February 16, 2018

Andrew Mutch | Movers & Shakers 2003

Sharing Expertise


Like many library techies, Andrew Mutch more or less fell into his career. Nearly ten years later, there is nothing random about the passion he brings to libraries and technology.

While still a college student, in the mid-1990s, Mutch was working part time at Michigan’s Northville District Library when he was appointed the library’s electronic systems support person. At the time, the library was in the process of building a larger facility. “I was in the right place at the right time,” says Mutch, who was put in charge of implementing technology in the new building. Mutch credits Julie Herrin, Northville’s director, for “letting me learn through trial and error and to experiment.” That experience gave him the expertise he uses today as systems technician for both the town of Waterford and its public library.

It also taught him about the importance of sharing information and expertise, whether through his local consortium, the Michigan Library Association, or the web4lib discussion group. “I really enjoy the collaborative environment of technology in libraries,” says Mutch, who compulsively helps people new to library technology. “There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “We can get much further if we work together.”

Part of Mutch’s contribution to knowledge- sharing is his help pages, maintained on Waterford’s web site. He’s taken ideas that people have shared with him over the years, created documentation, and presented them in an easy-to-understand fashion. Mutch is proudest of Reading Rants, “booklists for teens who need a good read but are wondering if there’s life after Judy Blume and Gary Paulsen.” The site, now linked to over 1000 libraries and schools, was created by Jennifer Hubert Swan, with Mutch providing the design and technology support. With Mutch in Michigan, Swan in New York City, and readers all over the world, “It’s the perfect example of how you can collaborate online and give back to the community.”




Current Position: Systems Technician, Township of Waterford & Waterford Township Public Library, MI

Community Service: Trustee, City of Novi Public Library Board, 1996 – 99

Web Sites: Reading Rants (tln.lib.mi.us/~amutch/jen/index.html) Topical Help Pages (tln.lib.mi.us/~amutch/pro)