More stuff soon.

  • Coaching

  • Team Building

  • Community Engagement Training

  • Leadership Development

  • Engaged Planning

  • Keynote Presentations

  • Training & Workshops

  • Management

  • Facilitation


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.

Current Work

Wisconsin Libraries Transforming Communities

The program is such a great experience! I am learning about other libraries around the state, building relationships with colleagues around the state, and making notes of how to improve my library's community engagement based on what I learn from the teams and the trainers. The coach training has been helpful for growing as a coach and professional, especially amidst a global pandemic. Thank you!
The learning content has truly and authentically built up my confidence levels and I am learning strategies for collaboration and building relationships that I can use in all walks of life. This process has been extremely meaningful and uplifting to me. The increased confidence inspired me to look for new and challenging work, and I now have a job that is, in many ways, a promotion from what I started out with at the beginning of the program. Thank you! The strategies and confidence I am learning have really been life-changing for me.

Ongoing Collaborations

Communities Plus Libraries

Past Projects

Northern New York Library Network Fellowship Program

Past Projects

Vermont State Library: Trustees and Friends Conference

Past Projects

New York Library Association Sustainability Initiative Community Change Agents Program

Past Projects

Pawlet Public Library Strategic Plan

Past Projects

Community Engagement Training for Washington State Library

The Team

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.

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 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.

Erica Freudenberger

Susan Hildreth

Susan Hildreth is a library consultant based in Walnut Creek, CA. She served as the fellow with the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries and was recently Treasurer of the American Library Association. She was the inaugural 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.


Marsha Tonkins

Marsha Tonkins has been an Administrative Coordinator at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD since 2015. She works in US Medical Affairs in the Oncology Business Unit. Prior to this role, she spent 24 years in New York City where she worked as a Social Worker, an administrator in Academia and finally in the Fashion Industry. Her longest stint was 14 years with Tim Gunn, TV and movie personality and author. She was the Assistant Chair of Advising in the Fashion Design department at Parsons School of Design under Gunn’s direction and moved with him to Liz Claiborne in 2007 as his Creative Office Administrator until the parent company disbanded in 2014. At that time, she returned to Maryland, where she was born and raised, with her son Max.

While in her role at AstraZeneca, she has won several awards and recently completed project management coursework in pursuit of PMP certification. She is also passionate about Inclusion & Diversity work and has completed antiracism training with an external group, become very involved in a number of initiatives within the company and has also started an external community group on social media with 200+ members to educate and promote awareness of racial and social justice issues. She has also recently started the certificate program in Inclusion and Diversity at Cornell University.

Marsha was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and attended The American University in Washington, DC where she received a BA in Sociology and a minor in Spanish language and culture.

When not in a pandemic, she enjoys travelling, cultural events, is an avid reader and has made a recent foray into being a plant mom.

Marsha Tonkins

Poukong Manikoth

Poukong 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.

P. Colin Manikoth

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.

Dianne Winter

Talk to Us