St. Louis County Library named Missouri Library of the Year

The Missouri Library Association has named St. Louis County Library the 2014 Missouri Library of the Year.

The award is presented annually to a Missouri library for distinguished achievement in service, according to a news release.

Library Director Kristen Sorth gave thanks to the hard work and dedication of the staff.

“I am so happy and proud that the amazing staff of the St. Louis County Library are receiving this honor,” she stated in the release. “I have challenged staff to take public service to a new level and they have responded with new partnerships, programs and services that complement the library’s desire to pass on our love of reading to this community.”

SLCL serves more than 860,000 people within 467 square miles of St. Louis County. The system has seen a surge in usage in recent years. In 2013, more than 6 million people visited one of the library’s 20 branches, and a new circulation record was set with over 15 million items checked out.

Community outreach and engagement have become top priorities for the library, according to the release. SLCL has established several new programs and partnerships that bring library materials out into the community — such as the Sweet Reads program, a mobile delivery service to north county; the Stork Project, which provides books and other materials to new mothers through the Nurse Family Partnership; and the Mind Your Business Lecture Series, which offers advice and networking opportunities to new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

SLCL is also expanding programs and services at branch locations — including a new healthy living series for seniors, science, technology and art programming for children and teens, as well as kindergarten readiness and other early literacy initiatives.

This year, SLCL will break ground on two new branches as part of the capital-improvement campaign funded through the 2012 Proposition L tax-rate increase. In addition, nine branches will receive significant upgrades beginning in 2015. More information about these projects can be found at


SLCL Board of Trustees President Lynn Beckwith nominated the library district for the award. Several distinguished leaders and community partners submitted letters of recommendation, including Sen. Gina Walsh; Glenn Powers, county Department of Planning director; Lynette Watson, University of Missouri Extension­–Small Business and Technology Department; Nurse-Family Partnership; and Doug Rasmussen, senior vice president of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

To learn more about the programs and services offered at St. Louis County Library, visit

or call (314) 994-3300.