Barbara A. B. Gubbin, director, Jacksonville Public Library (Jacksonville, Florida),
has been named the 2017 winner of ALA’s Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to
Community and Profession. The award, supported by the DiMattia Family, recognizes a public
librarian who demonstrates leadership in anticipating emerging trends in services, products and
technologies that will enhance the library’s position in its community. The winner also
participates in the life of the community using membership in and volunteer service through a
broad range of community organizations and projects.
Gubbin is being honored for her many accomplishments to bring new services and ideas to both
the library and into the community. The library’s vision is “Start Here, Go Anywhere,” which is
evident in the outstanding leadership Gubbin has shown through outreach and in the diverse
community partnerships that she has created.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry states, “through persistence and infectious passion for the
library, she has built the strongest partnership with the Duval County School System that JPL has
had in years.” The partnership enabled the library to issue special Student Library Cards to nearly
130,000 students in nearly 150 schools, in kindergarten through 12th grades.
The DCPS partnership was designed to improve reading proficiency, and also to increase student
accessibility to the library. Students can check out books or audiobooks and return them to any
JPL location. Additionally, educator cards enable teachers to check out more materials for longer
periods of time for classroom use. During the first year, all students in kindergarten through
second grade visited a library to check out books. For third through fifth grades, library staff
visited school classrooms to provide educational presentations. As part of the continuing
partnership, DCPS kindergarten, fourth, and seventh graders are continuing field trips to the
library this school year.
The annual award, consisting of $5,000 and a citation of achievement, will be presented at the
ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois in June.2017
Here is Barbara at our 2017 Partnership dinner doing what she does best, convincing all of us "You can go anywhere by Reading"