Photo: Sara Jones has won the 2018 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children.
The director of the Marin County Free Library, Sara Jones, is the recipient of a distinguished national award from the American Library Association (ALA).
Jones, who has led the 10-branch County-run library system for five years, is to receive the 2018 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children when the ALA convenes its annual conference June 26 in New Orleans. The award is presented annually to a library administrator who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by ALA,” Jones said. “Making sure the library inspires youths to be readers and life-long learners has been a focus my entire professional life. I firmly believe the library can be one of the most critical components of success in learning and life.”
The ALA described Jones, in her 30th year as a librarian, as a fierce advocate for youth services. “Sara sees the library as the great equalizer, and as a result she has created many community partnerships with groups such as Marin Promise, Marin Housing Authority, and more to address inequities in the county and do focused work on grade-level reading,” the ALA said in its statement.
Under Jones’ leadership, the Marin County Free Library has issued more than 9,000 library cards to students and eliminated all fines for overdue children’s and teen materials. She has been on the forefront of bringing 21st century learning and emerging technologies to the library system such as 3D printing, maker spaces, and virtual and augmented reality.
In 2016, Jones and her staff collaborated with the Novato Unified School District and Marin County Office of Education to revamp the South Novato Library to include one building for a traditional library plus a media lab with virtual reality, video production, a recording studio, and a large and active maker space.
“Sara Jones is an exemplary manager who is a champion for youth services,” said nominator Diana Lopez, branch manager at the Marin City Library. “She makes things happen, and if staff hit roadblocks she always finds a positive solution. She gives staff the freedom and the power to do their jobs, yet we know she always has our backs.”
A native of Idaho, Jones has degrees from Boise State University and Syracuse University and participated in post-graduate work at the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the Marin County Free Library in 2013, she served as Nevada’s state librarian, director of the Carson City Library, and youth services librarian with the Elko-Lander-Eureka County Library System in Nevada.
(This post is a copy of a County of Marin Press Release)