February 17, 2018

Lauren Pressley | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Tech Evangelists

Lauren Pressley, Wake Forest University Library, Winston-Salem, NC2.0 Toolmaker

“Every library director should have a Lauren Pressley on their staff!” exclaims Lynn Sutton, director of Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, where Pressley works as instructional design librarian.

For Pressley, knowing users’ expectations lets library staff “tailor our building, web presence, services, and teaching to best meet their needs” and focus on “how we can be more relevant and useful for them.”

One example of building relevance is Pressley’s work with the web librarian to develop a searchable tool kit of short, modular video tutorials (zsr.wfu.edu/toolkit) that answer recurring skill-based questions. Each video, she explains, “is designed with today’s student in mind: personal, quick, and to the point, teaching one specific skill.” Instruction librarians and faculty can use these videos for preinstruction of basic skills, freeing up in-library instruction sessions to teach higher-level critical thinking; videos are modular, so “people can use them any place they’d like: Blackboard, blogs, web sites….”

In Pressley’s vision of the library as a central place on campus to help people learn to work with new tools and technologies, the library offers services “as simple as setting up a blog for someone or as complex as helping people think about what publishing might look like in 20 years,” she says.

But looking ahead doesn’t mean losing sight of the past. “It’s incredible to be part of a profession that might look fundamentally different years [from now],” she says, “while still built on a foundation of our traditional values.”


Wake Forest University Library, Winston-Salem, NC

POSITION Instructional Design Librarian

DEGREE MLIS, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2007

BLOG laurenpressley.com