November 24, 2017

Elizabeth Fitzgerald | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Innovators

“One of my favorite questions is, ‘Why is there a kitchen in the library?’ ” says Elizabeth Fitzgerald. “There is such an opportunity [here] for advancing literacy.” As culinary literacy specialist at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s (FLP) Culinary Literacy Center, a commercial-grade kitchen classroom that seats 36, Fitzgerald teaches “reading (recipes), math (measuring), and even chemistry through cooking,” says nominator Donald Root, FLP chief of Central Library public services.

Chris Brown | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Innovators

For Chris Brown, being a librarian is about providing “what[ever] information is most valuable and impactful to the public,” something that changes from community to community. While he was working in Contra Costa County, CA, in 2014, that concept led to his finding innovative ways to assist veterans recently returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were having trouble readjusting to civilian life.

Kathy Shahbodaghi | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Innovators

Kathy Shahbodaghi, Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML)director for youth and teen services, had her aha moment long ago when she visited a school in a low-income neighborhood where student performance was poor. When her colleague showed kindergartners David Shannon’s book No, David! (Scholastic), several eagerly raised their hands. The teacher confided, “Those are the children who had been read to before they started school. I had to teach the rest howto listen to a book.”

Willie Miller | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Innovators

For Willie Miller, informatics and journalism librarian at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Valentine’s Day has become a stealth data-gathering operation. He calls it “guerrilla assessment,” and it has transformed the university library (UL).

Colleen Graves | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Innovators

A finalist for School Library Journal’s 2014 School Librarian of the Year Award, Colleen Graves has made her mark developing top-notch Maker spaces at Lamar Middle School in Flower Mound, TX, and her current school, Ryan High School, in Denton, as well as lesson plans and other resources applicable to many Maker spaces. When Graves began her career in education 14 years ago, though, it was as an English teacher.

Shaun Briley | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Innovators

Shaun Briley believes in science for the people. His adopted hometown of San Diego is a major biotechnology hub, home to more than 20 colleges and universities, three major hospitals, and numerous pharmaceutical companies and research facilities. Now, thanks to him, it also hosts the first biotech laboratory in a public library—the La Jolla/Riford Branch’s Bio Lab, which branch manager Briley brainstormed, organized, outfitted, and brought to life with the help of local biohackers and citizen scientists.

Movers & Shakers 2016

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!

Tracy LaStella | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Innovators

When it comes to creating innovative patron-centered programming, there seems to be nothing that Tracy LaStella can’t do. She joined the Middle Country Public Library (MCPL) team as a page in 1990 and, with the encouragement of coworkers such as children’s coordinator Sharon Breen, not only finished her BA but earned her MLS. “Sharon sat me down one day and told me to leave work and go sign up for classes at Stony Brook University,” says LaStella. “[T]hat turned a switch…and gave me the inspiration I needed to finish school.” Now, as coordinator for youth services, LaStella has become a beacon for the community.

Tysha Shay | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Innovators

For Tysha Shay, serving patrons who are traditionally overlooked and underserved is a mission. Inspired by her time as a caregiver for her grandmother, who developed dementia and later Alzheimer’s, Shay became sensitized to the struggles of older adults and wondered how she could better serve them. In 2012, she developed Stories for Life, an outreach program in which she visits facilities throughout Springfield, MO, each month to share stories with residents as well as read poetry, play interactive memory games, and highlight historical or local information. Shay is dedicated to providing services to community members who, for various reasons, can no longer visit the library in person.

Elizabeth Joseph | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Innovators

“When I first became a librarian, there were two tasks I totally rejected—outreach and programs,” says Elizabeth Joseph, the coordinator of information and adult services at the main branch of the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT. “Now, they are the very reasons I come to work.”