Park City Library director Adriane Herrick Juarez recognized for her Distinguished Service
Adriane Herrick Juarez, who has been the Park City Library director for the past five years, felt honor and humility when the Utah Library Association announced her as recipient of its 2019 Distinguished Service Award.
The announcement came during the ULA’s annual conference in May in Sandy, where Park City board member Margie Green Schloesser was also honored with the 2019 Special Service to Libraries Award.
“To be honored by my peers means so much, because they, too, are all doing wonderful work,” Herrick Juarez said. “So to be recognized by them because of what they see is happening at the Park City Library meant the world to me.”
The Distinguished Service Award is given to someone who has shown a significant contribution throughout their library career, according to the ULA.
Both Herrick Juarez and Schloesser’s awards were shared with Park City’s City Council meeting last week, Herrick Juarez said.
“Many librarians have received the award before me, so to think of myself in that realm is a whole new way of thinking,” she said “I hadn’t put myself in that category.”
Herrick Juarez was nominated for the award by Daniel Mauchley, the Duchesne County Library Director, for her work on the $9.8 million Park City Library renovation as well as her 28 years of working at the Salt Lake Public Library and her service in many Utah Library Association offices.
Although she has been involved with libraries for most of her life, becoming a librarian wasn’t her first career choice. She wanted to be a doctor, and went so far as getting an undergraduate degree in health education.
“It turned out that I’m squeamish, and I’m not someone you would want as a doctor,” Herrick Juarez said with a laugh. “But I loved professions that served people, and I still wanted to find a way to do that.”
She didn’t need to look very far.
“I have been working in libraries since I was 16, and, in fact, that’s how I put myself through school,” she said. “After realizing medicine wasn’t the path for me, I saw so much good going on in libraries.”
Herrick Juarez was attracted to how libraries help communities.
“They let people explore and enhance their lives in mind, body and spirit,” she said. “People all have different interests, and they can dive into those interests at a library. Artists come to create new works. People come to study or learn about music. All the things that are in the world are here within the walls of the library.”
Herrick Juarez also reflected on how much her local librarians at the Salt Lake City Public Library helped her throughout her childhood.
“They essentially raised me and showed me what potential they had to make positive impacts in peoples’ lives,” she said.
After nearly 30 years in the Salt Lake City Public Library system, Herrick Juarez became director of the Park City Library in the fall of 2013, which was at the beginning of the renovation project.
“That’s the first thing I took on,” she said. “Everyone wanted to make the library into a 21st century library, and I got to help the community bring its vision to reality.”
Herrick Juarez was instrumental in bringing in new resources such as sound booths for podcasters and green screens for filmmakers.
She also introduced 3D printers and worked with her staff to come up with various programs for children, families and adults, such as bilingual story times and book clubs, which has attracted more patrons.
“It’s been a reinvigoration of the library,” she said. “People are running into their neighbors. People come to work, play and explore, and I feel lucky to be at ground zero for that.”
Herrick Juarez has also continued the library’s partnership with Park City Film, an art-house nonprofit that screens films in the library’s Jim Santy Auditorium.
“Information comes in all types of packages, and film is a big part of us,” she said. “We are so grateful for the symbiotic relationship that includes a collaboration of spirit and sharing ideas.”
The addition of Lucky Ones Coffee shop on the ground floor, has also helped the library become a more community-oriented venue.
“We allow food and drink in our library, which makes us like a community living room,” Herrick Juarez said. “So, we’ve become a place where people come to study, hold meetings or get something to eat.”
She is also grateful for the Park City Cooperative School, which is housed in the library’s third floor.
“It’s great to have another generation of readers and learners coming up in this facility,” she said.
On Herrick Juarez’s watch, the public has been given opportunities to check out snowshoes, sleds, pet toys and portable WiFi hot spots.
The library also presents live music every Wednesday on the patio, presented by MUSE PC and funded by the Friends of the Park City Library, a nonprofit that supplements the library’s annual budget.
“By thinking about the library in a new way, we really can find many ways people can benefit from what we do,” she said.
One major change that Herrick Juarez is most proud about is creating a fine-free library.
“We want people to know that this is their place, and wouldn’t it be sad if a 10-cent fine was the reason people don’t want to come back,” she said. “We’re about access and knocking down barriers that might seem small, but could make it hard for people to want to come to the library.”
Herrick Juarez said she knows all of these programs wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for her staff.
“I get emotional when I talk about them, because they are more than staff,” she said. “They are friends. That makes it easy for me to come to work, because we get to put our heads together to serve the community through amazing programs and experiences.”
Becca Lael, community engagement librarian, said she works hard because Herrick Juarez cares.
“She gives us room to be innovative and show our love to the community,” Lael said. “We get inspired because of her.”
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