New Year Honours recognition for Kirklees Libraries COVID-19 response

Jon Davis, Kirklees Libraries

Congratulations to Jon Davis for receiving a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2021 New Year Honours list.

Jon has been working at Kirklees Libraries since 2004, and has received the award for services to public libraries during COVID-19. He is currently the Customer Service Manager at Dewsbury Library and is also the Co-Chair of the Public and Mobile Libraries Group with national library body CILIP.

Duties in lockdown

During the pandemic Jon led on the organisation of welfare calls to vulnerable people, developed an IT platform to enable staff to work effectively from home, and managed premises compliance and safety to allow libraries to open safely after lockdown.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Corporate said:

“I am delighted to hear that Jon will receive a British Empire Medal.  He joins a growing band of library staff that have received national recognition for the fantastic work they do in serving the people of Kirklees.

Kirklees Libraries have always been at the heart of the community and more so during the response to COVID-19.  They have provided vital support to the most vulnerable people in our communities including reaching out to people who are feeling lonely and isolated during these unprecedented times.  Congratulations to Jon.”

Carol Stump, Chief Librarian said:

“It’s always fantastic news when one of your team is recognised with an award, and Jon’s BEM is no exception. He’s been front and centre in our efforts to operate an effective library service during the pandemic, going above and beyond and doing whatever has been required – delivering IT equipment to home working staff and organising welfare calls to vulnerable people. This honour is also a recognition of many years of service at a national level, for his work with CILIP, in particular editing the Public and Mobile libraries group journal.”

Jon Davis, Customer Services Manager said:

“I was surprised and proud to be notified of my award in the New Year Honours list. Whilst I have been very busy this year, we all have. I therefore feel this is something of a team award, since I am just one member of the extremely successful and hard-working staff of Kirklees Libraries.”

Jon joins Development Librarian Judith Robinson who received a British Empire Medal in 2019 in recognition of her work with adult learners.

Congratulations to all recipients

The Mayor of Kirklees offered his thanks to everyone who has contributed to community efforts during the pandemic.

Councillor Mumtaz Hussain, Mayor of Kirklees said:

“I would like to take this opportunity to send heartfelt congratulations to all our local recipients on the New Year Honours list.  To be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen is an achievement very few of us attain and one each of you must be extremely proud of.  COVID-19 has impacted us all in unprecedented and challenging ways and I would like to sincerely thank you for your personal contribution in helping the community during this very stressful time.”