When Rose Krauss became a librarian at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, she hoped the 6,760-square foot facility across from the base's gas station would one day join a list of the Defense Department's best libraries.
She admits she didn't know it would take more than five years of tweaks, changes and upgrades for the library to be named a Premier Library, an award the air station library received in September, joining just seven other facilities in the Marine Corps to earn the distinction.
"It's a very big honor for us but it's been a very long process," Krauss said with a chuckle. "I don't think I had any idea how much work it would take to get us there."
Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, commander of Marine Corps Installations East, traveled to Beaufort in September to present Krauss and the library's staff with the award, which is given by the Department of Defense to libraries that meet the Pentagon's core requirements and fulfill a number of 17 other more stringent standards.
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Those tougher standards range from having high-speed color printers and computers for children to having high-tech security systems and other safety measures, according to military officials.
Once the air station library applied for premier status, it was inspected several times by Corps and Pentagon officials, Krauss said.
"Inspectors from our home shop at Marine Corps Installations East came down and inspected us, then someone from Headquarters Marine Corps in Quantico came down and inspected us, then those results were sent off to the (Defense Department) and back to headquarters," Krauss said. "It was a lot of work. We finally heard in April that we got it. That felt really satisfying."
The Marine Corps has the most premier libraries than any other military branch, and Krauss said the air station's library is the smallest in the Corps to receive the honor.
Related content:The Pentagon's Premier Library program