November 16, 2017

Matt Gullett | Movers & Shakers 2006

Trendsetter

2006_Matt_Gullett

‘Libraries have always been about technology – the book is one of our best technologies,’ emphasizes Matt Gullett. He sees IT as a natural extension, implementing technology ‘to serv[e] our community…and [set] the library in a different and more innovative place in the minds of our public.’

Gullett’s initiatives have put Bloomington Public Library in the spotlight. Kitty Pope, of the Alliance Library System, says, ‘Matt is an early adopter, a trendsetter, and always, always on the leading edge of technology.’

Seeing ‘an enormous cultural and educational explosion in and about games/gaming,’ Gullett believes that libraries ‘need to be in the mix.’ To this end, he helped start Bloomington’s quarterly GameFests, including networked PC, Nintendo, and board games. He is bringing GameFests to other community venues such as park districts and presenting workshops to jump-start similar programs.

Innovation also shines in Gullett’s grant project. For the past six years, Project Next Generation has provided technology mentoring for ‘at-risk’ middle school youth (a label Gullett hates using). Students present their projects at a technology conference and take their digital films/storytelling to the Bloomington-Normal Film Festival, which Gullett founded. Bloomington’s Community Technology Center – another of Gullet’s grant projects – provides a tech training center for people of all ages.

Gullett emphasizes the need to move forward and stop idealizing libraries of the past. ‘We need to stop oppressing this institution and profession with our personal fetishes and warm fuzzies from our childhood.’

Vitals

 

Current Position Information Technology Services Manager, Bloomington Public Library, IL; Community Education Instructor, Heartland Community College, Normal, IL
Degrees MIS, Indiana University, 1994
Contributor LJ‘s Tech Blog (www.libraryjournal.com/techblog)

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