The manager of Carrickfergus Library has become the first Northern Ireland winner of a national award for outstanding contribution to the service.
Jillian McFrederick is the Public Library Champion for 2019.
Organised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and Public and Mobile Libraries Group, the award is open to all public library authorities in the UK.
Judges highlighted the importance and variety of the many events and activities Carrickfergus Library hosts on a regular basis. These include a ‘New Mums of under Ones’ group, a walking club, GOT IT computer sessions, a drop-in for teenagers with autism, ‘Beginners Guitar Group’, storytime sessions and the ‘Memory Lane Café’ for people with dementia which is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society.
Jillian said: “I was surprised and indeed honoured with the award but it is an award for everyone involved in Carrickfergus Library including members of the library and the local community for their support.
“I want to especially thank the members of staff in Carrickfergus Library as I know without this strong, willing team I would not be able to deliver such a programme of events and services for the local community.”
Jim O’Hagan, Libraries NI chief executive said: “We are delighted that Jillian has been announced as Public Library Champion 2019, it not only recognises the hard work and dedication to her role as branch library manager but also the support of the entire team in Carrickfergus Library. It is the first time there has been a recipient of the award from Northern Ireland and that makes this award a very special achievement.”
The CILIP Public and Mobile Libraries Group commented: “Jillian’s ambition and drive on behalf of her library and willingness to innovate were seen as exemplary and this was supported by generous testimonials from partner organisations.
“The buildings, books and resources are important, but the people who actually deliver the services that customers want and need are essential for any public library to be a success.”