March 16, 2018

Jennifer L. Peterson | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Change Agents

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Jennifer Peterson, Mover & Shaker

The Collaborator

For a sense of Jennifer L. Peterson’s success as community manager at, consider that she received five nominations from five different parts of the library field. Those testimonials reflect on her skills developing programming designed to build community and learning among individuals and groups.

“If there’s a need for someone to facilitate idea sharing or supportive learning or to exchange information, I usually jump in with the elbow grease to make it happen,” says Peterson. “I was told by my grad school cohort to just go ahead and tattoo collaboration on my forehead.”

Training for librarians by librarians is one of Peterson’s key achievements at WebJunction, says Shelley Walchak, a senior consultant at Colorado State Library. “Jennifer is very effective in putting together online presentations on subjects that matter to the library community. With budget cuts happening across the country, this highly effective means of continuing education and training is of utmost importance.”

Sarah Washburn, a library programs manager at TechSoup, points out Peterson’s work with rural libraries, especially the 2006–07 Rural Library Sustainability Program, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Jennifer and her team put together Rural Cafés at the American Library Association conference, helping to jump-start conversations and collaborations among librarians who rarely had an opportunity to travel to a professional conference, much less gather with hundreds of librarians like them,” says Washburn. Peterson also serves on the board of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

Drawing on insights gained from time as a graduate assistant at the Gates Foundation and graduate training at Seattle Public Library, she connects nitty-gritty programs to the big contributions libraries can make to society. “Libraries have an important role in our communities,” she says, “both within our organizations and in the community at large, to nurture lifelong learners and lifelong leaders.”


Jennifer L. Peterson, Seattle

CURRENT POSITION Community Manager

DEGREE MLIS, University of Washington, Information School, 2005

LATEST Project Compass

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