Fairfax County, Virginia

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Jessica Hudson,

Library Awarded Two National Awards


Fairfax County Public Library and its award-winning staff were recently recognized for their work in library services.

Allie Beth Martin Award

Sondra Eklund, youth services manager at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, has been awarded the Allie Beth Martin Award. This award recognizes a public librarian for demonstrating a range and depth of knowledge about books and other library materials, as well as the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. Eklund maintains a book review blog and has personally reviewed more than 3,000 titles. She recently completed her work as part of the 2019 Newbery Award Selection Committee. The Newbery committee selects the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” each year. She also started a Newbery Book Club for young readers at her library. (This club will start up again October.) The 2018 Newbery Medal went to Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly.

Gordon M. Conable Award

Fairfax County Public Library was awarded the Gordon M. Conable Award, which honors a public library staff member, a library trustee or a public library that has “demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.” The award includes $1,500. Fairfax County Public Library partnered with the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution to develop and present a series of public workshops around media literacy and civil communication, aimed at decreasing political polarization. The popular workshops, called “News, Blues and How to Defuse,” launched in 2017 and continue to teach media literacy skills and respectful dialogue techniques to encourage civil discussions of hot-button issues.

The library would like to recognize the committee for all its work on these community workshops:


  • JJ Dickinson
  • Sarah Souther
  • Rebecca Wolff
  • Lorri Culhane (former employee)

Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

  • Julie Shedd
  • Samantha Borders

Read the full news release online

Fairfax Virtual Assistant