The American Library Association has awarded the 2013 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children to Kathleen Reif, director of St. Mary’s County Library, Leonardtown, Md. The Sullivan Award is presented annually to an individual in a library administrator role who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children.
Reif received the award for her sustained and effective efforts to provide children’s services, with particular attention to early literacy and learning and Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR), a parent education outreach initiative. In nominating Reif, Clara N. Bohrer, director of West Bloomfield Township Public Library, Bloomfield, Michigan, said, “Kathleen works diligently behind the scenes to make things happen—actions which promote public libraries and benefit children and families." John Bohanan, member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, adds “Kathleen strongly advocates for library services and the importance of providing services to children beginning at birth implementing many programs at St. Mary’s County Libraries geared toward pre-school aged children.”
At the local level, Reif expanded the Words on Wheels (WoW!) Van Service which visits childcare providers and centers and distributes WoW! Bags containing books, music, and ECRR learning and activity sheets. She also created and has nurtured community relationships and partnerships with Judy Centers, Head Start, social services and local businesses to further early literacy. Children’s computers were installed at all three branches, including AWE early literacy stations. The library also was recently selected as one of five pilot sites for The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant in Maryland.
Learn more about the distinguished group of public library administrators whose support of library service to children has earned ALA recognition through the Sullivan Award
. How can their exceptional advocacy efforts inspire your own?