First row, from left to right: Librarian of the Year Mary Arius (third) during the awarding ceremony held at the Palau Public Library with First Lady Debbie Remengesau (2nd), Education Minister Sinton Soalablai (4th), Senate President Hokkons Baules (5th), and House of Delegates Speaker Sabino Anastacio (5th). With them in the photo are staff from the Ministry of Education and librarians. (Contributed Photo)

The Palau Association of Libraries (PAL) has recognized a new librarian of the year during a ceremony held Friday, May 10.

Palau public librarian Mary Arius, who was hailed as the 2019 librarian of the year, received a check, plaque, one-year free PAL membership, and a cash worth $1,000 from the congress office.

PAL President Reilly Hideos told Island Times in an interview that this is the second year that they had given out the award. The first one was in 2018 when the program was launched.

The awardee was selected by a committee based on a set of criteria which included being an active member of PAL for at least three consecutive years.

“We always encourage the librarians to be active in the library and with this award, we believe that the librarians will be more active especially when dealing with the patrons because, we’re really focusing on how to provide better library services to the communities,” Hideos said. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)