Sara Jones, director of county library services, Marin County Free Library, wins 2018 Sullivan Award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/17/2018


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


American Library Association


The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the 2018 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children has been awarded to Sara Jones, Director of County Library services, Marin County Free Library.  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 ALA President’s Program, Sunday, June 26, at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Jones graduated from Boise State University with a degree in interpersonal communications.  She has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University and Post Master’s degree work from the University of North Texas.   Prior to joining the Marin County Free Library in 2013, she served as the Nevada State Librarian and Director of the Carson City Library.  She has also worked as an Adjunct Professor of Library Science at San Jose State University and University of North Texas focusing on fiscal and public library management.   Her first public library position was at the Elko-Lander- Eureka County Library System was as a youth Services Librarian.

Sara’s many distinguished management positions have given her the opportunity to be a fierce advocate for youth services.  Under Sara’s leadership at the Marin County Free Library over 9,000 library cards have been issued to students in the district while at the same time all fines for children’s and teen materials have been eliminated.  She has been on the forefront of bringing 21st Century learning and emerging technologies such as 3D printing, makerspaces, and virtual and augmented reality to the library’s 10 branches.  She created a campus in collaboration with the Novato Unified School District and Marin County Office of Education that includes one building for the library, media lab with virtual reality, video production and recording studios, and a large and active makerspace.  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. 

Sara Jones was nominated for the Sullivan Award by Diana Lopez, Branch Manager, Marin City Library, who said “Sara Jones is an exemplary manager who is a champion for Youth Services.  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.”

Members of the 2018 Sullivan Award jury are: Chair, Caroline Ward, the Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT; Susan Kusel, Temple Rodef Shalom Library, Falls Church, Virginia; Linda Weatherspoon, Retired, Wentzville, MO; Holly Carroll, Retired, Fort Collins, CO; and Meredith C. Steiner, West Portal Branch, San Francisco Public Library.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2019 Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children is February 1, 2019. Guidelines and applications are available on the ALA website.