September 22, 2017

Jamie Markus | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Innovators

Jamie Markus, Wyoming State LibraryResident Comedian

“Not every library has a resident comedian, but here in Wyoming we have Jamie Markus,” says deputy state librarian Jerry Krois. Markus, the continuing education coordinator for the Wyoming State Library, may be a wunderkind auteur of the library world. In addition to his role as the designer of professional development opportunities for 1700 library employees across the state, Markus is, at the ripe old age of 29, president-elect of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) for 2010.

He also spent two years writing, editing, and producing a series of DVD shorts about a well-intentioned but mistake-prone new library board member. A funny and witty training tool, Trustee Trouble: The Misadventures of a New Library Board Member (available at wyominglibraries.org/trusteetrouble.html) has proved so popular that the directors of all 23 Wyoming public library systems are now playing it for their own staff. And it’s going national: “I have received hundreds of emails from librarians and trustees throughout the United States who enjoyed it or want a copy,” says Markus. “I have been told that it has been shown at more than five state library association conferences.”

Markus’s intimate knowledge of library mechanics was developed both on the job and on committee: for four years he sat on the conference planning committee for the WLA, which he describes as both the “hardest and most rewarding” experience of his career.

As libraries continue to face a constant flood of new technologies and media, Markus says, “I want libraries to try new things and not be afraid to fail. I’ve heard of some pretty goofy library programs and outreach schemes. Some failed, but others attracted a different sort of user.” Libraries, you might even say, should have a sense of humor about taking the inevitable pratfall or two.

Vitals

Wyoming State Library

POSITION Continuing Education Coordinator

DEGREE MLS, Indiana University, 2005

NEW OFFICE elected president of the Wyoming Library Association for 2010

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