Luis Herrera, director San Francisco Public Library, receives 2014 Sullivan Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 03/10/2014


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer

Office of ALA Governance


CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the 2014 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children has been awarded to Luis Herrera, San Francisco Public Library’s city librarian.  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 29, 2014 at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Herrera demonstrates a passion and exceptional support for public library services to children in a wide range and scope. As a member of the Public Library Association (PLA) Board, he supported the launch of a partnership with the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) which led to the PLA/ALSC Every Child Ready to Read @ your library (ECRR) initiative. When Herrera was PLA president, he was instrumental in negotiating the Memorandum of Agreement between PLA and the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) that institutionalized and provided funding for ECRR @ your library which has been implemented nationally.

San Francisco Public Library and its patrons have also benefited from Herrera’s leadership and focus on children’s services. He has overseen the development and deployment of many programs there, including robust childcare provider service; Baby Rhyme Time, Lapsit Storytime and Stay And  Play; the first multi-year partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District; and procured an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for a Teen Digital Media Center.

As a member of the IMLS Board of Directors, Herrera endorsed the 2012 partnership between IMLS, the Office of Head Start, and the Administration of Children and Family’s (ACF) Office of Childcare, as well the Growing Young Minds project. Herrera’s collaborative work also helped create a partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and the support of a 2012 IMLS research brief, "Children’s Services at Public Libraries: A Port in the Storm."

Herrera has also been a longtime and active member of REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, since his graduation from the University of Arizona. He was also recognized as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year in 2012.

Edwin M. Lee, mayor of San Francisco, in his support of Herrera’s nomination for the Sullivan Award stated “I have been proud to see what a central role the San Francisco Public Library plays in the lives of our city’s families… Herrera has championed the program to ensure San Francisco’s 27 neighborhood branch libraries are updated, accessible and welcoming to children and families.” Lee also noted Herrera’s creation of San Francisco Public Library’s Tricycle Music Fest West, an early literacy-themed series of library concerts for children that “draws award-winning musicians to San Francisco and ignites the rock-and-roll spirits of thousands of our families with young children.”

“The 2014 Sullivan Award committee was unanimous in their selection of Luis Herrera,” said Dodie Ownes, 2014 jury chair. “The excellent nomination packet conveyed Luis’s wide ranging impact on our profession,” noted Kathleen Reif, jury member and 2013 Sullivan award winner. Another stated “Luis Herrera is the personification of a library administrator who supports children’s services at the highest level.”

Members of the 2014 Sullivan Award Committee are: Chair Dodie Ownes, editor, SLJTeen, Golden, Colo.; Christine Bradley, director, Norwalk Public Library System, Norwalk, Conn.; Kathleen Reif, director, St. Mary’s County Library, Leonardtown, Md.; Cynthia K. Richey, Director, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh; Francisco Vargas, youth services officer , Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach, Calif.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2015 Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children is Dec. 1, 2014.  Guidelines and applications are available on the ALA website.