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Fightertown librarian awarded for merger

By Lance Cpl. Zachary Dyer | | November 11, 2005

A Fightertown librarian was awarded the Armed Forces Recreation Society Special Citation Award for 2005 in a ceremony at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 18.

Becky Papciak, the head librarian for the Air Station and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, received the award for her role in merging both libraries into a collective library system in 2001. In that year, Marine Corps Community Services at both installations merged into what is now known  as MCCS-SC.

The award is given to people and organizations who contribute to the recreation of active duty personnel in all branches of the military, according to Papciak.

“They look for someone who has overcome a challenge that was a little out of the ordinary,” Papciak said.

According to her citation, Papciak’s efforts significantly impacted the mission of the MCCS-SC libraries and helped improve the quality of service that the education services provided to Marine personnel.

In the process of merging the libraries, Papciak improved the existing services of both facilities, made sure they offered comparable services and made general improvements to the equipment and the facilities themselves.

“It’s a challenge to run two distinct facilities,” Papciak said. “We tried to synchronize the services so that what you get at Parris Island, you get at the Air Station. But I also wanted each facility to maintain its unique qualities.”

In addition to her many accolades, Papciak has received the Commander in Chief’s Special Recognition Installation Award in 2003 for her part in merging the libraries.

Papciak credits the people who work for her with her achievements and the libraries’ success.

“I don’t want to get singled out,” Papciak said. “It’s the people who work here, the ones who do the everyday stuff who should get awards.”

Papciak’s employees were not surprised by her recognition.

“She’s a superb leader,” Gadson said, “She cares about her employees personally and professionally. It’s a marvelous thing she has done.”

“I think she does a great job of managing both libraries,” said Master Sgt. David Ellard, the education services officer for the Air Station and Papciak’s supervisor. “I think she deserves every award she gets.”