Chesterton Tribune



WPL Director Phil Baugher honored by Indiana Library Federation for lifetime achievement

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Phil Baugher, director of the Westchester Public Library, will receive the Indiana Library Federation’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award on Nov. 18 at the Marriott East Hotel in Indianapolis. This award was developed to recognize someone who has rendered lengthy, outstanding service to Indiana libraries and to his or her local community while impacting others regionally or statewide.

Phil became director of the library in 1978 after receiving his master’s degree in library science from Indiana University. Over the following years, he developed a dynamic vision for the library, one that he shared with the board of trustees, employees, and the community. As libraries and technologies evolved over time, he continually looked at ways to offer excellent library service and to hire the right people to support the mission.

A gifted problem solver, Phil reconfigured the physical space of the library and aligned resources to achieve excellence for a growing community. During financially challenging times, such as when Bethlehem Steel filed for bankruptcy, Phil literally “rebuilt the library one program and one employee at a time,” according to one nomination letter.

His acumen for technology has allowed him to encourage and help numerous organizations and businesses with their automation efforts. He has also conducted library budgeting and accountant workshops for area library trustees and staff. Over the years Phil has raised awareness in others about issues during the General Assembly that would affect Indiana libraries.

When Phil retires, he will leave a lasting legacy. He worked with the library board to create a new home for the Chesterton Adult Learning Center in a former bank building; he worked with others to create the Westchester Township History Museum, operated by WPL, and he negotiated a lease agreement for the rental of a school corporation-owned historic building to house the museum.

Throughout his long career, Phil has served as a role model to others in developing inter-organizational partnerships and in serving the Westchester Township community with dedication, integrity and innovation.


Posted 11/17/2014