June 26, 2017

Mara Thacker | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Mara Thacker’s love of Indian culture began at 18 when she watched her first Bollywood film. Captivated, she dove into South Asian literature, learned Hindi, and, ultimately, earned a degree in Indian literary and cultural studies. This gave her the tools to create a unique collection of South Asian comics and graphic novels at her library.

Robyn Saunders | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

For more than 25 years, Robyn Saunders has worked with people seeking to change their lives. That number is about equal to the number of nominations she received—from colleagues, social workers, community board members, organizations, job seekers, and others.

Colette Poitras | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

As a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Colette Poitras understands the impact library access can have for Canada’s indigenous populations—and how the smallest of obstacles can undo those benefits.

Ann Plazek | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Ann Plazek has long believed in going where non–library users are. She developed her passion for outreach as a young page riding along on bookmobile runs, honed it as bookmobile supervisor at Medina County District Library (MCDL), OH, and today excels at it as the library’s outreach services manager. “I love opportunities to…let the community know how much has changed in the last ten years,” she says, using regularly scheduled Pop-Up Libraries to do just that.

Kim McNeil-Capers | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Recently named director of community engagement at the Queens Library (QL) and former outreach coordinator, Kim McNeil-Capers describes her role as “a human bridge of connectivity”—to customers, external and internal stakeholders, community organizations, government officials, and more. Her outreach programs have served over 10,000 people annually, including incarcerated patrons and those living in housing projects.

Kelly McElroy | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

In high school, Kelly McElroy and her best friend, both daughters of librarians, made a pact that neither would follow in their mothers’ footsteps. Fortunately for her students and fellow librarians, McElroy didn’t keep her promise.

Deb Koep | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

When Deb Koep started asking around about how the West Vancouver Memorial Library, BC, could meet local technology needs, “a lot of folks thought all I’d hear was ‘faster Wi-Fi,’ ” says the former head of technology, communications, and collections. Instead of settling for meeting only basic immediate needs, however, she opted to dive deeper and find a way truly to understand her community’s relationship with technology.

Joan Divor | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

At Burlington County Library System (BCLS), Joan Divor is leading the charge on small business education and promoting entrepreneurship. “Joan is tireless in her efforts to bring relevant and substantial content to small businesses in the area,” says Michelle Martin, BCLS community engagement manager. She’s also unflagging in her promotion of libraries (and their resources) as central to the success of business communities and economic growth, according to Martin.

Jesse Vieau | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

“I’m actually happy I’m in jail right now!” is one of the statements Jesse Vieau has heard from the teens he works with through Making Justice, an outreach program for court-involved and at-risk youth in Wisconsin’s Dane County Juvenile Court Detention Center, Shelter Home, and Neighborhood Intervention Program. Under the umbrella of the Bubbler, Madison Public Library’s (MPL) arts and Maker hands-on program, Making Justice brings technology and other Maker programming to youth who might not have the opportunity to participate.

Andy Plemmons | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Community Builders

A firm believer in “expecting the miraculous”—a phrase from an award-winning book that he’s made into his school’s philosophy and a blog that guides numerous media specialists—school librarian Andy Plemmons makes his lessons a blend of education, fun, and technology.