Retirement Reception To Honor Toni Buckner, Celebrate 34 Years of Service

Retiring Library Director Toni Buckner at Library Garden dedication, October, 2008

Sept. 4th, 2011 – On Friday, September 16, from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., the City of Sierra Madre and the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library will host a reception to honor Toni Buckner, Director of Library Services for the City of Sierra Madre, who is retiring at the end of September after 34 years of dedicated service to the City.  All are invited to attend this community-wide event, which will take place in the Sierra Madre Room at the Community Recreation Center, 611 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., in Sierra Madre. 

Light refreshments will be served starting at 6:00 p.m., followed at 7:00 p.m. by presentations and a Recognition of Service; dessert will be served from 8:00-9:00 p.m.  During the presentation hour, members of the community who wish to express their well-wishes to Toni will have an opportunity to say a few words from the podium.

In 1977, Toni Gollands Buckner began working for Sierra Madre as a Library Assistant, under the tutelage of then Library Director Mary Tumilty.  After acquiring a Masters in Library Science from USC in 1980, she was promoted to Associate Librarian of Children’s Services.  Upon Mary Tumilty’s retirement in 1985, Toni moved to the directorship, a position she held for the next 26 years.

Her many accomplishments during her tenure as Director of Library Services include shepherding the Library from the era of the card catalog to the age of the worldwide web and online databases, tireless grant and fundraising to ensure the Library acquired much-needed building improvements and kept pace technologically; co-chairing the City’s 2007 year-long Centennial celebrations; and heading the project of which she is admittedly most proud, The Friends Garden, a beautiful and welcoming native-plant “oasis” fronting the Library, where members of the community can read, socialize, eat lunch, use the Library’s free Wi-Fi, or just relax and enjoy the mountain views.

For her outstanding work on the Library’s 1987 Centennial Celebration, Toni received the prestigious John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award from the American Library Association, for distinguished achievement in public relations and education.  She was also named as co-Grand Marshal of the 4th of July parade with Centennial Co-Chair Judy Webb-Martin.

Under her guidance the Library is now a nationally-recognized Family Place Library, dedicated, through programs, services and resources, to empowering parents to take an active role in their young children’s growth and development.

The capstone of Toni’s achievements has been her tireless commitment to the redesign and development of the City of Sierra Madre’s new user-friendly website which was launched in July 2011.  She was recently named recipient of the City of Sierra Madre’s 2011 Public Service Award, otherwise known as Employee of the Year, which is presented to a City employee for exceptional customer and public service, as well as dedication to the citizens of Sierra Madre over the course of a year.