April 26, 2018

Robyn Saunders | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Robyn Saunders


Senior Career Counselor, Department Head, Career, Education & Information Services (CEIS), Bronx Library Center, New York Public Library


MS, Public Affairs and Administration, Metropolitan College of New York, 2015


@robynsaunders21; CEIS at NYPL

Photo courtesy of Robyn Saunders


Making Waves

For more than 25 years, Robyn Saunders has worked with people seeking to change their lives. That number is about equal to the number of nominations she received—from colleagues, social workers, community board members, organizations, job seekers, and others.

Since 2012, she’s been senior career counselor with the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the head of Career, Education and Information Services (CEIS) at the Bronx Library Center (BLC), the largest NYPL branch in the borough. Her department has helped more than 15,000 people gain meaningful employment, return to school, or enhance their skill sets with training.

Through CEIS, patrons can book one-on-one career coaching and résumé assistance, attend career workshops, and more at branches in the Bronx and upper Manhattan. Especially noteworthy are the job fairs. The first, held in 2013 at BLC, drew more than 1,000 attendees, 20 employers, and a host of vendors. The fairs offer on-site interviews, job readiness workshops, and other services.

“I try never to refuse an invitation [to a job fair] from Robyn,” says Deborah O’Connor, a recruiter for NYC Transit Authority. “Her efforts provide NYC-based employers…with in-person access to a diverse, community-based talent pool. All of the job fairs are managed with precision.”

Saunders collaborates with organizations and government agencies citywide, including the mayor’s office and the Bronx borough president’s office, to promote both jobs for patrons and better representation of community concerns. She herself serves as second vice chair on the executive committee of Bronx Community Board 7.

A solid example of that engagement occurred in February 2017 when Saunders organized the first annual veterans breakfast at Lehman College, CUNY, where government officials “recognized, amplified, and honored” veterans and service providers by presenting them with “Soaring Eagle Awards,” Saunders says.

Many of the award winners are patrons of BLC, where she and her team work with them to transition back into the community as civilians, refer them for employment, and advocate on their behalf for access to support services.

Saunders’s department also facilitates career workshops at local high schools, colleges, treatment facilities, homeless shelters, and correctional institutions. “Our goal is to create a ripple effect that leads to quality change in the lives of our patrons and communities,” Saunders says. “We share our experiences, abilities, and skills to help others who are often at a crossroads…and unsure about the next direction to take.”


This article was published in Library Journal's March 15, 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. Gesille Dixon says:

    Well deserved. Congratulations, Robyn.

  2. Jenny Baum says:


  3. Well Deserved.

  4. Marzena Ermler says:

    Congratulations, Robyn! Great article also.

    • Thank you so much, Marzena…It seems the two of us have a great work to be accomplished going forward. I look forward to sharing the journey and growing with you.

  5. Robyn, so happy to see you get the recognition you deserve. Thank you for always offering your time and talent to SAGEWorks jobseekers.

    • Michele,

      I truly enjoy coming to SAGEWorks, it is during these talks that we learn so much from one another, grow and press forward together. Remember, as individuals we are constantly evolving, much like the technology that exists today, together we share about what works and what does not and mull over the steps for going forward. I love you all and anytime, you will have me….I am There!

  6. I am proud of you, continue to let the work that you do; speak for You! I have seen first hand the positive impact you make in the lives of residents in the communities you serve. Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready………..God has a got a blessing with your name on it!

  7. Elruby Thomas says:

    So deserved. My dear. I am always proud as well as greatful for your contribution

  8. Thank you for alerting me that this opportunity even existed. It is truly an honor for me to extol your service and dedication to uplifting and showing the community at large how they can attain, maintain and sustain success!

    I nominated you 1 Billion times! I actually wrote that in answer to one of the questions. I pray that you are selected, because you have been and always will be a light in a dark place for so many, many people who were lost. I respect and am SO very fortunate that you spent some time with me to shine your light, given to you; and now I am paying it forward to ALL that I come into contact with. You have sown seeds on fertile ground that is now in harvest mode. You shall reap great rewards for your obedience. AMEN

    Thank you Robyn. May GOD ALMIGHTY continue to strengthen you on every side. May your resources ALWAYS be plentiful and used purposefully and responsibly. May you ALWAYS have a strong, dedicated and skillful team around you to assist you; to continue to enlighten and empower others to succeed in ALL their career endeavors and be able to conquer the challenges along the way to their success. May GOD’s Perfect Grace be continuously be poured upon you and saturate you to do even more for those who come, seeking guidance.

    Always With Respect and Gratitude,
    YOUR Community Chaplain, YOUR “Sistah” Sandra Mitchell
    Mental Health Advocate / Counsellor / Trainer
    Chairwoman – Disability Committee
    National Action Network
    Harlem – NYC Headquarters

  9. Pauline Cisse says:


  10. Patricia Williams says:

    Congratulations daughter dear, wonderful!

  11. Selena Shull says:

    Congratulations, Mommy! You Deserve this so much and I am so PROUD of you and so are your grandchildren.

    Love Selena

  12. congratulations!

  13. Minister Antoinette Etienne says:

    To God Be The Glory!!! Congrats!!!

  14. Congratulations!

  15. Congratulations on your award, you deserve it!

  16. Ms. Saunders congratulations on this award. You are truly deserving of it and most importantly, Thank You For gracing our young people with your presence each year. They learn so much from the Financial and Career Path Planning Workshops. Always provide new insights, packed with loads of cheer, laughter and words of wisdom!

  17. You’re great…your presentations are always engaging, “real” and interactive,…….thanks for working with our young adult here at the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council. Congratulations on your award, May Continue to Bless, Guide and Order Your Steps.

    We must do lunch…dinner…or even a snack…haha

  18. Elizabeth Carson says:

    Well deserved Congratulations !!

  19. Congratulations, Mrs. Saunders on this very prestigious award. You have truly set a high example for how communities can recognize the service of our Veterans and their family members, not only for other community boards in New York City; but throughout the country!

  20. Juan Garcia, Registered Nurse says:

    My name is Juan Garcia and I am an Registered Nurse in the State of New York. For the past year or so, I had a very difficult time finding a job. I went to hospital after hospital and applied every where, including outside the State, but I could not even land an interview.

    That was until I saw a flyer at the Bronx branch, NYPL. I met with Ms. Robyn Saunders and told her my situation as well as showed her my resume. She gave it a quick glance and told me “When do you want to meet?’ We met up and she not only helped me with my resume, but she also passed it around to various individuals working in HR in many institutions. Within about a month, I was given a position at Montefiore Medical Center with a starting salary of over $76,000 dollars/year.

    I am so truly thankful to Ms. Robyn Saunders, as well as the staff of CEIS at NYPL, for your dedication to helping me and countless others achieve our dreams. It is because of all of you I am able to start my career, and like all of you, work hard to make my community a better place. Thank so much again for everything. I am forever grateful.


  22. Congratulations! Well deserved.

  23. Congrats Robyn!!!!

  24. Good Morning,

    Congrats on your achievement. It’s well deserved!

    Best Regards,
    Associate Director-Staten Island Neighborhood Library Network

  25. Congratulations, Robyn! Great job!

    With appreciation,
    Associate Director for the Central Bronx Neighborhood Libraries

  26. Congratulations, Movers and Shakers!

    :-) Kasia
    Associate Director, Service Innovation & Impact

  27. Congratulation, Robyn!

    Customer Experience Coordinator
    Library Services

  28. Congrats — you are truly deserving!

    Associate Manager
    TechConnect Department

  29. Just want to give a shout-out to the LJ’s Mover and Shaker in our midst – Robyn Saunders.
    Congratulations, Robyn. We’re so proud of you.

    Managing Librarian
    Bronx Library Center

  30. Congratulations, Robyn. Well deserved.


    Unit Head-Reference Service
    Bronx Library Center

  31. Excellent job as usual Robyn.

  32. Congratulations!! Very excited to be working among such a motivated and inspirational group of people!

    Keep shining!

    Tiffany Alston
    Associate Director, West Bronx Libraries

  33. Congratulations, Mrs. Robyn Saunders

    Our Veterans send their love to you , each and everyday! Hard work is your first name, with a blessing! We are here to support you, in every way that we can!
    God Bless!

    Johnnie H. Williams, Jr.
    Help Is On The Way For Veterans 1024 CORP.

  34. Queen Lundy says:

    See I told you God always have a ram in the bush waiting for his anointed people to come by to bless them with his grace

  35. yyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay how we celebrating!!!!

    Love your, Sister
    ACF- Region 2 Executive Officer

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) A division of the Department of Health & Human Services. We promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services

  36. Wonderful! Blessings! TGBTG! I celebrate you!

  37. Janet Lassala says:

    Congratulations, Robyn!

    I am one of the many proud individuals that you have helped with employment, skills training and social services resources. Thank You, for being there for me and listening to my concerns. and helping to gain confidence in myself and interviewing. You deserve this award and you wear it proudly.

  38. Aldo Rafael Perez says:

    There is no one so deserving of recognition than you Robyn. These past three years have been an overwhelming process of hard work and joy supporting in collaboration from job fairs to community educational forums. Our friendship has grown to a level that i respect, cherish and love. Your a true champion. God Bless You
    Aldo Rafael Perez
    Executive Director Governmental Affairs
    Bronx Community Council

  39. Ricardo Shark says:

    Ms. Saunders is one of the most profound and sensitive women I have ever met. She is with out a doubt ahead of her time in terms of predicting someone’s potential and encouraging them through light and graceful conversation.

    She is motivated by her desire to see others reach their full potential and beyond. It’s next to impossible to meet someone in this deminsion who has such care and compassion for the common person.

    All this is tied together by love reach forms an unbeatable equation that is transferred to those who are receptive to it.

  40. Robyn commitments to community and hard work are amazing. Her open minded it attitude and innate kindness made her a very special person. She deserves this. Congratulations Robyn, well deserved it.

  41. Janisar Ahmed says:


  42. Sana Shafaat says:

    Robyn makes impossibles possible. I am so glad I connected with her. I work for Workforce 1 and how she helped us provide all the locations to recruit and on top of that under her supervision, everything going perfectly smooth. I really appreciate how she always take time to resolve any issues out of her busy schedule. She is one power woman, and our community look up to her.

  43. Robyn truly loves what she does and it shows. She is soooo deserving of this award. She is truly committed to the community and making a difference. Her passion is contagious and her dedication is to be deeply admired. I very happy to hear this great new for such a special, warm and loving woman.

  44. Shawanda Scott says:

    Congratulations! This acknowledgement underscores the impactful work you do. Keep it up!

  45. Manuel Martinez says:

    Congratulations Robyn!

    You are extremely dedicated to your line of work and it shows. This was well deserved and I am honored to be working with you. You make a difference in the patron’s lives in which you serve.

    Keep up the amazing work!

    Warm Wishes,

    Manuel Martinez
    Library Manager, Allerton Library

  46. K. Innocent says:


    This was truly well earned!
    The work that you do deserves accolades.
    So proud of you!

  47. Mirna Luz Montero says:

    Thanks so much, for inspiring and helping us to look for a new job. Congratulations, you deserve it. Again thanks to you and your team amazing!

  48. Michelle Carter says:

    Congratulations, Robyn!!

    I’m so happy for you! You are truly deserving of this award. You always go the extra mile to engage employers and stay in contact, despite the distance. You are a ROCK STAR!

    Thank you for all of your efforts to connect hardworking people with opportunities for career advancement and employment.

    Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated! :)

  49. Nestor Medina says:

    Congratulations Superwoman Extraordinaire Robyn Saunders. You are a blessing to our community! So proud of your exemplary and honorable trajectory of service in the Bronx. I am so grateful of the support you extend to our office, and thank you for your partnership, your vibrant and joyful spirit, your passion, resilience, commitment in going beyond the call of duty. Proud to call you a friend.
    Keep doing great things Robyn. The blessings will keep pouring down on you. God bless you always on your beautiful journey.

  50. Robyn, congratulations! This is well deserved.

    You and your staff work so hard to bring employers to the job fairs and help people find meaningful work. And we all appreciate you!

  51. Adrian Paling says:

    Congratulations Robyn!!!

  52. A colleague that can’t help being a success and brings her infectious positivity to the task at hand. Thanks for your perseverance and commitment to our patrons.

  53. lilleith thomas says:

    Robyn Sanders at Fordham Public Library is the most amazing career coach that I have ever met. I am confident Robyn will lead me in the right direction in obtaining a job that is the right fit. Robyn many thanks for all your help. You are a special human being.

  54. Christine Peet says:

    Congratulations for your outstanding award and keep up the good work.

  55. Sasha Diaz says:

    Amazing! 5+ rating. Knows her stuff, empathetic, and extremely helpful. I left with a positive outlook. Highly, highly recommend.

  56. Under the direction of Robn Saunders, I learned so much that the community is truly benefitted by. Her programs, events and services have enriched the lives of many of the residences through out the Bronx and Manhattan. It is with a great honore that I extend congratulation to you on this award. You are a great mentor, leader, and ambassador to the library services.

    Thank you for your unwavering commitment to public service.

    – Your friend and colleague, Mr. Kabir

  57. Ken Brown says:

    I have the pleasure to have worked with Robyn for over five years. She has helped many clients that I have sent to her for employment. In addition, she has come to our facilities to speak to clients. She has consistently shown an enthusiasm and flexibility in serving clients. Robyn is a precious asset for our community, borough and City. Personally, I have always found it a pleasure to work with her.

  58. Mustafa A. Rashid says:

    I would like to say a few things about Robyn Saunders, my experience with her is OUTSTANDING. I have been to many libraries and the Bronx Library Center blew me away, surprised me and gave me than what I expected. Ms. Saunders, helped me with a phenomenal resume and then forwarded it to an employer. This is unbelievable. I would like to thank her personally, Robyn and her team are Phenomenal Public Servants. You really deserve this award!!!

    Thank you so much!
    Mr. Rashid
    Youth Advocate – Peer Counselor

  59. Annette Yohanis says:

    I am so grateful to have the services in my community. CEIS has been a great resources to assisting me with career upward mobility. I learned so many wonderful professional aspects of myself, effective communication, networking, job search strategies. The Bronx Library Center is my neighborhood library, my family and I are developing a new resource in my community. No place better. I’m very grateful to the staff for all their assistance. Go Robyn and Congratulations on your award!

    Annette Yohanis
    Merchandise Assistant
    GAP, Inc Corporate Office

  60. Pablo Arbelaez says:

    Extremely efficient. Ms. Saunders is a very down to earth person; she is honest, helpful and inspiring. Walked into her office and her assistance was immediate.

    Thank You.
    Bronx Library Center Customer

  61. Mary Billingsley says:

    Awesome, Outstanding, Amazing, Patient, Go Beyond What a person can do for you to help you get a job. She takes the time to show the love for a person, which can really make your day. Congratulations on your award.

    Mary Billingsley
    Happy and Satisfied Patron

  62. You My Dearr,

    Are an amazing individual it is truly a blessing to know you and honor to work with you. You are most deserving of this wonderful award! Congratulations

    Have a wonderful day!

    Yina Santiago,
    Program Director
    Harmony Social Adult Day Care Center

  63. Mrs. Robyn Saunders Thank you!

    Saunders= Special,Amazing,Unique,Nice, Dearing,Real, Superb individual you will ever meet!

    I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with Mrs. Saunders and what an Amazing, incredible person she is.My experience with her has been beyond OUTSTANDING and I cant thank her enough for all the help and the time she has spent with me! She is efficient,with vibrant spirit,great sense of humor, thorough, thoughtful and always willing to help with a smile on her face!

    Thank you so much it been a great pleasure!!!

    Program Services Manager
    Asphalt Green

  64. Amarilis Dominguez, Program Services Manager says:

    Dear Mrs.Saunders:

    Thank you for taking the time to meet with me and revamp my resume. You left me super ecstatic and surprised when I saw my resume and how you made it look…WOW AMAZING!
    It has been a pleasure and honor to have met you and I can’t thank you enough! Again, Congratulations on this Incredible Award-You Are Most Deserving and it speak volumes about you professionally!


    You are truly a beautiful, caring, inspiring, loving, wonderful person with such a great sense of humor but overall a big Heart! I really appreciate everything you did for me and I look forward in staying in contact with you!


  65. Kodjo Anahlui, Ph.D says:

    Thank you so much for your assistance. Now I can say another day has come and it is alright. It is right, New York is a State of opportunity. You take all the day for me and your time to bring the sunshine to a professional job. My hope is that I have the same opportunity to give the best of myself according to my skill. This award is for you and you are truly deserving of it

    Thank you so much.

    Best regards,

  66. Princess Jones says:

    An award well deserved for a very special lady, who have helped soooooooooooooooooooom within and out of this community.

  67. Perrin Lawton says:

    Well, Congratulations Ms. Saunders, we need more professionals like you, who are willing to go the distance at helping you professionals achieve their highest heights.

    Again, my Congratulations!