Later this year Andrew Jackson, executive director of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Corona, Queens, will be leaving the position he has held since 1980 to write and teach. A Queens native, Jackson grew up in East Elmhurst, receiving a degree in Business Administration from York College at the City University of New York and his MLS from Queens College. Stepping into the role will be Mikisha Morris, who has spent the majority of her career in nonprofit and public education administration in Philadelphia. Morris recently earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership, focusing on the use of cultural arts programs to serve urban communities.
Legendary library leader Charles W. Robinson died on Friday, April 8 after a long illness. He was 88 years old. He led the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) for 33 years, spearheading innovation and sometimes provoking controversy among librarians from 1963 until he retired in 1996. Robinson joined the BCPL staff as assistant county librarian in January 1959 and was appointed director in 1963 when his predecessor, Richard D. Minnich, died suddenly. The 33-year era of Robinson’s progressive and inspired leadership moved BCPL to the forefront of public library service in the nation.
Dean Hendrix to be Dean of Libraries, University of Texas, San Antonio; Linda Hofschire promoted to Director of Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library, Fort Collins; Mary Ann Naples named Vice President and Publisher of Disney Book Group at Disney Publishing Worldwide; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the March 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
Jacob Heil is well versed in both the history of the book and the future of digital scholarship. After earning a PhD in English, with a focus on early modern drama and book history, Heil worked on Texas A&M’s Early Modern OCR Project (eMOP), developing optical character recognition training sets to help computers transform images of works printed from 1475 through the early 1800s into archivable, minable texts.
Before December 2014, when she stepped into the new role of San José Public Library’s (SJPL) technology and innovation project manager (now innovations manager), Erin Berman launched SJPL’s first Maker faire, which introduced 200 people to after-school STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] programs. She believes Making can empower her community and help close the digital divide. Statewide, 25 percent of Californians in 2014 lacked broadband Internet access at home, according to a Field Poll. “When someone walks into one of our libraries and says they want to learn something, we don’t just hand them a book; we hand them the tool and teach them how to use it,” Berman says.
As a new teen specialist at Meridian Library District in 2011, Nick Grove drew on a disengaged after-school crowd to grow program attendance by 233 percent in three years, partly by buying teen-relevant technology, such as six 3-D printers. Grove capitalized on those purchases: when he challenged a bored teen to read a chapter in a book, the teen read three and was rewarded with a 3-D version of the book’s logo. “We struggled for two months together,” says Grove, “to figure out how to print the logo; the teen became an advocate for library programs…and a bigger advocate for the book.”
Among patrons and peers at the Utah Valley University campus, outreach and patron services librarian Dustin Fife is known as “overwhelmingly passionate about service and mentorship, which shines through every interaction,” says colleague Mary Naylor. Fife is unafraid to step outside the library comfort zone to fulfill his role. His long list of accomplishments includes the creation of a mobile “Ask Me Anything!” cart, which brings reference services via an iPad and some manuals to the wider community, enabling students to access information and receive assistance outside the library.
All things being equal, the simplest interlibrary loan (ILL) process is usually the best. That’s the idea behind Occam’s Reader, a software add-on for the OCLC ILLiad work flow solution that makes it possible for academic libraries to “loan” ebooks electronically to one another for easy access by students and researchers.
Media librarian Jason Evans Groth builds bridges between traditional scholarship and multimedia projects to give North Carolina State University (NCSU) students and faculty the tools to grow their digital media literacy. As a result, they’ve been able to reach a larger audience beyond traditional research papers and journals. “If we attempt to harness the power of digital media, we can use it to make learning more interactive and impactful, teaching more interesting and engaging, and research sharing more applicable to our audiences,” Evans Groth says.
When Beth-Ann Ryan started at the State of Delaware’s Division of Libraries (DDL) in 2008, the Delaware Library Catalog included half the public libraries, a handful of academic libraries, and a couple of schools. Since then, it’s grown to a statewide single system that includes every public library, six academic libraries, seven school libraries, and 13 special libraries. As deputy director of DDL since September 2011, Ryan has been instrumental in making this connectivity happen.