February 16, 2018

Judy Van Acker | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Community Builders

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Judy Van Acker, Mover & Shaker

Bold Example

How many librarians do you know whose enthusiasm and experience have led to the creation of two libraries (in Wetmore and Penrose, CO)? Judy Van Acker, a regional library consultant for the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), may be the only one. Van Acker first became involved with library administration as a trustee in 1986. “From the very first moment I realized the possibilities of how the library could serve the community, I was hooked,” she says.

An MLS degree and two decades later, Van Acker is president of the Colorado Public Library Association. She is also an organizer of this year’s joint conference of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries and the Association of Bookmobiles and Outreach Services in Denver, October 14–16.

In her quest to help them offer tech-savvy services, Van Acker has visited hundreds of small libraries across the Centennial State. She’s particularly keen to spread the word on open source products for libraries. Look for her popular “Open-Source Peep Show” at the Librarianship 201 Institute of the Mississippi Library Commission this year.

Van Acker advocates on behalf of rural libraries and calls attention to the impact statewide initiatives can have, says Shelley Walchak, library community programs senior consultant at the Colorado State Library. Such activism is something Van Acker would urge upon her colleagues. “The time for meekness is gone,” says Van Acker. “It’s our job to boldly stand in the forefront and lead by example—to show the public that we are valuable, because we have so much to offer the community from cradle to grave.”


Judy Van Acker, Colorado Library Consortium, Centennial

CURRENT POSITION South East Regional Library Consultant

DEGREE MLS, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 2005

SECOND-BEST PRESENTATION TITLE Getting IT Online (presented at 2009 Association for Rural & Small Libraries conference)