Education Specialist Cindy Lunte Awarded for Service to Idaho Libraries

Idaho Public Television is pleased to announce that Cindy Lunte, IdahoPTV’s education specialist, has been chosen by the Idaho Library Association to receive their 2017 Special Services to Libraries award.

IdahoPTV Education Specialist Cindy Lunte
Education Specialist Cindy Lunte

According to librarian Jennifer Hills, chair of the ILA Scholarship and Awards Committee, the award is given to “someone who has offered exceptional support to Idaho libraries … Cindy has provided a much-loved outreach service to rural Idaho libraries, while promoting children’s literacy with an enthusiasm that strengthens all she does.”

In nominating Lunte for the award, Tamra Hawley-House, youth services consultant with the Idaho Commission for Libraries, wrote: “As the new education specialist for Idaho Public Television, Cindy has taken her commitment to and love of libraries on a grand Idaho road trip. She has been reaching out to rural public libraries throughout the state, offering programs including storytimes, science experiments, visits from PBS characters and more. She brings much needed attention to the role of libraries and literacy to each community as she visits, sharing books and other PBS resources.”

Hawley-House notes that in the past year Lunte has provided outreach services and materials to sixteen rural Idaho libraries, including Payette, Glenns Ferry, Kamiah, Kooskia, Grangeville and Notus, which highlights Lunte’s understanding of the importance of partnerships in the role of educating young children. “Cindy recognizes the importance of learning and has found a way to align the missions of her organization with that of public libraries, resulting in increased visibility and interest in the value of education and libraries in the state of Idaho,” Hawley-House says.

Cindy Lunte Curious George

Rural librarians across the state voiced their enthusiastic agreement with Lunte’s nomination. Glenys Rasmussen, director of the Patricia Romanko Public Library in Parma, says that when Lunte offered to do a program at her library, she expected her to arrive with a few books for a story time. “But she came with loads of educational, innovative and fun items for the kids so they could explore, learn, imagine, design and generally be educated in a fun, relaxed, friendly and safe environment,” Rasmussen says. “Cindy didn’t stop with just one visit — because we had so many children who wanted to participate, she came three times and each time brought different engaging tools for the children. They learned about the earth and nature, wildlife and domesticated animals and about the stars, moon and sun. Everything was geared expertly to the age level (preschool through 4th grade) of the children. Cindy also brought along PBS Kids Playtime Pads and the kids still ask for them and use them in the library.”

Lunte will be presented with the 2017 Special Services to Libraries award on October 5 during the Idaho Library Association Annual Conference Awards Ceremony and Banquet at the Boise Riverside Hotel. For more information about the ceremony or the conference, visit the ILA website at, or contact Jennifer Hills.

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