Rogers City librarian earns Community Builder award

Amber Alexander

ROGERS CITY — She didn’t win an award for sitting still.

Presque Isle District Library System Director Amber Alexander has earned a Mover & Shaker award this month from the “Library Journal.” The award is an international honor given to just 50 people each year in the library profession.

She and the other winners are featured in the March 2019 issue of the publication, highlighting outstanding professionals who are committed to shaping the future of libraries. Alexander was awarded in the Community Builder category.

Alexander was nominated by Anne Belanger, program and regional outreach director at PIDLS, specifically for her work in helping to restore the Rogers City Theater.

“Within the first two weeks of Amber’s new role as library director, she was in charge of overseeing the historic Rogers City Theater,” Belanger said in her nomination letter. “Officially, the theater became the sixth branch of the Presque Isle District Library System. She faced many challenges with the age of the theater and ongoing maintenance repairs. Through all the changes and upgrades, she championed the theater to be the community’s theater. This venue hosts many live events and musical performances, first-run films, classic films, TEDx Talks, film festivals, and is home to the Rogers City Community Theatre. It is an integral part of the community and region.”

Alexander has been the library director for three-and-a-half years. Karl Heidemann donated the Rogers City Theater to the library in 2016, and RCCT rents the theater space from the library for its community productions.

“Not a lot of libraries have a theater,” Alexander noted. “It’s been a definite draw to our downtown. We’re here to keep it open.”

She said the Rogers City Theater is the perfect venue for community events.

“It’s definitely creative, diverse programming that encompasses everything,” she explained, adding that the library has partnered with the schools and Calcite Credit Union to offer many family activities and events since 2016.

As for the award, Alexander was honored and pleasantly surprised.

“I’m still in shock,” she said. “It’s just amazing to win an international award, a director from a small rural community.”

She added that despite its size, the Rogers City community works together to achieve success.

“We really do accomplish a lot in this community,” Alexander said. “It’s just nice having that recognition out there.”

Reach Darby Hinkley at dhinkley@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5691.