March 16, 2018

Patrick “P.C.” Sweeney | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Advocates

Patrick “P.C.” Sweeney


Administrative Librarian, Sunnyvale Public Library, CA

SLIS, San Jose State University, CA, 2007

FOLLOW VISIT LEARN;;; @pcsweeney (twitter, tumblr, Instagram);

Photo by Bob Stefko

Fully Engaged

In the Venn diagram of the national conversation about librarianship, in the tiny overlapping space at the center, you’ll find Patrick “P.C.” Sweeney.

He’s a founder and moderator of the ALA Think Tank Facebook group—now 10,000 strong—which serves as an informal epicenter of librarian discussion. (Despite the name, the group is not affiliated with the American Library Association.)

He’s also a founding board member of EveryLibrary, America’s first political action committee for libraries, and when he learned about a proposed amendment to the California constitution that would make it easier for voters to approve funding increases for public libraries, Sweeney launched EveryLibrary California (ELCA) in 2013 to rally support for it. The bill died in committee, but that hasn’t deterred Sweeney. “We had some really exciting things come out of the work itself,” he says.

Sweeney and Joey Elle Lehnhard created the Story Sailboat, a crowdfunded effort to give out 1,000 books and install 100 guerrilla libraries in coastal communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Delta. He took part in LJ’s Great Library Roadshow, touring innovative libraries on the road to 2012’s Public Library Association conference. He tweets, Tumbles, and blogs on library issues and delivers conference presentations and articles on topics ranging from social media to networking strategies.

Sweeney also founded (and funded) the Great Librarian Write-Out in 2011, which rewards the best library-related article to be published in a nonlibrary magazine or journal (subsequent rounds have been conducted by EveryLibrary). Recently, he cofounded with JP Porcaro, a 2012 LJ Mover & Shaker and current ALA presidential candidate, an online magazine about librarian culture at

“Patrick is simply one of the most fully engaged librarians I know,” says ELCA board member Peter Bromberg. In his roles as administrative and branch librarian at Sunnyvale Public Library “[he has] creat[ed] and deliver[ed] innovative and marketable services such as a seed library and a guitar library.” Sweeney’s impact can’t be overstated, Bromberg says.

His casual, collaborative style means Sweeney seldom embarks on a project solo, but when it comes to the sheer scope of his participation, he’s in a class by himself.

This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. Congratulations, Patrick!

  2. Pat Lawson-North says:


    The City of Sunnyvale Library is most fortunate to have a Movers & Shakers 2015 winner.

    Your creative energy is an inspiration to all of us.

    Keep up the great vision of change for the betterment for systems and the community at large.

    Pat Lawson-North

  3. Monica Wilmot says:

    Congratulations, Patrick!

  4. Thank God someone is taking donations and getting books out to those poor illiterate millionaires sailing around San Francisco Bay. You are fighting the good fight, Pat!

  5. Tina Caballo says:

    Go #teamFratPAC!