The dreaded summer slide, in which students lose academic ground during their months off from school, is a well-documented phenomenon that most library systems try to combat through summer reading programs. What isn’t as well documented is whether such programs work. That’s why Elizabeth McChesney, a 25-year veteran of the 80-branch Chicago Public Library (CPL) system, undertook a major impact/measurement study of CPL’s popular summer reading program shortly after she became the director of CPL’s children and YA services in 2012.
Inspired by a discussion about creative advocacy in their first library and information studies class, “Information Agencies and Their Environments,” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, Erinn Batykefer (r.) and Laura Damon-Moore conceived the Library as Incubator Project (LaIP). “We started talking about different user groups and how to communicate to them what a library has to offer; artists weren’t a user group covered in class, but we knew they were important,” says Batykefer, who works full-time at the Alicia Ashman Library branch of Madison Public Library. Damon-Moore serves as assistant director of the Eager Free Public Library in Evansville, WI.
In the nine years that Teresa Runnels has been with the Tulsa City-County Library, she has been “a huge community builder for the American Indian Nations, bringing together five different nations to preserve Native American languages,” says Gary Shaffer, CEO of the library. Runnels, who is a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, was spurred by predictions that many languages would go quiet within 50 years. “Tribal languages are the key to access to an entire world of indigenous knowledge,” says Runnels. “The language opens access to tribal histories, literature, cultures, medicinal knowledge, and more.”
This past fall, Lindel Toups, the council chair of Lafourche Parish, LA, proposed a ballot measure that would strip $800,000, or about 11 percent, from the budget of the parish’s ten-branch public library system in order to build a new prison. Toups’s justification, beyond prison overcrowding? “They’re teaching Mexicans how to speak English,” and library patrons are “junkies and hippies and food stamp [recipients].”
Karen Jensen is opening the door for talk about teens, sexual abuse, and consent, both in literature and youth services. In January, her blog Teen Librarian Toolbox (TLT) hosted its first Sexual Violence (SV) in YA Lit Virtual Panel, with YA authors Christa Desir, Trish Doller, and Carrie Mesrobian. More will follow, every other month: the March 26 broadcast features 2014 Morris Award winner Stephanie Kuehn and debut novelist Brendan Kiely. “Other topics will include examples of consent and healthy relationships in YA lit (May), SV in historical fiction (July), dystopian/postapocalyptic fiction (September), and a segment on sexual violence in the lives of boys,” Jensen says.
In 2011, Amed Demirhan took on his second library-building mission: the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa, a largely rural state on Nigeria’s northeast border, where educational opportunities are limited. His task was to reinvent the young but traditional library as a 21st-century facility.
(Note: Movers are listed under the states in which they lived at the time of their addition to this list) Alabama Janice R. Franklin, 2004 Jill Grogg, 2007 Teresa Kiser, 2010 Rosalind K. Lett, 2011 Paula Webb, 2011 Alaska Daniel Cornwall, 2008 David Ongley, 2006 Arizona Lisa Bunker, 2012 Anita Coleman, 2007 Bob Diaz, 2002 […]
Welcome to the 2014 LJ Movers & Shakers. The 50 individuals recognized here are passionate about what all types of libraries can do to enhance lives—for adults, teens, schoolchildren, infants, and toddlers. If there’s a common theme among their profiles, it’s that as much as the library is a place to go, it is also a place on the go—to wherever patrons or potential patrons are. The Class of 2014 brings the total number of Movers to over 650. It was difficult to select just 50 people to honor from the more than 225 nominations we received. There’s not one Mover, however, who hasn’t told us that they couldn’t succeed without their colleagues, so, in effect, the Movers & Shakers represent hundreds more who work in and for libraries.
Bob Pasicznyuk started as director of of Cedar Rapids Public Library, IA, in 2009, a year after the city’s main branch had been entirely destroyed by flooding. Pasicznyuk came from his position as Associate Director at Douglas County Libraries, CO, to take the helm of a team that had collectively won Library Journal’s 2009 Librarian of the Year award and led the rebuilding of Cedar Rapids Library. Now, he’s returning to Douglas County to take over following the retirement of long-time director Jamie LaRue. Library Journal spoke with Pasicznyuk about his return to Colorado.