Julie McKirdy BEM

Location: Sandwell
Mastered: Librarian & community champion

Julie has worked for 38 years at Thimblemill Library in Sandwell, and her volunteering work within the local community has established Thimblemill as a vibrant arts and cultural hub including live music and theatre events.

This year Thimblemill Library was named UK's first "Library of Sanctuary" welcoming refugees and migrants into the local community. The library is a focal point for refugee support work in the local community including playing host to Bearwood Action for Refugees, a local voluntary group which raises money for refugees in Europe and supports people seeking sanctuary in the local area. As well as this then Julie is actively involved in so many other local community groups.

Julie received the prestigious BEM (British Empire Medal) award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2015 for her service to the Bearwood Community and the work she does at Thimblemill to promote literacy, equality, diversity and inclusion. She was also awarded the Public Library Champion of the year in 2016.

See more information about Thimblemill Library and the events Julie organises here.