of the Myrna Chelko Award.