Sargeant named Literacy Award winner

Contact: Gretchen Kalwinski, ALTA Program Assistant


For Immediate Release

June 13, 2003

Sargeant named Literacy Award winner

Doris Lewis Sargeant, retiring director of Brentwood (N.Y.) Public Library, is the winner of the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) Literacy Award. The award is presented annually to a library trustee or volunteer who has made a significant contribution to addressing the literacy problem in the United States - particularly as it relates to the role of the public library.

Sargeant has been an advocate and architect of financial support for basic Literacy and English as a Second Language programs at the library. The Brentwood Public Library serves a low to middle income community with the second largest suburban public school system in New York State, and has a broad cultural mix, including the largest concentration of Puerto Rican peoples outside of New York City.

Sargeant has consistently arranged for funding for the Literacy and English as a Second Language programs, and has encouraged the board to support those programs by underwriting their staff salaries, arranging for their costs to be assumed during the years that grant funding was lost. She has sought out local community partners and experts and engineered a complete program to replace the presence of Literacy Volunteers of America, when that organization could not keep pace with the needs of the community, secured consecutive $10,000 grants from the
Newsday newspaper organization to fund computer acquisitions for support of English as a Second Language and Literacy programs.

The award, which is a plaque, is presented during the SOS Luncheon at the ALA Annual Conference.