February 16, 2018

Richard L. Hasenyager Jr. | Movers & Shakers 2011 – Change Agents

Library Journal March 15, 2011: Richard Hasenyager, Mover & Shaker

True to His Schools

When Richard Hasenyager speaks to community organizations and other groups, he talks about the critical role school libraries play in developing students’ life skills—from the age of five. “College and career readiness begin in kindergarten,” he says. “We can’t wait until students are in high school to teach them information and media literacy skills.”

As director for library services for Texas’s North East Independent School District, the forward-thinking Hasenyager is making this goal a reality.

Recently, he accomplished the monumental task of creating one digital library collection for all 64 school libraries in his district. The project, which took over a year, involved reviewing licensing agreements and working with vendors to move their metadata into a single district account.
The work paid off. By January, elementary school access to ebooks had changed from an average of 7.88 ebooks per school to 677. Middle and high school access rose from 176 to 1,782 and 298 to 2,488, respectively. Hasenyager secured an additional 8,000 from AARA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Special Education funds for additional e-products for students with special needs.

Triumphs like this are owing to the former school media specialist’s “focus, tenacity, and passion” for library programs during the recession, says Naomi Bates, Northwest High School librarian in Justin, TX. Hasenyager’s creative outlook and deep knowledge of cataloging are also key.
In another innovative push, he is seeking funding to institute the open source software DSpace to house digital book trailers and book reviews written by students, teachers, and librarians. “Each of these book reviews and trailers will receive a unique URL that we can enter into the library catalog,” making them accessible on the web directly from the catalog, he says.

“Rick isn’t a man with a loud voice, but [he] is diligent,” says Bates. The only school librarian liaison to the American Library Association’s Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access, Hasenyager also has successfully lobbied for school libraries to have a voice in the National Test for Resource Description and Access (RDA). “School librarians are tasked with being instructional leaders and not catalogers,” he says. “I want to ensure that changes being made at the national level do not adversely affect them.”


Richard L. Hasenyager Jr., North East Independent School District, San Antonio

CURRENT POSITION Director for Library Services

DEGREE Doctoral Student, Information Science, University of North Texas, Denton; MLS, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, 2000

FIRST LIBRARY JOB “Library bouncer,” Wadsworth Public Library, OH, age 19. “I was hired to make sure kids weren’t skateboarding in the parking lot, destroying the shelves, etc.”

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