February 17, 2018

Toby Greenwalt | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Trendspotters

Toby Greenwalt, Skokie Public Library,ILThe Translator

When Skokie Public Library director Carolyn Anthony wanted to turn the library’s web site into a virtual branch, she placed Toby Greenwalt, who had only been at the library since 2007, in charge, because “he was key to the successful implementation of the ’10 Things’ [Learning 2.0] training,” she says.

Colleague Deborah Grodinsky says Greenwalt is “constantly on the lookout for ways to better integrate the library into the lives of our patrons.” Having already made reference service available by IM, Greenwalt won a grant to put library resources where people are: on their mobile phones. He also makes a point of going “outside our virtual walls, helping people online where they don’t expect it.” When someone from Skokie posts a question on the library’s blog or via Twitter, he answers it. “It’s helped create some interesting conversations with potential new patrons,” he says.

Because library users and staff have such varying knowledge and technical skill, Greenwalt believes his most important role is “translator.” Making the library fully accessible, and delightful, to Internet natives will be his supreme act of translation.


Skokie Public Library, IL

POSITION Virtual Services Coordinator

DEGREE MSLIS, University of Illinois, 2004

BLOGS The Analog Divide, www.theanalogdivide.com, blogs.skokielibrary.info