March 16, 2018

James Walther | Movers & Shakers 2005

Mr. Education


The career path that led James Walther to the job of director of training and development for the New York Public Library (NYPL) Branch Libraries is not your normal progression. He’s worked for LexisNexis, managed the library of a major law firm, and taught at two library schools. But two themes run throughout his diverse career: a commitment to professional development for librarians and an interest in working with young people.

Susan Kent, head of NYPL Branch Libraries, admires Walther’s ability “to bring people together to learn and to build on that learning to stimulate active, interested, and engaged staff members.”

At NYPL, Walther is responsible for identifying courses suitable to library needs and managing scholarship and internship programs, essentially filling “all the administrative and faculty roles, such as registrar, provost, faculty, and director of student affairs.”

Walther also leads the training for NYPL’s Learning in Libraries Project, which offers him the best of both worlds, “directing a three-year staff development project focused on improving library service to school-aged children.”

As a library school instructor, Walther also works with new professionals. He believes that “keeping my hand in teaching is a requirement for keeping my skills as an educator fresh and keeping myself involved in what our newest employees will be exposed to upon starting a graduate education.”

Walther’s work at NYPL will draw on every bit of knowledge and personal enthusiasm he’s acquired along the way. This should make both him and NYPL very happy.



Current Position Director, Training and Development, New York Public Library Branch Libraries, and Visiting Associate Professor, Pratt Institute School of Library and Information Science

Education MLS, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, 1992; Ph.D., George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Educational Leadership, 2003