2013 Urban Player Recipient

Award Recipient Recognized for Tireless Advocacy Efforts

Susan_AdkinsSusan Adkins, a longtime board member of The Seattle Public Library Foundation, has received  the Urban Libraries Council’s Urban Player Award in recognition of her civic leadership on behalf of the library as well as her commitment to expanding learning services, particularly for children.

Each year, the Urban Player Award is presented to an individual who stands out as a strong and effective advocate for the public library. The Urban Player Award was established in 2001 to honor Seattle civic leader and former chair of ULC’s Executive Board, Betty Jane Narver.

Ms. Adkins said, “I am flattered to receive the same award as one of my personal heroes, Betty Jane Narver…This is a particularly exciting time to be part of the work of libraries, an institution which is evolving to become more responsive to greater public need and demand in areas of education, access, technology and public discourse. The work required from volunteers has become more sophisticated requiring expertise in finance, public policy, technology, strategic planning, government relations, investments - which provides a more robust and gratifying experience for all volunteers.”

Ms. Adkins has served on the Board of The Seattle Public Library Foundation since 1998. During her tenure, she has chaired the Donor Relations, Advocacy and Governance Committees and also served as Vice President and President.   

In 1998, Ms. Adkins worked on Seattle’s Libraries for All campaign which resulted in a $290 million initiative to rebuild and renew The Seattle Public Library. In 2012, Adkins lent her leadership to another political campaign which resulted in voter approval of a $122 million levy to supplement city funding and preserve the investment in the 1998 Libraries for All bond measure. The levy passed and will provide $17 million annually to stabilize Library funding.

Ms. Adkins has a personal passion for serving young readers. She has a master’s degree in library science but, wanting to know more about how children learn to read, she completed a Master’s program at the University of Washington’s School of Education. Her combined knowledge of librarianship and education has helped The Seattle Public Library immensely.

She was the driving force for the Foundation’s support of the Library’s early literacy initiative which now serves thousands of families throughout the community every year. Currently she serves on a team of library staff developing new services for emergent readers and is also a Homework Help volunteer at her library branch.

“The active engagement of civic leaders such as Susan Adkins, on behalf of public libraries is invaluable. Her achievements on behalf of The Seattle Public Library are a testament to the public’s belief in the value of libraries as a fundamental community resource,” said Susan Benton, President and CEO of Urban Libraries Council.