Anythink Family Services Director Freas receives 2012 Sullivan Award

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/01/2012

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CHICAGO - The American Library Association is pleased to announce the 2012 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children has been awarded to Lynda Welborn Freas, director of family services at Anythink Libraries, Thornton, Colo.  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. The award will be presented at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., at the ALA President’s Program, Sunday, June 24.

Freas received the award for her innovative approach to providing children’s services throughout her career, particularly recognizing the integration of Family Place Libraries ™ at Anythink’s seven locations, the redesign of the children’s summer reading program and for spearheading the addition of Nature Explore outdoor gardens at three Anythink locations that will bring community members together with children in an environment where they can build, play and connect with nature in a new way.

In nominating Freas, Pam Sandlian Smith, Anythink director, said, “Lynda is a shining star in the field of professionals providing service to children." Nancy Knepel, retired librarian from Northglenn Middle School, added that “in every facet of her career, Lynda has provided leadership, support and exceptional service to staff and children.”

Freas was integral in bringing Family Place Libraries ™ to Anythink. Family Place Libraries redesigns the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth and connects parents with the resources, programs and services offered at the library and other family service agencies. Expanding the traditional role of children's services, Family Place builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children's growth and development.

Seeing the need to transform the traditional summer reading program, which used “reading logs and plastic prizes,” Freas took an innovative approach and created mySummer: Read Think Do. With her staff committee, she was able to create a program that involves greater hands-on programming and events that allow for total family involvement.

Nature Explore ™, which will bring community gardens to three Anythink locations, is Freas’ most recent project. These outdoor classrooms offer children and their families a way to interact with nature, learning more about their environment, food production cycles and just plain enjoy being in a beautiful garden.

Throughout her career, it has been apparent that Freas is dedicated to library services to children and their families. Whether in consultation with designers on new children’s spaces or mentoring youth services staff, she strives to create the best possible experience for children using the library and its resources.

“I am especially proud to see this award go to a fellow Coloradoan,” said Dodie Ownes, 2012 jury chair. “I have been fortunate to see Lynda and her colleagues bring Anythink Libraries to the forefront of library innovation, and there is no doubt that her creative, can-do attitude has been an important factor in this transformation.”

Members of the 2012 Sullivan Award Committee are: Chair Dodie Ownes, editor, SLJTeen, Golden Colo.; Barbara Gubbin, director, Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library; Sol M. Hirsch, 2011 Sullivan Award winner, (retired) director, Alachua County (Fla.) Library District; Catherine Murray-Rust, Library Dean, Georgia Tech University Libraries; Denise Zielinski, Black Road Branch Manager, Joliet (Ill.) Public Library.

The Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception, Sunday June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2013 Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children is Dec. 1, 2012.  Guidelines and applicationforms are available on the ALA website.