Sarah Jones Named 2015 Frances H. Pletz Award Winner

MLA is pleased to announce that Sarah Jones, Young Adult Services Manager, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, is the winner of the 2015 Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth. The award is given annually to a Michigan library staff person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of library service to youth, ages 0-18 throughout his or her career. Sarah was honored at the Spring Institute 2015 Conference on March 26 at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Sarah started her career at Clinton-Macomb Public Library in 2004 as a library page, working in circulation and cataloging before earning her MLIS from Wayne State University in 2008. Recently promoted to Young Adult Services Manager, Sarah coordinates all of the YA collections and programming at three locations. She has increased teen participation in library events and the summer reading program over the last five years, including an impressive 20% increase over last year alone (2,118 teens in 2014). In support of the library’s goal to bring more people in during the summer, she planned 36 programs in four months.

Not satisfied to simply bring teens into the library, Sarah looks for new and different ways to engage them onsite or in the community. As a result, she has been a catalyst for taking Clinton-Macomb Public Library’s YA programming to new heights with attendance often reaching in the hundreds. Her recent outreach efforts led a local high school to bring all 500 of their 9th grade students into the library for database training. It is not uncommon for Sarah’s programs to take on multigenerational appeal; not only do teens participate, they promote attendance to the entire family.

Sarah shares many of her program ideas on her blog teenbrarian.blogspot.com and through presentations at professional events. She has spoken at two MLA annual conferences and will be presenting to The Library Network (TLN) teen group this spring. She stays up to date on the latest ideas in librarianship through ongoing professional development, attending conferences such as YALSA, MLA and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

“Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of working with Sarah knows that she brings a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and expertise whether it’s working at all three of our buildings, our library-wide staff committees or other professional association activities,” said Larry Neal, director of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library. “Sarah exemplifies the best in our profession.”

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