Librarian Beth Jarrell was selected by the American Library Association to participate in its 2023 class of Emerging Leaders (EL). The EL program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. Only 45 librarians across the country were selected to participate in the EL program, which teaches early career librarians critical leadership skills and allows them to complete a team-based project for an ALA special interest group.

The emerging leaders met at the ALA winter conference in January. Jarrell’s conference sponsor was the Virginia Library Association. While at the ALA conference, she met with vendors and authors, and attended breakout sessions – learning about public library best practices and innovative services.

The emerging leaders will present reports and posters at ALA Annual conference in Chicago in the summer of 2023.

SPL’s Information Technology Manager Danny Hussey was featured in University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) alumni magazine for a second time. Danny earned his Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S) from UT. He has been the IT manager at Sanibel Public Library since 2017. His previous position was Assistant Director of the Obion County Public Library in Union City, Tennessee. Hussey led technology upgrades during Sanibel Public Library Your Library Reimagined project in 2018. The project “reimagined” the layout of the space to better serve community needs. During the renovation, he and construction crews tested and retested more than 5.166 miles of data cable, the SPL tech staff set up four new study rooms with touchscreen computers; helped create two computer labs with fast internet; set up staff offices, printer/scanner fax machines, and an enhanced Think Tank and Teen Space.

The Board set an overall project budget of $5.9 million. Funding came from the Sanibel Public Library Foundation, library reserves, grants, and gifts.

Other Sanibel Public Library Awards, achievements, and accolades: 

In 2021 Sanibel was ranked number one per capita (per 1,000) for: circulation (number of books or items borrowed), availability of print, audio, video, and other material to check out, website visits per capita, and square footage availability. Sanibel Public Library has been at or near the top ranking for about 15 years. It has also won national Star Library Awards (top 200 public libraries of 9,000 measured nationally) in five of the last 12 years. America’s Star Libraries presents an overall indication of how a library’s performance stacks up to peers, measuring computer usage, circulation, program attendance, and library visits. Library Journal also based the star rating on circulation of electronic materials. Sanibel Public Library’s eShelf was originally funded in 2010 with a grant from the Sanibel Library Foundation, to provide bestseller eBooks and audiobooks. The following year the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club provided funds for an eBook business collection. Since 2011 the eShelf usage has grown by 20 percent every year.

Thanks to reviewers, Sanibel Public Library was a 2020 Travelers’ Choice winner from TripAdvisor!  The Library has won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2014, earning Hall of Fame status. Certificate of Excellence honorees are now celebrated on TripAdvisor as Travelers’ Choice winners — selected for placing among the top 10% of all listings on TripAdvisor.

The Florida Weekly rated it ‘Best Library’ in their 2012 and 2022 ‘Annual Best of Southwest Florida’ issue. Sanibel Public Library Foundation President Ken Nirenberg was awarded the 2013 Florida Library “Advocate of the Year” award for his support and advocacy for the Library.

The accolades are due to support from the local community and visitors who value cultural activities, reading, and lifelong learning. The Library can also attribute success to a publicly-elected Library Board of Commissioners who ensure budget and infrastructure are in place to support strong services; outstanding staff with customer service as its core value; the private Sanibel Public Library Foundation grant support for enhancements to the Library (such as Author Series, cutting edge technology, youth programming, volunteers, and more).

Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County, Florida, at no charge. For more information about the Sanibel Public Library, call (239) 472-2483

Best way to ensure you get Library news? Sign up for the email announcements and monthly newsletter at:


%d bloggers like this: