Hoag librarian honored by Nioga with outreach award for tech aid

Posted 5 June 2023 at 8:55 am

By Claire Squicciarini, correspondent

Photo by Claire Squicciarini: Betty Sue Miller, director of Hoag Library, congratulates Michael Magnuson, the adult services librarian, for winning Nioga’s outreach award.

ALBION – The Nioga Library System is a non-profit system serving public libraries in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties. Each year at the Nioga annual meeting an outreach award is presented to a library employee in three-county library system.

Michael Magnuson, the adult services librarian at Hoag, was recognized for his tech services he provides to Hoag Library patrons.

“I do my best to try to help if I can’t I try to refer them to someone who can,” Magnuson.

He previously worked at the public library in Jamestown where that library providing some tech help to the community. Magnuson shared that initiative with Betty Sue Miller, the Hoag Library director. She backed the idea and Magnuson began to schedule individual appointments to help those in the community that aren’t too tech savvy.

“He has helped to make an atmosphere here that I am just absolutely thrilled with,” Miller said. Seeing his impact, the program coordinator Katie Leach from the Orleans Digital Literacy Initiative partnered with the Hoag library and made Magnuson a tech mentor.

Now Magnuson provides tech support every Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Hoag Library. Magnuson and Leach refer people to each other to ensure the communities satisfaction. Leach saw the effect Magnuson had on the library and community and nominated him for the Outreach Award.

“I was thrilled that Nioga saw the benefit from outside our own little perimeters,” Miller said. The hard work and compassion of Magnuson was recognized from outside the community while being appreciated within.

“It’s a huge honor I am glad to be able to help people here in the community,” Magnuson said. Magnuson joined the Hoag Library staff in September 2018. He said he welcomes people of all ages to stop in if they have a tech question.

Nioga, in its nomination form, stated the outreach award goes to someone providing outstanding services to people in any of the following populations:

  • Individuals with visual, physical, or developmental disabilities
  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Individuals who are 65 years or older
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Individuals who are geographically isolated
  • Individuals with and economic or educational disadvantage