Jeanne Amos earns statewide honor

By From page A1 | October 18, 2017

Jeanne Amos

El Dorado County Library Director Jeanne Amos doesn’t revel standing in the spotlight. As a CalPERS 2017 Spotlight on Excellence Award recipient, she has little choice.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Amos said during a special presentation at the Oct. 10 El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The Spotlight on Excellence Award is given to those who:

1) Exhibit the spirit of what it means to be of service to the public;

2) Serve as a model other agencies or employees can follow; and

3) Have a proven record of building community success.

CalPERS recognizes one recipient among its 3,100 member agencies to receive the award.

For more than 20 years Amos has worked to improve El Dorado County’s libraries — El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Placerville, Georgetown, Pollock Pines and South Lake Tahoe — plus the Bookmobile program and the El Dorado County Historical Museum, an addition to her department as of 2008.

“I do believe that libraries change lives,” Amos said.

The library director told the board it’s her goal to constantly improve library programs and services; anything a well-funded, larger library has, El Dorado County can do it “cheaper, faster, better,” she said. It was noted Amos has secured more than $2 million in partnership and grant funding over the last decade.

“We need to be able to give our library … patrons every bit as good of service as every other library in the state … and in the country,” Amos continued.

The supervisors and audience members applauded Amos’ commitment and efforts.

“This is so well-deserved,” said District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel, who commended Amos’ passion for libraries.

District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp told Amos he’d keep his accolades “short and sweet” and then prompted a standing ovation.

Amos’ accomplishments listed in board documents note:

  • Her highly skilled team builds upon research-based programming to create an environment that is family friendly and intentional in its approach. Libraries have reached beyond their doors to share their expertise with medical offices, schools, preschools and other child care providers in the county. El Dorado County libraries have received early learning and education Certificates of Recognition from the state Senate and Legislature, as well as from the California State Librarian in 2015. Recognized in California in 2013, families in El Dorado County had the highest percentage of reading to young children each day in the state (79 percent).
  • Building upon this strong foundation, Jeanne has re-envisioned and renewed the value of public libraries in El Dorado County. Over 100,000 (residents) in El Dorado County have active library cards, visit our libraries over half a million times a year and checkout over 800,000 items per year, in person and online. Over 6,000 El Dorado County students have digital access library cards and are able to access online library resources from school and home, ensuring the libraries are valuable educational partners.
  • Amos has validated the important role libraries play in our community and envisioned their role as Community Hubs in our county.  Community Hubs are where families are healthy, caring, learning and growing. In partnership with the county Office of Education, Health and Human Services and the local First 5 Commission, libraries have been transformed by offering groups, activities and classes for expectant parents and children birth through 18 years of age supported by a team of family engagement, literacy and health specialists. The objective, to build resiliency through collaborative, community based prevention and early intervention services. Other counties, states and countries are using El Dorado County libraries as a model for their efforts in these areas.

Amos will receive her award at the 2017 CalPERS Educational Forum on Oct. 24 in Rancho Mirage.

Noel Stack


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