February 16, 2018

Nick Grove | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Tech Leaders

Nick Grove


Digital Services Librarian, Meridian Library District, ID


MLIS in progress, University of North Texas, Denton


@nickgrove15 (Twitter)

Photo ©2016 Shawn G. Henry

Magic at Lightspeed

As a new teen specialist at Meridian Library District in 2011, Nick Grove drew on a disengaged after-school crowd to grow program attendance by 233 percent in three years, partly by buying teen-relevant technology, such as six 3-D printers. Grove capitalized on those purchases: when he challenged a bored teen to read a chapter in a book, the teen read three and was rewarded with a 3-D version of the book’s logo. “We struggled for two months together,” says Grove, “to figure out how to print the logo; the teen became an advocate for library programs…and a bigger advocate for the book.”

In 2015, Grove proposed unBound, a tech laboratory and educational facility that marries community needs with library expertise by offering access to emerging technologies, content digitization and creation, and related programs. Impressively, Grove brought this idea to life in record time—eight months from pitch to ribbon-cutting. “Nick can see the future,” says Gretchen Caserotti, library director at Meridian and a 2010 LJ Mover & Shaker. “He leads by example, he leads by inspiration, he leads by experimenting.”

Since opening in November 2015, unBound has served 1,440 people (from students learning 3-D design, entrepreneurs, and small business owners to “great-grandparents creating parts”), and the pace hasn’t slowed. In December, partnering with the STEM Bus (stembususa.org) on an Hour of Code event, Grove worked more magic. “The event was put together and implemented in seven days,” he says, and drew 160 people for tours and coding workshops. Grove’s goal: to “make [unBound space] part of people’s routine.”

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. Way to go, Nick! Very deserved! Our kids love all your programs and looking forward to seeing you at “Unbound”!
    Julie & Stacy
    Sawtooth MS

  2. Mary Ann Funk says:

    Congratulations Nick! So proud of you! All this from your humble beginnings in Lewiston.

  3. Gena Marker says:

    Congrats Nick! Everyone here has learned so much from your knowledge of technology and your willingness to share new ideas. Students and teachers have always loved learning from you, and I have so appreciated your collegial and collaborative spirit. We’re all so proud of you!
    Gena Marker
    Centennial High School Library

  4. Derica Preble says:

    Congratulations Nick! You’ve created a path for other libraries and communities to follow. It’s always a pleasure working with you and look forward to what we can achieve together! This award is well deserved!!