March 19, 2018

Bobbi Newman | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Innovators

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Bobbi Newman, Mover & Shaker


Bobbi Newman has introduced library staff around the world to the concept of “transliteracy,” the ability to understand and create content on a broad range of communication media. Through her award-winning Libraries and Transliteracy blog and well-attended presentations at various national and international library conferences, she is raising awareness on the importance of connecting with users across multiple platforms.

What motivates Newman is that so few organizational studies about the needs of 21st-century society mention the role libraries play. “My passion is really about the increasing digital divide, both the access to technology and the usability and participation gaps we’re seeing, and the roles libraries play in bridging those divides,” she says.

Newman is not only concerned about libraries being left out as a key agency to bridge digital and other divides but also about how few patrons understand what librarians and library workers do. Often, she says, “librarians themselves don’t fully know what others do from academic to public to school libraries, or even from the reference desk to technical services.” To communicate the role of libraries and librarians better and to show what “an asset” they are for 21st-century skills, she launched the semiannual Library Day in the Life Project blog, now in its sixth round. Through blog posts, photos, videos, and tweets, library staff share a day, or a week, in their lives.

All of Newman’s accomplishments highlight her active involvement in shaping the future of libraries—and librarians. On her popular Librarian by Day blog, she comments on issues including transliteracy, the digital divide, ebooks, gaming, marketing, management, and librarianship.

Newman is a “package of practically applied thinking and creativity,” says one of her many nominators, Michael Porter, communications manager at WebJunction. “She cuts through the noise and confusion of disruptive technology and library roles and helps chart a clear path for others to explore and pursue their own interests.”

Note: Starting April 4, Newman will be joining the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC, responsible for staff training and development.


Bobbi Newman, Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, Columbus, GA

CURRENT POSITION Digital Branch Manager

DEGREE MA, Information Resources & Library Science, University of Arizona, 2003


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