Ellen Popit, associate director of Illinois Heartland Library System and resident of West Frankfort, was awarded the Crystal Honor Award by the Association of Illinois School Library Educators, also known as AISLE, at the organization’s recent annual conference.
AISLE is a statewide professional organization that works to promote lifelong learning by the students of Illinois and to provide leadership and support for the development, promotion, and improvement of the school library media profession and programs in Illinois.
The Crystal Honor Award recognizes distinguished support of or contribution to the school library profession, school libraries in Illinois, or the AISLE.
Leslie Bednar, Executive Director at Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and a colleague to Popit, said in a news release, “As an active member of the school library community throughout her career, Ellen is a respected and sought-after voice statewide. IHLS’ member libraries benefit from her keen sense of direction, and she is most deserving of this honor.” IHLS is the state agency that serves the public, school, academic, and special libraries of Southern Illinois and parts of central Illinois.
Popit received a bachelor's degree in education from St. Mary’s in Notre Dame and her Master of Library Service from Rutgers University. Popit started her career in 1975 as a school librarian. She went on to work at the Shawnee Library System, where she spent 18 years as the youth services consultant. She served as the membership director of IHLS before becoming the Associate Director.