Skye Patrick joined LA County Library in February 2016, with ambitions to champion change and position the library as a center of learning accessible to all residents of Los Angeles County. She’s done just that, and so much more, as made clear by her award of 2019 Librarian of the Year, from Library Journal.
Since joining LA County Library, one of the largest library systems in the U.S., Patrick has focused on breaking down barriers and increasing access for all customers. Embracing the unique communities that the library serves, she launched the iCount equity initiative, ensuring the library makes a conscious effort in designing programs that address the needs of its diverse residents.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by library Journal, one of the industry’s most reputable publications,” said Patrick. “This is not only a recognition for me but also a recognition for the entire LA County library team. They work so hard and are committed to providing the best service to our customers; without the support of our staff, I would not be able to achieve what I have set out to do.”
To support the innovative programming at the library, Patrick expanded service hours by over 15,000 hours across 75 library locations without incurring additional costs. Under her leadership, the library introduced many award-winning programs such as The Great Read Away, Turns the Tables DJ workshops, and MākMō maker mobiles. Patrick also established a Marketing team—which was awarded 2018 Marketer of the Year by Library Journal—with the goal of improving the Library’s promotional efforts and creating awareness of the myriad of services the library offers.
Patrick is also instrumental to bringing in over $30M in grant funding for expanding and improving library programming and services through partnerships. Understanding the importance of technology, Patrick worked to meet customer needs by improving the library’s information technology infrastructure. Its digital alliance with Microsoft allows the library to begin updating the operating system of over 2,200 public computers in 2019. Funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s Schools and libraries program also enables the library to work toward increasing its internet bandwidth for a faster internet connection starting in 2019.
“Libraries are important to the wellbeing of communities,” said Patrick. “I am committed to seeking creative and innovative ways to offer library services that help improve the quality of our customers’ lives.”
Library Journal presents this award to a professional librarian for outstanding achievement and accomplishment reflecting service goals of the library profession that include free access to information for all, encouragement of reading, creation of incentives to greater use of books, enhancement and expansion of library service to all residents, and strengthening of the role of the library within the community.