Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy Award
Ned Branch, Blanchard Community Library
Four years ago, when the Blanchard Community Library in Santa Paula, California, found itself in the midst of legal, financial, and administrative difficulties, the Board of Trustees hired Ned Branch to turn around the library.
Previously, he worked in private post-secondary education for 27 years, having been affiliated with institutions in Northern and Southern California and Oregon. During that time, he also frequently served as a member of accreditation review teams and worked extensively with state education agencies. His experience enabled him to put the library on solid financial foundation and to build a team of dedicated people to provide for the library’s future success. During the most recent school year, he initiated a partnership among the local school district, First Five of California, and the library to provide daytime ESL classes for parents and preschool instruction for children while the parents were in class. The district, First Five, and the library recently agreed to continue the program in the 2017-18 school year.
Last year the Santa Paula Latino Town Hall honored the library with its annual Community Service award, and this year the local Chamber of Commerce designated the library as the 2016 Non-Profit of the Year. Throughout his career, Ned has endeavored to help individuals change their lives for the better through education. His commitment to adult literacy stems from his belief that literacy changes not only the life of the learner but also the learner’s children and, in turn, their children.
CLA's Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy Award recognizes a librarian who has demonstrated passion, excellence and dedication in support of adult literacy. One award is given each year and the recipient is honored at the CLA annual conference.
Past award recipients
Heather Pizzuto, Carlsbad City Library (2016)
Jayanti Addleman, Monterey County Free Libraries (2015)
Natasha Casteel, Roseville Public Library (2014)
Patricia Noa, OC Public Libraries (2013)
Christy Aguirre, Sacramento Public Library (2012)
Patricia Lorenzo, Santa Clara County Library (2011)
Anne Cain, Contra Costa County Library (2010)
Derek Wolfgram, Santa Clara County Library (2009)
Jean Hofacket, Alameda County Library (2008)
Carol Starr, Marin County Free Library (2007)
John M. Adams, Orange County Public Library (2006)
Sofia Bellos, Oxnard Public Library (2005)
Leslie McGinnis, Oakland Public Library (2004)
Chuck Aston, Redwood City Public Library (2003)