February 17, 2018

Kelly Czarnecki | Movers & Shakers 2007

Constant Beta


While others work on incorporating change, Kelly Czarnecki leads the way. Metrowest Massachusetts Regional Library System’s Beth Gallaway explains, ‘[Kelly] accepts – no, embraces – that we are always in a state of beta.’

Web 2.0 tools let her make library services better, particularly for teens. She chairs PLCMC’s teen web site committee. She developed a ‘Be Smart-Wired’ program where teens can learn about tools like del.icio.us and LibraryThing. She takes digital photos for teens to upload to their MySpace pages, encourages teens to create and upload video to YouTube, and pushes herself, teens, and other staff to simply play. ‘I play, too, and I’m not ashamed to say that, because it refreshes the spirit and renews our outlook on our work,’ she says. ‘We create videos or podcasts with the teens, take digital photos of what’s going on that day, and add them to our Flickr account – and laugh a lot.’

Her sense of play extends to her community outreach activities as well. During a Freedom Reads! book club for incarcerated teens, she organized activities from making videos to playing games like Dance Dance Revolution. She started a blog where inmates can comment on books they read. Viewing gaming as a ‘core service, because it builds community, requires literacy skills, and builds developmental assets,’ she cochairs YALSA’s Teen Gaming Discussion Group, writes a gaming column for its YAttitudes, and blogs for Game On (libgaming.blogspot.com).

Working to reach teens where they are, Czarnecki co-leads the Teen Second Life Eye4You Library Alliance, created by PLCMC and Alliance Library System (ALS) in October 2006 to parallel the Second Life virtual library services ALS pioneered back in April. (Teen Second Life, a virtual world for 13- to 17-year-olds, is an offshoot of Linden Lab’s popular Second Life.) There, she’s developed partnerships with organizations from Random House, Inc., to Global Kids to the Lower East Side Girls Club.

If she could, Czarnecki would ‘redefine success, not through the numbers of people or materials circulating but through the relationships we make and the relevancy of our services in relation to the community outside our doors and the larger society.’ And we’d laugh a lot.




CURRENT POSITION Teen Librarian, ImaginOn, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC), NC

DEGREES MSLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), 2002; M.Ed in Educational Policy Studies, UIUC, 2001

LEADERSHIP Coleader, Teen Second Life Eye4You Library Alliance; Cochair, Young Adult Library Services Association Teen Gaming Discussion Group