May 24, 2017

People

Doug Baldwin | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

In 2016, as the second annual statewide NJ Makers Day neared, the event’s lead founder, Piscataway Public Library (PPL) emerging technologies librarian Doug Baldwin, received ten Maker kits. The good news: the kits had been paid for by a sponsor. The bad news: they arrived so late that Baldwin had to convey them himself to participating sites. “I got in my less-than-reliable car and mapped out a path to deliver all ten kits…in one day,” Baldwin says. “The fates certainly smiled on me as my car did not break down logging those miles.”

Nicholas Higgins | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

For most parents, reading a story aloud to their children is a bond-building experience they wouldn’t trade for anything. Not everyone, though, has that opportunity. “For parents who are incarcerated, and for their children in particular, that loss of connection can take a devastating toll that could last a lifetime,” says Nick Higgins, who spearheaded TeleStory, a program at the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) to help alter this particular unhappy ending.

Sandy Tharp-Thee | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

When Sandy Tharp-Thee started as director at the Iowa Tribal Library in Perkins, OK, in 2009, she didn’t even have a shoestring budget. As she was introduced around the tribal offices, Tharp-Thee carried a big bag and asked for supply donations for children’s crafts.

Sarah Bean Thompson | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

“Sarah Bean Thompson is a readers’ advisory [RA] rock star!” raves Jessie East, branch manager of the Library Center of the Springfield–Greene County Library District. “She has an infectious passion and incredible talent for RA, [and] every program she does leads attendees right back to books, whether it’s a mock awards session for families and educators or a Geeky Storytime for preschoolers and their caregivers.”

Cynthia Mari Orozco | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

Cynthia Mari Orozco realizes asking a librarian for assistance can be intimidating. Her first and only experience asking for guidance as an undergraduate resulted in her quickly leaving the building. These days, Orozco goes out of her way to make herself approachable to students who may be experiencing library anxiety.

Annie Gaines | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates

“I can’t afford both books and food,” reads a University of Idaho student’s comment on a Change.org petition to reduce the cost of textbooks. “I have to choose to either eat or pass my classes.” That student has a champion in Annie Gaines, who moved from a clerical position to become the University of Idaho Library’s first scholarly communications librarian.

Erik Berman | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Erik Berman subscribes to a “teen run, teen led” mentality, according to senior librarian Sharon Fung at San José Public Library (SJPL). “He works tirelessly to get to know his teens, build their confidence, and guide them into taking an active role in the library.” Hand in hand with local teens and professional designers, Berman is responsible for the creation of the new teen center, TeenHQ, in San José’s central Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

Emily Johansson & Laura Rogers | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Richland Library’s Laura Rogers remembers a morning several years ago when her then young son was struggling to read the words on a cereal box: “He sighed deeply and put his head in his hands as he said, ‘I wish I could just read what that says!’ ”

Katie Johnson | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

A few years ago, then youth services manager Katie Johnson noticed that no one from Pinewood Gardens, a subsidized housing development near the Twinsburg Public Library, was coming to story time. She reached out to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) to ask about setting up a weekly story time at the site, home to nearly 95 low-income kids under five. The answer was yes, and Johnson partnered with AMHA employee Kellie Morehouse to create Play, Learn, & Grow, an early learning and support program, in a vacant room near the leasing office.

Gina Seymour | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Gina Seymour’s grandmother was a clerk at the Queens Borough Public Library, NY, and as a kid, Seymour spent many hours there. Unlike at school, where her book selections were limited to those with the “pukey green” level label, she says, at grandma’s library she could read any book and learn about experiences different from her own.