Mark Freeman, Libraries & Information Services Manager at Stockton on Tees and Past President of Libraries Connected has received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
Mark has worked in libraries for over 35 years and was a committed member of SCL before it became Libraries Connected and led our Vision and Print Impaired People’s Promise in partnership with Share the Vison.
Mark became President of Libraries Connected in June 2018 and led the new organisation as it became established as the Sector Support Organisation for libraries. Throughout his career, Mark has never forgotten that libraries are there to support their communities and to give people the chance to change their lives.
Stella Thebridge, who recently retired from her role as Principal Librarian with Warwickshire Library Service also receives an MBE this year. Stella is the former Chair of ASCEL and lead for the Libraries Connected Children’s Promise. She has dedicated her career to developing services for children, young people and families.
Other library honours go to Mike Clarke, Director of Libraries, Archives and Registration Services at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, MBE; Richard Fawcett, Chair of the Friends of Thurston Library in Suffolk, BEM; Jon Davies, Manager of Dewsbury Library and Co-Chair of CILIP’s Public and Mobile Libraries group, BEM; and Terry Bracher, Chair of CILIP Local Studies Group and formerly a local history librarian in Wiltshire, BEM.
Edward Jewell, Chief Librarian at Jersey Public Library has also received a Bailiff's Award for providing a library service to the island during the pandemic. The new Bailiff’s Covid-19 Awards, have been established to mark the contribution of individuals and organisations for their work and commitment during the early part of the coronavirus crisis.
Isobel Hunter, Chief Executive of Libraries Connected:
‘I am delighted that Mark has been recognised for his many years of service to libraries. Mark was an exceptional President, steering our organisation as we sought to establish ourselves and especially guiding us through the difficult early days of the Covid-19 crisis. I am also genuinely pleased to see the range of librarians in this year’s list that celebrate the diversity of contributions they make to libraries. My sincere congratulations to you all for continuing to demonstrate the power of libraries.’