November 17, 2017

Stephanie Chase | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Community Buliders

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Stephanie Chase, Mover & Shaker

Green Mountain Woman

“Here in northern New England, most of us are still getting over our highly independent Yankee sensibilities,” says Stephanie Chase, director of the Stowe Free Library, VT. This independent streak also applies to the state’s libraries. While patronage is strong, resources can be weak, and librarians have historically shied away from pooling resources. Chase changed that when she founded the Green Mountain Library Consortium (GMLC) in 2008. About 15 institutions showed interest at first, and at last count there are 143 member libraries—a turnout that she calls “pretty fabulous.”

“I have a bit of a reputation for making things happen,” Chase says. On the happening front, GMLC’s initiatives include “Listen up! Vermont,”a collection of downloadable audiobooks, and access to Mango, an online language-learning database. In addition, a group of Vermont libraries are now working toward a union catalog and ILS, using Koha.

Chase came to Vermont after two years as a New York Public Library trainee while pursuing her MLS at Pratt. Then, as director and sole employee of the Westford Public Library, Chase created the group One Person Public Librarians, where solo librarians swapped strategies. “I love wearing many hats, and I think the ability to do so is a unique small-staff experience,” observes Chase, who spends her free time playing with LEGOs® with her two small children and “daydreaming about napping.” She notes, though, that the goals of all librarians are the same. “At a micro level, you are still simply trying to pair the right patron with the right resource.”

Vitals

Stephanie Chase, Stowe Free Library, VT

CURRENT POSITION Director

DEGREE MLS, Pratt Institute, 2000

IN HER OFFICE Patron note from the comment box reading, “I LOVE our library”; note from the Public Works director saying, “I feel your pain”

FOUNDER Green Mountain Library Consortium (GMLC)

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