Top Pick Judge

OCC-RWA is pleased to announce that the “Top Pick” Judge for our 2015 Book Buyers Best contest will be Helen Fried, County Librarian from the from the Orange County Library System.

Helen Fried, OCounty Librarian

As County Librarian Helen Fried oversees thirty-four libraries located throughout Orange County within twenty-four member cities and the unincorporated areas of the County. She has been deeply involved in developing a Branch Tier Staffing Model. The model offers standardized staffing levels at all libraries in the system, thus making it feasible to operate a system highly dependent on property tax dollars as a more financially sustainable prototype.  

Since her appointment, Helen has opened three new libraries in three different cities: The Katie Wheeler Library in Irvine, the Tustin Library in Tustin, and the Laguna Niguel Library in Laguna Niguel. She was responsible for refurbishing, remodeling, and/or ADA upgrading ten libraries.  

As Assistant County Librarian/Acting County Librarian simultaneously, she directed the operations of thirty-four libraries, which included not only facilities but services and programs to the public. During this period, she introduced several innovative products and services: downloadable audio books, e-books, historical photograph digitization project, interactive card catalog with electronic book review, and online reference service.  

Helen was also one of the founders of Literary Orange, a county-wide annual program launched in 2007 in partnership with the University of Irvine which celebrates authors, readers and libraries.  

Helen received a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Library Science and Information Technology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.