NEKLS staff members were recently recognized for the contributions to the profession, and to Kansas libraries in particular.

heather Heather Braum, NExpress Coordinator, was recognized with an Outstanding Recent Graduate Award by the Emporia State University Alumni Association and the School of Library and Information Management. The award is given in recognition of professional distinction and service by graduates within 10 years of receiving their degree.  Heather received her MLS in 2008, and has worked at NEKLS since 2007. Recipients were feted during Homecoming Weekend festivities October 17-18  in Emporia, including a reception and dinner in the Memorial Union.

Jim Minges, former director of NEKLS, received the KLA Presidential Award for Meritorious Service. Jim was recognized during the Conference Awards program in Wichita on October 30. The award is given for “exemplary and sustained service to the benefit of Kansas libraries and library users.”

During his tenure at NEKLS (1996-2014), Jim oversaw the development of KLOW (Kansas Libraries on the Web), KanGuard, interlibrary courier service, implementation of library accreditation standards, broadband support and advocacy, a regional shared library catalog (NExpress), and a substitute librarian program to support continuing education participation. Under his leadership, NEKLS defrayed the cost of a professional architect service to help over thirty communities renovate or build new libraries.

Jim has not completely left the library world in retirement. He has opened his own firm – Minges and Associates – which offers consulting for planning, board development, consortial programs and organizational change. He can be reached at


Photo Credit: Trophies by flickr user Brad K. used under a Creative Commons License