[caption id="attachment_31364" align="aligncenter" width="720"]<img class="size-full wp-image-31364" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2018\/02\/West-Virginia-Library-Commission-announces-award-winners.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="960" \/> Betty Gunnoe, chair, West Virginia Library Commission (left) presents Paulette Kirby of Monroe County Public Library with West Virginia\u2019s first Librarian of the Year award.[\/caption]\r\n<h1>The West Virginia Library Commission is proud to announce the winners of its 2018 Librarian of the Year and Library Champion awards. The awards were established last year to recognize librarians and library volunteers who have made exceptional contributions to libraries and library life in West Virginia.<\/h1>\r\nPaulette Kirby, the director of the Monroe County Library in Union, is the recipient of the WVLC\u2019s first Librarian of the Year award.\u00a0 Known for her friendly smile and engaging personality, Paulette was honored for her leadership in providing children\u2019s and youth programs, as well as adult education classes, to the Monroe County community. She also was cited for her fundraising work for the library and for her role as a community leader.\r\n\r\nThe WVLC also introduced its Library Champions award in 2018.\u00a0 The award is designed to recognize individuals, such as trustees, local officials, volunteers, and patrons, who promoted public libraries in West Virginia in the past year. The initial winners of the award are former state delegate Jim Morgan of Cabell County, Mina Goodrich of Jefferson County, and Jeff Pyle of Mineral County.\r\n\r\n\u201cI would like to congratulate each of the winners for their exceptional contributions to West Virginia libraries in 2017,\u201d said WVLC Executive Secretary Karen Goff. \u201cThey are excellent examples of how the community and its libraries work together to create a state of learners.\u00a0 They are the foundation, the future of libraries in the mountain state.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe 2018 award winners were honored at a West Virginia Library Association ceremony on Feb. 5, at the Culture Center on State Capitol grounds.