165: Sari Feldman

Steve chats with Sari Feldman, newly-retired Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Library and former president of the Public Library Association and the American Library Association, about lessons learned as ALA President, the current library ebook landscape, her legacy at Cuyahoga County, and how she will continue to work within the profession.

In August 2019, Sari Feldman retired as Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), a position she held since 2003. Under her leadership, CCPL was recognized as one of the nation’s best and busiest public library systems, earning the Library Journal 5-Star recognition for ten consecutive years.

Sari is a past president of the American Library Association. During her term as president, Sari initiated a national public awareness campaign called Libraries Transform that was designed to increase awareness of and support for libraries of all types. She also is a past president of the Public Library Association (2009-2010). 

Sari received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from State University of New York at Binghamton and a Master’s in Library Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She previously served as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, teaching graduate courses in library management, reference services, policy, and grant writing for more than 20 years. She was honored in 1995 with the Vice President’s Award for Teacher of the Year.  

In 2013, Sari was honored with the Public Library Association’s Charlie Robinson Award for innovation in library service. She was named a Woman of Note by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2011 and received the 2008 Jane Donelson Player of the Year Award from the USA Toy Library Association, the 2005 YWCA Woman of Achievement award, the David C. Sweet Leadership Academy Alumni Community Leadership Award, and the Leadership Academy’s 2002 Community Impact Award. Sari is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2004. 

Sari currently writes a regular column for Publishers Weekly and presents on library transformation and innovation to audiences around the world.

This episode of Circulating Ideas is brought to you with support from Becky Spratford and RA for All. Readers’ advisory is a core concept for libraries and you want your staff trained by the best. Back in 2007, librarian Becky Spratford was working at a public library and teaching the readers advisory class at Dominican University but wanted to do more to compile her best ideas and save the very best of her students work, so she started a blog, RA for Allas a way to showcase and catalog it all. The blog is now one of the most trusted and respected RA tools available. After 15 years of public service, Becky transitioned into being a full time consultant in 2015 and provides RA training to library workers all over the world. If you are interested in hiring Becky to present at your library’s staff day, your state library conference, or wherever library workers are learning (either in person or virtually), go to raforall.blogspot.com to preview sample past programs, see her current schedule of events, listen to Becky talk about RA service, and obtain basic pricing. Click the RA for All logo at the top of the blog to find her contact information and if you mention Circulating Ideas, you will get 10% off if you book by the end of 2019.

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