Detroit Lakes resident Linda Schell was awarded the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Above & Beyond Award at the Association's annual conference, held this year in St. Cloud, Minn., on Oct. 11-12.

This award is presented in recognition of significant and major contributions by members to the work of MLA.

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Since moving to the Detroit Lakes area in 2012, Schell has been a dedicated and fully engaged library volunteer. She serves on both the Detroit Lakes Library Board and the Lake Agassiz Regional Library Board.

"When Linda volunteered to be part of our Carnegie Library Centennial planning committee, as chair I quickly realized that she was the partner in crime and special events planning I needed," said Terry Kalil, Carnegie Library Centennial planning committee chair.

Schell is inspiring and visionary. Her attention to detail and eye for how to make a small thing even better has been invaluable to the Carnegie Library System. It was Schell who championed the 100-year gift from the Friends of the Library to future residents in the form of an outdoor sculpture that has become a city landmark.

She can regularly be found watching a children's program from the sidelines, sorting books for the book sale, testing chair samples before purchase, or making a book group laugh with her keen observations. As a semi-retired social worker working with the immigrant community, Schell brings their perspective on the value libraries provide to those most in need. She recognizes and appreciates the many services libraries deliver beyond simply housing books. As a trustee, Schell is an outspoken advocate in the community for increased funding and philanthropy. She delivers on behalf of the Carnegie library system every time she walks in the door, leads a meeting or speaks out on their behalf.

About MLA

The Minnesota Library Association is an association of library supporters, representing all types of libraries by helping them accomplish together what none can do alone. MLA provides opportunities to meet library peers and associates, and meets the interests of its more than 730 members by facilitating educational opportunities, supporting strong ethical standards, and fostering connections between the library community and various constituencies. In addition to the annual conference, programs are planned and sponsored year-round by MLA divisions, sections, roundtables, and committees. Find out more at