Sarah Lawton is a librarian and community organizer dedicated to transforming public institutions, challenging injustice and inspiring action. She has been involved in movements and campaigns related to racial equity, environmental justice, indigenous rights, advocacy for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and amplifying community voices.
Most recently, Sarah served as a Neighborhood Library Supervisor for the Madison Public Library, overseeing the construction of a new library using a participatory design process that centered community aspirations and social justice principles. She was a founding member of the City of Madison’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative and has been a national advocate for collaboration between libraries and their local jurisdictions to advance racial equity. Sarah has been a leader within the GARE Libraries working group since it’s formation in 2016 and an active member of the Public Library Association’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice since 2017.
Sarah was named a 2019 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in the Advocate category, and her publications include Reflections on Gender Oppression in Libraries. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Macalester College and her Masters of Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was recognized as the 2020 Graduate of the Last Decade.
When she’s not working, Sarah can be found running very slowly with her distracted dog, cooking with her 15 year-old son, listening to stories about college life from her daughter and kayaking the rivers near her home in Madison, Wisconsin with her partner, an Emergency Medicine Physician.