Ann Thornton was appointed as the new university librarian and vice provost of Columbia University in May, replacing university librarian emeritus James Neal upon his retirement. Thornton has a long history with prominent New York City libraries, having previously served for nearly two decades at the New York Public Library (NYPL). Since starting out at NYPL’s Science, Industry, and Business Library as its first public training coordinator in 1996, Thornton has occupied a number of senior leadership positions. Most recently she served as Andrew W. Mellon director, where she was responsible for collection development, preservation, reference and research services, and exhibitions for the system’s four research libraries and 87 branch libraries. Before coming to New York, she worked at the University of Houston Libraries as a systems librarian.
Librarians have always taught patrons how to use the tools that serve their information needs. We had to explain card catalogs, vertical files, microfilm/fiche, photocopiers, and OPACs. The fundamental difference about the tech needs of the 21st century is the ever-changing variety of personal devices that patrons use to access our services. Some libraries are lucky enough to have dedicated staff with special training to serve these patrons directly, but most of the time it’s a library generalist fielding question after question about something new every day. How do frontline staffers with self-taught or very basic knowledge of technology stay savvy about the latest and hottest gadgets? How do we train nontechnical staff to troubleshoot effectively and train our patrons to use their own gadgets?
Stacey Aldrich was named state librarian of Hawaii on February 18 by the Hawaii Board of Education, filling the position vacated by former state librarian Richard Burns when he retired in in December 2014. Aldrich, a 2003 LJ Mover & Shaker, is no stranger to state libraries: She served as state librarian for California from 2009–12 and as deputy secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania from 2012 until this year.
Passion. Vision. Mission. These are just a few of the words that characterize the 50 individuals—and one organization—named 2015 Movers & Shakers. Chosen from more than 300 nominations, the Movers see the future and bring it to life.
This year’s Movers & Shakers are profiled in the March 15 issue of Library Journal, and those profiles will be posted in an online version, sponsored by OCLC and Boopsie, rolling out next week, one group at a time. However, so as not to prolong the suspense, the complete class of 2015 is listed below. Join us in congratulating them.
Barbara Stripling has served as assistant professor of practice at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies since 2012, and was recently promoted to senior associate dean. Stripling also served as president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2013–14, where she initiated a number of programs that reflected her commitment to library advocacy. These included the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the proactive public awareness initiative Libraries Change Lives, which culminated in the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries”—a statement testifying to the power and value of libraries that was signed by advocates nationwide.
Paul Gazzolo joined library resource vendor Gale, part of Cengage Learning, as senior vice president and general manager this November. He will be leading Gale’s strategy, product development, sales, and marketing teams, working closely with Gale’s partner libraries. Before moving to Gale, Gazzolo was general manager of research and learning at Wolters Kluwer CCH tax and accounting service. Prior to that position he served as president of World Book, where he successfully transitioned the well-known encyclopedia into a digital presence.
Okay folks, it’s time to talk about one of those things they usually don’t cover in library school: job benefits. As any employer can tell you, the cost of your benefits is considerable (or at least, usually it is, if you have halfway decent benefits, and most libraries do provide at least that). Which means your employment provides you with stuff to which you may not pay a lot of attention…until you’re up against a problem and really need that safety net.