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Acts of Humankindness: Rivkah Sass – Director, Sacramento Public Library

“I want everyone in the community to know that we [Sacramento Public Library] are a resource for every single person who lives here.” - Rivkah Sass

Rivkah Sass, Director of the Sacramento Public Library, was chosen as Dignity Health's Acts of Humankindness recipient. Rivkah has been nationally recognized for her ability to transform libraries into community cornerstones that reflect the communities they serve. Since 2009, Rivkah has lead the Sacramento Public library system, which includes 28 libraries in the greater Sacramento area and serves over 1.4 million urban, suburban and rural residents. She is currently future-proofing the library by developing leaders among the more than 300 staff and developing philanthropic channels to provide further sustainability.

Rivkah has championed projects that have made the library a national model, including the creation of a community publishing center, the nationally recognized Library of Things, makerspaces and an accredited online high school that has graduated more than 140 students. She has also developed programs to serve the region’s veterans, refugees, hungry kids and the unsheltered. The library veteran services have been recognized nationally as the program model for other communities.

Rivkah has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including:


  • [First recipient] of the Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize (2019)
  • Three-time National Medal Finalist (2014, 2016, 2018)
  • Librarian of the Year (2006)


  • A Sacramento 300, Sacramento Magazine (2019)
  • A Woman Who Means Business, Sacramento Business Journal (2018)       
  • Named an Unsung Hero by Senator Dr. Richard Pan (2018)

Rivkah has impacted so many people because of her work and dedication, including 146 graduate of Career Online High School, 17,000 first-graders in underserved communities who have their very own first book, and 82,000 Syrian refugees at Za’atari Refugee Camp, Za’atari Village Jordan where she established best practices for the camp’s libraries and volunteer librarians.

Acts of Humankindness is sponsored by Dignity Health.


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