February 16, 2018

Cleveland Public Library Hires Buffy Hamilton, the Unquiet Librarian

The Cleveland Public Library (CPL) is broadening its reach in education and literacy with two new hires­­­­­­­, including Buffy Hamilton, best known as the Unquiet Librarian.

Set to start next year, Hamilton will serve as CPL’s Learning Strategist and as part of her job, will work to engage Cleveland’s patrons, from students to the greater public, through “library-supported communities of participatory learning,” according to a release.

“I am over the moon and so very humbled and thrilled to be joining Team CPL! “ says Hamilton by email.

Hamilton has spent more than 20 years with the Cherokee County School District, currently at Creekview High School, in Canton, GA, but will step down from her position December 20. Her first day with CPL is January 7, 2013 and to start, Hamilton says she’ll begin by helping CPL’s management, staff, and trustees explore the ideas of participatory learning—using tools, including digital technology and new media, to enhance and engage the way people of all ages learn, and allowing them, in many ways, to discover their own unique paths.

Hamilton believes the role is one that every library should consider forming, particularly as libraries work to inspire and support learning for all their patrons. The position can also help libraries expand their scope of influence, by looking at other allies—and making libraries a more crucial educational partner within a community.

“When we look at supporting lifelong learning in our communities, we know that a mission cannot be accomplished by one organization or educational space,” she says by email. “Libraries that have learning strategists have the ability to approach the mission of creating knowledge communities from a broader and more global perspective that can encompass multiple spaces and partnerships for learning.”

Through her blog, Hamilton has inspired school librarians, educators, technophiles and students by illuminating how technology can enliven learning in any forum—from the classroom to the world outside. She is an evangelist for participatory learning—a process that can be both playful and engaging, according to her posts, while remaining germane to an educational idea or lesson.

Along with Hamilton’s new position, CPL has tapped Sherri Jones, most recently the director of the Educational Opportunity Center at the Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH, to become its Literacy & Education Coordinator. In this role, Jones will help coordinate and develop Learning Centers, which provide students, children, and adults with support and resources for college preparation.

These new hires are part of CPL’s mission to become what it calls a “People’s University,” to be a “center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community,” according to the release.

And while Hamilton will be devoted to her new job at CPL—a position and institution that, she says by email, are “perfectly aligned with my philosophy of librarianship”—she will also continue to maintain The Unquiet Librarian, a move likely to reassure her multitude of readers.

“As I have in the past, the blog will be my space to share my insights, projects, reflections and questions, and ideas that are rooted in my day-to-day work and use that as a lens to look at issues in our profession at large,” she writes.

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