June 25, 2017

Jennifer R. Wright | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Tech Leaders

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Jennifer Wright, Mover & Shaker

Gadget Guide

Self-described tech geek Jennifer Wright is known for whipping out gadgets to demonstrate the solutions offered by emerging technology. As assistant chief of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s (FLP) Materials Management Division, she would like to see everyone increase their tech skills. She has led her library to a stronger, more user- and mobile-friendly virtual presence that has attracted younger Philadelphians; trained staff to help library patrons with technology; and used her computer skills and analytical abilities to improve the budget process.

Wright is currently developing a techmobile to serve the 40 percent of households in Philadelphia that lack computers. The traveling, state-of-the-art tech and computer laboratory, outfitted with mobile gadgets such as ereaders and laptops, will offer computer literacy classes and wireless Internet access to neighborhoods not served by libraries, starting in late fall. It is part of the library’s Hot Spots program, aimed at bringing technology to community spaces, like churches or senior centers.

Wright firmly believes that technical skills are a “critical literacy skill” for the foreseeable future. She realizes how lucky she was to grow up with a geek father who brought home old PCs to take apart. Now, with the techmobile and other programs, Wright thinks FLP will have the right vehicles to help close the digital divide.

“Our libraries are a great conduit to sharing opportunities,” says Wright.

Vitals

Jennifer R. Wright, Free Library of Philadelphia

CURRENT POSITION Assistant Chief, Materials Management Division

DEGREE MLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999

FOR KICKS Black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate

FOLLOW @jenwpa

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