Parish library director named state’s ‘Librarian of the Year’

Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2022

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Sonnet Ireland, the Washington Parish Library Director, received the Louisiana Library Association’s “Public Librarian of the Year” award on Sunday, July 10, at the annual Louisiana Library Association Conference held at the Randolph Riverfront Center in Alexandria.

Ireland has served the citizens of Washington Parish since the beginning of 2022 as director of the library system, which has four branches in our local communities. Previously, Ireland worked at the St. Tammany Parish Library as well as academic libraries, including those at the University of New Orleans and Tulane.

Louisiana Library Association President Jeremy Bolom presented the award to her during the Louisiana Library Association’s award dinner, stating that, “(she) is a smart, enthusiastic, and caring librarian, who continues to grow in her career (currently as a director of Washington Parish Library system) and professional affiliations (most notably as an American Library Association Councilor At-Large).” He further noted that “Sonnet stands for truth of information, and she became a major voice for the education of library workers.”

Ireland has served in numerous capacities in the American Library Association, where she is currently a councilor, and the Louisiana Library Association, where she served an historic two-year term as president of the association in 2020 and 2021 when the association was transitioning to a new management firm and facing the COVID-19 pandemic. She led the organization in its first virtual conference during that time as well.

Her information literacy seminars have been relished by library workers and information professionals on a state and national level, with classes held at library trainings as well as academic forums, including a presentation for Yale University. Ireland will continue her work with the Public Library Association’s “Wednesday Webinars” and leading the Washington Parish Library system to new heights of community service and impact.