FORT KNOX, Ky. – For the second time, Barr Memorial Library at Fort Knox has been named Federal Library of the Year, becoming the first ever to achieve the honor.
“This is affirmation of what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been doing it,” said library director Robert Steinmacher. “It shows we’ve been doing the right things, for the right reasons, for the right people.”
The Library of Congress first named Barr Memorial as Federal Library of the Year in 2014. For Steinmacher, the honor is a reflection of the hard work he and his colleagues have put in throughout the pandemic.
“This staff is really good about adapting and shifting gears quickly,” said Steinmacher. “That has served us incredibly well in the last year.”
He explained how the entire staff had to work diligently to ensure safety measures were taken. Because the COVID-19 virus can live on some surfaces for up to seven days, Steinmacher said that’s how long they must quarantine books after they’ve been returned.
Steinmacher said despite this, the staff is on hand and ready to help people who utilize the library’s services.
“There are restrictions in place, but most importantly we are open,” said Steinmacher. “We’ve never really stopped serving the community, and we’re never going to stop serving it.”
As for their historic second win as Federal Library of the year, Steinmacher was grateful for the recognition. This latest win comes four years after Steinmacher himself was awarded Librarian of the Year.
Steinmacher said it’s nice to receive recognition, but for him, it’s just about providing a service to the military community.
“At the end of the day,” said Steinmacher, “it’s a nice byproduct of what we do and what we love.”