October 12, 2020

Library Foundation announces recipient of Julian Sinclair Smith award

Mary Lazarus to receive Julian Sinclair Smith Award at Nov. 6 virtual event

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has announced Mary Lazarus as the 2020 recipient of the Julian Sinclair Smith Award. Each year, the Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation (CMLF) presents the award to honor inspiring individuals with a passion for lifelong learning. The award will be presented at CMLF’s 28th annual Celebration of Learning fundraiser gala. This year’s celebration will take place virtually on Friday, Nov. 6.

Mary Lazarus is being honored for her civic and philanthropic leadership. She has used her voice and philanthropy to further social justice in our community. She has provided leadership and vision to organizations such as Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio, Action for Children, Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and many more. She has been honored with the YWCA Women of Achievement Award and in 2015 was inducted into the Columbus Hall of Fame. Her commitment to volunteerism, human rights, and social services has left an indelible mark on our community. 

In addition to honoring Lazarus, the event will feature New York Times bestselling author of books such as Cutting for Stone, Dr. Abraham Verghese. Dr. Verghese will share his unique perspective as both an author and infectious disease physician whose acclaimed novel, My Own Country, focuses on the impact of a health crisis on a community.

Celebration of Learning is co-chaired by John Behal and DeeDee Glimcher and its honorary chairs are Michael and Achea Redd. The event is the foundation’s only annual fundraiser and proceeds support the library’s immediate needs and long-range goals through generous private donations, ensuring the library’s collections, programs and services will be available for generations of learners to come.

Visit the CMLF’s Celebration of Learning webpage to learn more about this year’s honorees.

Julian Sinclair Smith was founder of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of WSYX/ABC 6 and operator of WTTE/Fox-28 and CW Columbus. His rise to prominence in the industry can be attributed to his quest for knowledge, beginning with the completion of a radio correspondence course while still in high school. When he died in 1993, the Smith family chose to honor his passion toward reading, education and lifelong learning, with an award named in his honor presented through the CMLF.

High resolution photo of Mary Lazarus available upon request.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.