GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn librarian Heather McCammond-Watts has nurtured and inspired those in the community, receiving the Davis Cup Award as proof of her creative spirit.
McCammond-Watts, who serves as manager of the Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Youth Department, was chosen by the Illinois Library Association as a result of her lifelong impact in early childhood literacy. Nominated by several of her co-workers, McCammond-Watts said receiving the award is a great honor.
“I feel so humbled and honored, and it’s particularly rewarding because I was nominated by some of my staff and, as a manager, knowing I made a difference in the lives of my employees makes me feel really good,” McCammond-Watts said.
Anne Kunzen, who chairs the committee who chose McCammond-Watts, said McCammond-Watts stood out immediately.
Kunzen said the award represents mentorship, an active role in promoting children’s literacy and professional achievement throughout one’s career.
Kunzen said McCammond-Watts easily demonstrated all of these things, as was evident by the numerous support letters she received for her nomination.
“She is really qualified and has clearly made a difference in her community,” Kunzen said. “She was really so excited when I called to tell her she was receiving the award and I can’t wait to meet her.”
McCammond-Watts said she was surprised she was receiving the award, but her co-workers seemed to express the opposite sentiment.
Christina Keasler, assistant manager of the Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Youth Department, has worked closely with McCammond-Watts for roughly a year now and said she couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the award.
Keasler stressed that McCammond-Watts promotes creativity and fun, not just for the children and families attending the library, but for her employees as well. She mentioned initiatives such as a staff tea time that McCammond-Watts arranged to help employees remember to play as hard as they work.
“She inspires fun wherever she goes,” Keasler said. “She is a ‘must meet,’ and people’s lives are just better after they’ve met her.”
For McCammond-Watts, it’s all in a day’s work. She said a library’s most important asset is its staff, and she wants to make sure her employees understand their value. Tea time, for example, allows the staff to share in creative discussions, uplifting one another, and helps them unwind from some of their work.
While staff is key, children also are why McCammond-Watts does what she does. She said working with children has been a lifelong passion, bringing joy and unpredictability to her career as well as inspiring her.
“I’m thrilled to be at the Glen Ellyn library,” she said. “It’s a truly special community that creates an inclusive environment for everyone. Above all else, I hope people are able to feel inspired to experiment and explore – the staff and the kids – and that I can be a warm presence for people to feel comfortable being themselves.”