March 17, 2018

Bill Pardue | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Change Agents

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Bill Pardue, Mover & Shakers

Stand-Up Librarian

Bill Pardue’s enjoyment of what he calls uncharted territory led him to develop virtual reference services at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML) in Illinois. It also led to his grassroots Slam the Boards initiative, which encourages librarians nationwide to log into online Q&A websites to respond to questions—and also to post that the answer came from a ­librarian.

“The idea is to extend the presence and visibility of librarians beyond the traditional boundaries of the library and its website,” says Pardue, supervisor of the library’s reference and virtual services. “Reference librarians also need to find more ways to weave themselves into the fabric of the local community,” he adds. “We’ve got the desk covered. Now we need to get outside.”

Pardue started his career in academic libraries while working on his master’s in philosophy. In the late 1980s, he took improv classes at the renowned Second City in Chicago. He shifted to public libraries in 1996 and found he loved them.

“His unique training has served him well as a librarian,” says Paula Moore, director of AHML. “[Paul] thinks on his feet [and is] fantastically exuberant and unbelievably witty.”

Most recently, Pardue led his library in adopting Summon, a single unified index (print and digital) discovery tool for end users created by Serials Solutions. “I think the best projects are the ones that let you develop some sort of technical skill but also let you work with others to create a real-world, tangible benefit,” he says.


Bill Pardue, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL

CURRENT POSITION Reference and Virtual Services Supervisor

DEGREE MLIS, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1992; MA, Philosophy, Penn State, 1987

HOBBYIST Likes astronomy, soccer, prairie-style architecture, obscure progressive music from the 1970s, and finding really good restaurants

LIBRARIANS ANSWER ONLINE Developed Slam the Boards:!

FOLLOW @billahml