Traditional & Radical
Reference & Instruction Librarian
Dudley Knox Library, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
MLIS, Graduate School of Library & Information Science Simmons College, Boston, 2010
Photo ©Sean McGinty Photography LLC
In 2010, Andrea Davis joined the Naval Postgraduate School’s Dudley Knox Library as reference and instruction librarian—a traditional role at a traditional institution. Yet Davis is determined to push the envelope on the role libraries can play in a democratic society—and share that with other fields.
That’s why in 2010 she also signed on to be the volunteer liaison for the Interactive Panel at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference. Since then, she has organized the Facebook group #sxswLAM (Libraries, Archives, Museums), where in 2011 she put out a call for librarians to post their ideas for 2012 SXSW panel presentations, get feedback from their colleagues, and refine them.
“This year we have an unprecedented acceptance of seven proposals out of the 22 submitted. [There were 3000 altogether],” says Myrna Morales, resource center coordinator at Community Change, Inc., who helped aggregate and post the proposals.
“I get fired up about sharing the success stories and battles of libraries beyond the library echo chamber,” says Davis, who is also involved in the American Library Association’s ThinkTank and the federal library–oriented NewFeds.
Davis says there’s “a wildly successful grassroots fundraising effort, led by John Chrastka, to help fund marketing materials” so librarians can be “found” at SXSW. “It is my hope/dream/goal that we make some moves in library advocacy and build partnerships with the tech/marketing/social media/gaming industry,” she says. “A new library meme that is starting to [build] captures it well: libraryEVERYWHERE.”
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