Library Staff News:

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 2023 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.

Beth presented a poster at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in June 2023. While at the conference, she also met with vendors, and attended ALA governance sessions – learning about public library best practices and innovative services. Her conference sponsor was the Virginia Library Association.

If you haven’t been to the Sanibel Public Library recently, you might see a few new friendly faces on your next visit!

Andrew Dyen-Shapiro started working as a Sanibel Public Library computer coach in January 2023. He is a 2021 graduate of the University of Rochester with degrees in Political Science and History and concentrations in Religion and Computer Science. He graduated in May of 2023 with his Masters in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. Andrew loves reading both historical fiction and science fiction, but can read just about anything and be entertained. He is also a percussionist and loves playing and listening to music. Stop on by the Library or book an appointment with Andrew and he would be happy to help you with your mobile device, Library apps, or other general technology needs!  Andrew is teaching a genealogy class, “Using” on July 27, 2023.

Matthew Gindling joined the Sanibel Public Library circulation staff earlier this year and is excited about helping patrons hunt down hard-to-find items through interlibrary loan. He enjoys working on research and catalog-oriented projects at the Library and seeing familiar faces around the island. Some of his favorite library materials to borrow include books on scientific exploration and cookbooks to provide a source of inspiration in the kitchen and on the grill. He says, “One of my favorite services offered by Sanibel Public Library is interlibrary loan, which is an excellent resource for finding resources on one of my longtime interests – the historical use and cultural significance of aromatic plants.” Matt is originally from Missouri, where he worked for nearly a decade at the St. Louis County Library in the Acquisitions Department. In addition to library work, he is an illustrator, graphic artist, and fragrance designer. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time outdoors at local beaches and parks with his wife, Melissa, or at home writing music or reading with his cat, Tatzen. Matt will teach “Plants of the Coastal Shell Ridge” on July 26, 2023.

Eden Sherman’s love of books began at a very early age, and she has followed her passion, working at independent bookstores around the country. She spent 10 years as a social worker in Newark, NJ with the Newark Public School System. Prior to moving to Sanibel in 2022, Eden lived in Miami, where she was a martial arts instructor. She is an avid runner, having completed 25 marathons. When she isn’t reading or running she is either baking cookies or playing with her dog, Leo. She is also a volunteer with SCCF’s Sea Turtle program. In February 2023, she was able to realize her lifelong dream of working at a library, when she started working in the circulation staff at SPL. “I love that Sanibel Public Library offers so many things to borrow, like a GoPro camera, WiFi hotspots, or birdwatching kits with binoculars. My other favorite thing about the library is that it is really an enormous part of life on the island. We foster a sense of community, and provide a place for patrons to work, play, relax, and read.” Eden will teach “Women Warriors” Taekwondo class on July 25, 2023.

Megan Willis started working in Youth Services at the Sanibel Public Library in January. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida Gulf Coast University in December of 2021. Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Megan enjoys being right next door to the beach! She recently moved, and is still missing some kitchen supplies, so one of her favorite things to check out from the Library is cooking kits. “I’ve always aspired to work with kids and I love books. Working in the children’s department, providing weekly storytimes, and helping plan Summer Reading programs is my dream come true!” Willis invites families to come in and participate in a weekly program, or just stop by to meet her.


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

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E Sherman bicycle
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida