By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Stanislaus Library Foundation Shining Star Awards Presented
In this photo from 2020, Colleen and Bob Cordano, in background, are shown waiting for representatives of the Hope Chest to pick up unsold books from that year’s Friends of the Oakdale Library Book Sale. Colleen was honored posthumously this year for her work with the Friends organization; she and Bob were recognized with the Stanislaus Library Foundation’s Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Award. Photo Contributed

An Oakdale couple was recognized with the Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Award when the Stanislaus Library Foundation announced its 2022 Shining Star recipients recently.

The awards, established in 2004, honor individuals, businesses/organizations and Friends of the Library members for outstanding support of the library, through volunteer efforts, advocacy or financial contributions.


Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Award

In 2011, the Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Award was established, in honor of a Library Foundation founding board member and Friend of the Modesto Library, where she held several leadership positions and demonstrated many years of ongoing service to Stanislaus County Libraries. Unlike the annual Shining Star Awards, the Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Award is presented on an occasional basis, to recognize the rare individuals whose service stands out among other dedicated volunteers. Colleen and Bob Cordano were selected for the Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Award, for many years of service to the Friends of the Oakdale Library. Colleen and Bob have led the Friends of the Oakdale Library used book sale year after year, with Colleen handling the organization and planning, while Bob oversaw the collection, storage, day-of-the-sale delivery of books, and installation of signs to advertise the sale.

“Colleen had a real passion for supporting the library and literacy efforts through the Friends of the Oakdale Library, as well as her love of the Oakdale community,” said Sharon Arpoika, President of the Friends of the Oakdale Library. “I called her my sidekick. We made a great team, and we worked on many projects together, including the library sales tax campaigns.”

The award was presented posthumously to Colleen, whose commitment never wavered. Over the years, she served as secretary, president and vice-president of the Friends of the Oakdale Library. She also served as the Friends Liaison to the Oakdale Joint Service Club committee. Arpoika said she worked tirelessly, even while undergoing cancer treatment. At the time of her death, Colleen was serving as both vice-president and acting secretary.


The 2022 Shining Star Awards were presented to:

Brooks Judd, a Friends of the Turlock Library volunteer. Brooks represents the Friends of the Library at the Turlock Certified Farmers Market on a monthly basis. He has been a great supporter of the Friends used book sale, and currently works in the Friends book store inside the newly renovated and expanded Turlock Library.

Holly Barrera, a Ceres Library volunteer. Holly has volunteered at the Ceres Library for many years, helping with various tasks. She gathers books that have been reserved by customers, as well as pulling books from the reserved shelf when the hold period has expired, so they can be readied for the next customer. She cleans and recovers books with new plastic, helping to extend the life of the collection.

LearningQuest – Stanislaus Literacy Centers. LearningQuest has had a formal partnership with the library since 2001, operating an office inside the Modesto Library, where volunteer tutors help adult learners improve their reading and writing skills. Under the leadership of Executive Director Karen Williams, the agency has grown from a staff of three to more than 30 employees. In 2019, the organization launched KidsQuest, a volunteer tutoring program for kids with dyslexia. The strength of this partnership, and the success of the program has positioned the library to receive a sizeable literacy grant from the California State Library.

2021 Focusing on the Future of the Turlock Library Campaign Committee. As the county embarked on the total renovation and expansion of the Turlock Library in 2020, the Focusing on the Future of the Turlock Library Campaign Committee sought to raise $1 million in donations and multi-year pledges, for project enhancements and future support. This group, led by Jeani and John Ferrari, got started just before COVID-19 hit, making their accomplishment of raising $1.3 million, in the year that would follow, even more remarkable. Building features supported include upgraded furniture, signage and lighting, equipment for the makerspace, patio furniture and inviting children’s furniture that encourages exploration and learning. These funds ensured that the Community Room would have a kitchenette and functional tables and chairs that could easily be reconfigured. Future support will include special children’s programs and authors/speakers for adult audiences. Committee members are Hanna and Dieter Renning, Ashleigh Volk, Kathy Smith, Tina Bates, Ken Bethel, Mary Jackson, Lindsey Herrera, Patrick Jensen, and Patricia Portwood.


The public is invited to view a video that recognizes the Library Foundation’s Shining Star and Joan Patterson Stellar Achievement Awardees at

Bob Cordano was honored recently, along with his late wife Colleen, for their longtime efforts coordinating the Friends of the Oakdale Library book sale each year. They received special recognition from the Stanislaus Library Foundation. Photo Contributed