Thriving Libraries

Thriving Libraries, LLC, was created to provide expertise, support, and training to assist organizations in creating an inclusive, engaged model of working with the communities they serve. It is comprised of joyful, creative, and curious professionals who delight in helping organizations grow and thrive.


Thriving Libraries team members bring decades of experience in community engagement, leadership, innovation, and strategic thinking. They are recognized experts in community engagement, blending their practical experience of working both front line and administrative positions with presenting, training, innovating, and managing strategic change.

Erica Freudenberger

Erica Freudenberger


Erica Freudenberger is a promiscuous collaborator and innovator who works with libraries and communities to build the world as they dream it. An avid community engagement practitioner, she was an advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Re-envisioning Public Libraries pilot (2015). In 2016, she was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal for her work as a community builder. She was awarded the Public Library Association’s Library Innovation Award (2019) for the Southern Adirondack Library System’s Farm-2-Library initiative. She serves as an advisor to OF/BY/FOR/ALL, as well as the American Library Association's Libraries Transform Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries. In her free time, she collaborates with the fantastic Thriving Libraries team to create bold, joyful, and experiential learning opportunities.

Susan Hildreth


Susan Hildreth is a library consultant based in Walnut Creek, CA. She serves as a fellow with the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries and was recently Treasurer of the American Library Association. She was the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the University of Washington iSchool and led the Institute of Museum and Library Services from 2011 through 2015. Hildreth held library leadership positions including California State Librarian and City Librarian for the Seattle and San Francisco Public Libraries. Susan is committed to community engagement as a key priority for the successful future of public libraries.

Beck Tench


Beck is a PhD student at the University of Washington Information School. She researches how the design of public and digital spaces cultivates restorative and contemplative experiences. Beck has worked with libraries across the country and in her own community, helping library workers to connect with others through compassion and friendship, improve the quality of their lives through greater awareness of life as they’re living it, and cope with the distractions of digital culture. She writes about these things and more on her website.

Amber Williams


Amber has worked in public libraries for more than a decade in Washington. Her community engagement work earned her recognition from Library Journal as a 2019 Mover & Shaker. To help keep a broad view of library work she currently serves as an American Library Association Council member-at-large and is a past Washington Library Association chair of the Public Library Division.

Poukong Manikoth


P. Colin Manikoth is Senior Faculty Lecturer at Eastern Washington University in the Design program. He leads the User Experience (UX) Design Certificate covering principles within: Research, Prototyping, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Interaction Design (IxD), and Web development. Formerly, he was the Web Producer at BHW1, an award winning advertising agency with notable clients such as Spokane Transit Authority, Washington Trust Bank, and The Inlander.

Dianne Winter


Dianne Winter has held financial management positions for government entities and nonprofits for nearly a decade. Currently the Finance & Administration Manager for the Southern Adirondack Library System, she oversees the organization’s $2.4 million budget. Dianne transitioned into working directly for the nonprofit sector by acquiring her Masters in Arts Management after four years in the performance reporting department of Cambridge Associates, an investment consulting firm for nonprofits.


The Thriving Libraries team not only brings the extensive theoretical background but also deep practical experience, having directly implemented community engagement and engaged strategic planning within their organizations. and for clients. We aren't just community engagement trainers; we are practitioners.


  • Coaching
  • Community Engagement training
  • Engaged Planning
  • Facilitation
  • Leadership Development
  • Keynote Presentations & Speaking
  • Management
  • Team Building
  • Training & Workshops

Current Work

Ongoing Collaborations

Past Projects