Sandra Feinberg

Sandra Feinberg has devoted the past 40 years to public library service and, since 1991, has served as the director of the Middle Country Public Library, the largest and busiest public library on Long Island (NY). An advocate for improving the quality of life for families, she firmly believes in the ability of public libraries to be family- and community- centered institutions. Under her leadership, what began as a local library program for babies, toddlers, and parents has become a national model and change agent for libraries wanting to serve families in a dynamic and collaborative community environment. In 1979, Feinberg created the Parent/Child Workshop, a unique program that welcomes parents and children as young as one year into the library and integrates community resource professionals within the delivery of library services. This program has gone on to be replicated nationally as part of Family Place Libraries.™ In addition to Family Place, she spearheaded the development of the Community Resource Database (CRD) of Long Island (now 2-1-1-Long Island), which includes over 10,000 health and human services on Long Island; the Suffolk Coalition for Parents and Children, a network of more than 17,000 family service professionals, and the Children's Librarians Association of Suffolk County. From 1999 to 2004, she led Middle Country Public Library through the 40,000-square-foot expansion of two facilities, which included the development of special spaces for young children and teens. Feinberg has received numerous awards— among them, the 2007 Public Library Association Charlie Robinson Award for library directors who are recognized as innovators and risk takers. Under her leadership, Middle Country received the Alfred P. Sloan Award (2005) and the first annual Godfrey Award for Services to Children and Families in Public Libraries (2002). She is the author of numerous articles and six books, is an adjunct professor at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, and currently serves as chair of the Early Years Institute.