April 20, 2018

Sarah Erwin & Candice Gwin | Movers & Shakers 2008

Team Effort

Though Sarah Erwin (l.) and Candice Gwin are young (28 and 27, respectively) and new on the job, Wicky Sleight, Kirkwood Public Library (KPL) director, attributes KPL’s winning tax referendum and its 2007 Missouri Library of the Year award largely to their “work ethic, programming ideas, and service philosophy.”

Gwin is responsible for public services and technology. The community connections she built in her work with the Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society helped her win grants (some $50,000), donations, and local sponsors for a self-checkout system, numerous laptops and PCs, and other library equipment. Her efforts resulted in a new computer training lab and reinstituted classes.

“We’ve helped people get jobs, connect with long-lost friends, create a web site for a home business,” she says. She loves knowing that every day at work in a public library, “You will educate a child. You will become an elderly person’s confidant. And you will make someone’s day better.”

Erwin, recently named assistant director, programs for every age from Books for Babies through after-hours Teen Game Nights. She developed Mark Twain Bingo, an interactive game adopted by other public and school libraries.

Erwin says she has “the best of both worlds in youth services—books and kids.” She keeps taking on more responsibilities, including designing the new, wildly popular teen space, completely funded by grants and donations. Her oversight of all library programming is a big challenge, however. “I’d always thought like a kid when planning programs, and now I have to think like a grown-up!” says Erwin.

What Gwin says about Erwin applies to both of them and explains their effective teamwork: both can “competently handle a zillion projects at once, and when you work with them, you know you’re going to succeed and have fun!”



CURRENT POSITION Director of Programs & Youth Services/Assistant Director, Kirkwood Public Library, MO

DEGREE MLIS, University of Illinois, 2007

MATCHED SET Met her husband when both worked at a library


CURRENT POSITION Director of Library Services, Kirkwood Public Library, MO

DEGREE MLIS, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 2003

HONOR American Library Association Emerging Leader, 2007

CRIMSON TIDE-Y CAT This fan named her cat ‘Bama