Madison, IN, September 25, 2019 - On Friday, September 13, the Indiana State Library (ISL) recognized
Holly Poling, library assistant at the Jefferson County Public Library, with the 2019 Difference is You Staff
Award. The award honors a support staff member who is welcoming and has provided inspiration in his
or her library community. The award was presented by Kimberly Brown-Harden, northwest regional
coordinator of the ISL’s Professional Development Office, at the annual Difference is You Conference at
the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis (IN).
Poling’s nomination in part read, "she is an inspiration to our visitors, as well as to staff. She goes out of her way to help others and to make them feel welcome. She is especially patient with visitors who find
themselves in difficult situations or are frustrated with their plight while making no judgement. There
are many example of Holly’s service and not enough room to share them all,” and included instances in
which she made an impact on a young single father and his daughter, a Vietnam veteran, and a
homeless man. In the first two situations, her kindness and generosity were ongoing with regular
patrons of the Library, and, in the third case, the homeless man returned to the Library to personally
thank her for her care of his needs when he was at a particularly low point.
Jefferson County Library Director Judi Terpening noted, “Through one interaction at a time, Holly and
people like her make a difference in their communities by treating others with respect and compassion.”
Poling has worked at the Jefferson County Public Library since 2017, and is a lifelong resident of
Madison (IN). She excels in customer service and business management.
The Difference is You training event for support staff and paraprofessionals is held annually by the
Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Committee. The Indiana State Library was established
in 1825. The agency is responsible for overseeing the daily affairs of the State Library, which include:
developing and providing library services to Indiana citizens and state government employees;
encouraging and supporting the development of the library profession; strengthening the services of
publicly and privately supported libraries statewide; and maintaining and preserving the State Library’s
extensive collections. The Indiana State Library provides leadership and professional training and
support to 236 public libraries, as well as academic, school and special libraries.
Jefferson County Public Library was founded in 1818 and serves the community with opportunities to
obtain and use information in a variety of formats, to pursue lifelong learning, to explore recreational
interests, and to better understand personal and regional heritage. In addition to books and movies, the
Library offers community meeting spaces, cultural and educational programs, entertainment, one-on-
one computer assistance, outreach services to homebound and children, genealogy and local history
research assistance, early literacy programs and reading and viewing suggestions. Libraries are located
in Madison and Hanover, Indiana.