British Empire Medal for top librarian

The head of Brighton & Hove’s library service has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Sally McMahon, Head of Libraries & Information Services, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to libraries.

Sally has worked in the city’s libraries for more than 25 years. Her most significant achievement has been the success of the Jubilee Library, which has been in the top six most popular of all public libraries in the country every year since it opened in 2005.

The heart of local communities

Sally praised the work of library staff across the city and said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded the British Empire Medal for my contribution to libraries.

“My love of libraries started when I was at school and throughout my career I have been passionate about them. Libraries are at the heart of local communities, and support people’s learning, health and wellbeing in many different ways.  

“I have always sought to deliver the best service possible, and promote the positive impact of libraries on local people.”

Innovative services

Among her achievements, Sally has introduced innovation and new technology to extend access to library buildings and library resources through, for instance, Libraries Extra giving most city libraries seven days a week access.

Council leader, Councillor Nancy Platts, said: “Sally’s honour is well deserved and a tribute to her dedication and commitment.”

There are 14 libraries across the city from Saltdean in the east to Portslade in the west. Visit our libraries pages for more information about library services in the city.