Fifteen years old and now over 750 leaders strong, Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers (M&S) proudly introduces the Class of 2016—54 individuals profiled in 50 stories, who are changing the face of libraries of all types and sizes. When LJ launched the inaugural M&S issue on March 15, 2002, we had no idea how much enthusiasm it would draw, how the models of service reflected in the Movers’ stories would ripple throughout the field, how the Movers would become a connected cadre of supporters, cheerleaders, and go-to folks for one another and for the profession, or how the careers of those selected would flourish. The list goes on, as the Movers strive to transform public, school, academic, and special libraries across the United States and around the world. Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
In 2013, when Heather Ketron became branch manager at Sterling Library, Loudoun County Public Library, she visited the local schools. “Everyone who worked in the [school] office spoke Spanish,” she says, because most residents were Latin American immigrants. So Ketron hired a Spanish-speaking staff member. She immediately began to address the community’s needs.
When Titus Moolathara took a job out of library school as a library assistant at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, he learned that “the library is the most important place in the prison.” So when he joined the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) in 2013 and found no prison outreach in place, he launched a pilot library program at Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, a men’s prison that didn’t have a library.
It started with fuzzy black-and-white copies of flashcards. Jennifer Taggart’s son was receiving speech and language therapy at school, and this was homework. “While we were thankful for having something to practice with, the librarian in me thought there must be a better way,” says Taggart, now assistant department head of youth services at Bloomfield Township Public Library. Simultaneously, Taggart noticed more families with special needs at the library “attending (or trying to attend) programs.”
Even though she worked as a corporate analyst before becoming a business librarian, college hadn’t prepared Lauren Reiter for personal money management. So when she heard discussions at Penn State seeking ways to address rising student debt and the lack of basic financial literacy, Reiter jumped at the opportunity. “I recognized the need for financial literacy education among college students and also the potential for the library to take a leading role,” she says.
Hume-Fogg is no ordinary place. A magnet school for ninth to 12th grade within the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, in 2015 it was the top-ranked high school in Tennessee and one of the top 50 U.S. schools. Academic pressure is high. That’s why Hume-Fogg librarian Amanda Smithfield has taken access and services at the school library to a new level.
Indie bookseller–turned–librarian Stephanie Anderson passionately believes that librarians should be able to give solid book recommendations whether they are fans of a given genre or not. As assistant director for public services at Darien Library, CT, she has been on the forefront of creative ways to help patrons decide what to read, from displaying a trending book on the holds shelf that might entice patrons to starting a service called “You Are What You Read Next,” allowing people to receive personalized recommendations after completing a survey. Anderson also spearheaded a business book club for nonfiction lovers that doubles as an unofficial networking meeting.