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Movers & Shakers
Each year, LJ shines a spotlight on a cohort of about fifty top changemakers who are transforming what it means to be a librarian.


Federal Budget Request Seeks to Defund IMLS, Cultural Agencies—Again

Posted by Lisa Peet on Feb 15, 2018

The FY19 budget request released on February 12 by the Trump administration calls for the defunding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as well as a number of other programs relevant to libraries, just as it did last year.[...]

November 2017 Elections Bring Large and Small Wins for Libraries

Posted by Lisa Peet on Nov 8, 2017

As the preliminary results from the November 7 elections emerged, the news from library ballots across the country was overwhelmingly positive. Of 36 library measures tracked by LJ and EveryLibrary, a national nonprofit political action committee for libraries, 31 passed and five failed.[...]

Civic Engagement at LJ’s Directors’ Summit 2017

Posted by Lisa Peet on Nov 7, 2017

It may not always be sunny in Philadelphia, but Library Journal’s 2017 Directors’ Summit, held November 2–3 at the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP), saw blue skies and warm days—all the better to tour FLP’s revamped spaces, network on the Parkway Central Library’s rooftop terrace, and learn from[...]

Library Freedom Institute to Launch Train-the-Trainers Course on Internet Privacy, Security

Posted by Matt Enis on Oct 3, 2017

This fall New York University (NYU), in partnership with the Library Freedom Project, will be seeking applicants for the Library Freedom Institute (LFI), a new program that will train 40 geographically dispersed librarians as “Privacy Advocates.”[...]

EveryLibrary Prepares To Build a National Base of Library Supporters

Posted by Christina Vercelletto on Oct 18, 2017

Marking its fifth anniversary on September 5, EveryLibrary, a nonprofit political action committee dedicated to building voter support for libraries, announced its One Million Americans For Libraries Campaign.[...]

International, Interactive Innovation | Next Library 2017

Posted by Rebecca T. Miller on Jul 17, 2017

Engagement was the name of the game at the Next Library conference held in Aarhus, Denmark, June 11–14. Some 350 librarians from 36 countries gathered at the city’s Dokk1 library to learn and continue to build a global network. Via high intensity, participatory programming such as that offered by creativity expert Christian Byrge and in breakout sessions[...]

Libraries Are Not Neutral Spaces: Social Justice Advocacy in Librarianship | ALA Annual 2017

Posted by Stephanie Sendaula on Jul 7, 2017

For Cory Eckert, doing social justice work in libraries is not radical. “It’s what we’ve always been doing, but now we’re thinking about it through a different lens.” Eckert, a 2014 LJ Mover & Shaker, reminded attentive listeners on Sunday, June 25 that libraries are not neutral and have never been so.[...]

ALA President-Elect Loida García-Febo: Holding On To ALA’s Core Values

Posted by Lisa Peet on May 4, 2017

Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2018–19 presidential election closed on April 5, with Loida García-Febo winning the role of president-elect. A total of 9,123 ballots were cast among the candidates—García-Febo, Terri Grief, and Scott Walter—significantly down from last year’s 10,230.[...]

Urban Librarians Unite Conference Proposes Advocacy, Activism

Posted by Lisa Peet on Apr 14, 2017

The theme of the Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) 2017 Conference, held at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library on April 7, was Dangerous Librarianship—an appropriate designation for a librarians challenging the status quo in a year that has already seen a preliminary presidential budget aiming to defund[...]

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

Posted by Lisa Peet on Apr 10, 2017

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME[...]

Paralibrarian of the Year 2016: Patricia Pacheco

Posted by John Berry on Feb 27, 2017

Just two years after she immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, Patricia Pacheco landed a library assistant position as the first bilingual staff member at the Sterling Branch of the Loudoun County Public Library system in Virginia. She had been a kindergarten teacher for nearly 20 years[...]

Librarians Mobilize Resources, Information, and Solidarity in Response to New Administration

Posted by Lisa Peet on Feb 22, 2017

The results of the 2016 presidential election caught many by surprise. With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, and his immediate remaking of American policy through executive orders, public and academic librarians began to mobilize.[...]

Prisons & Publics | Outreach

Posted by April Witteveen on Feb 17, 2017

“Tuesday is my favorite day of the week!” says Daniel Marcou, corrections librarian, Hennepin County Library (HCL), MN. Every Tuesday, Marcou visits the local county jail to provide a variety of outreach services to his incarcerated customer base. “Every time I am tired, I just think about how fun this is,” he tells LJ. Many other public librarians serving local jails and prisons share his enthusiasm, noting an increase in positive behaviors tied to inmates obtaining library services while inside and a desire to seek library services for themselves and their families upon release.[...]

From Pilot to Permanent | Innovation

Posted by Jennifer Koerber on Feb 13, 2017

One of the most effective ways to test and evaluate a new program or service is to conduct a pilot project, but how do you scale up from there? How do you translate the small successes into sustainable, permanent additions to your library?

The example of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library (CMPL), near Detroit, can shed some light on the subject. In 2015, CMPL was selected as one of some 60 communities to participate in the White House’s ConnectED Library Challenge, the goal of which was to connect every public school student in town to library resources, particularly ebooks.[...]

Shannon McClintock Miller Named Spokesperson for Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect

Posted by Christina Vercelletto on Feb 3, 2017

Shannon McClintock Miller is the new spokesperson for Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect. Future Ready Schools (FRS) and the Alliance for Excellent Education formed Future Ready Librarians last summer, which is aimed at positioning librarians as leaders in the digital transformation of learning.[...]

Racial Justice at Your Library hosted by Libraries4BlackLives | ALA Midwinter 2017

Posted by Stephanie Sendaula on Jan 30, 2017

After the July 2016 shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, the #librariesrespond hashtag was a safe place for librarians on twitter to share everything from programs to resources to self-care tips. During this time, Amita Lonial, Learning Experiences Manager at Skokie Public Library (IL), wondered if libraries[...]

Placemaking and the Public Library | ALA Midwinter 2017

Posted by Stephanie Sendaula on Jan 27, 2017

“People crave community. Community needs space. Space can create community. If you are not creating community, you are probably not creating places,” explained Michelle Jeske, City Librarian at Denver Public Library (DPL) and a 2005 LJ Mover & Shaker, to an eager crowd gathered for Placemaking and the Public Library on Sunday, January 22. What [...]

Jill Bourne: LJ’s 2017 Librarian of the Year

Posted by John Berry on Jan 4, 2017

When she arrived to direct California’s San José Public Library (SJPL) in 2013, Jill Bourne faced the effects of years of decimating budget shortfalls and service cuts. The system’s 23 branches had all been built or renovated in a previous and generous capital improvement program, but several of the new buildings were already shuttered. In the rest, hours had been reduced to four days per week.[...]

Libraries Test Chronicle: Collaborative Local History

Posted by Jennifer Koerber on Dec 1, 2016

When libraries seek community help with local history/photography projects, one of the most challenging details is often finding a user-friendly tool for the job. The team behind Chronicle—a new collaborative platform and community designed for photographers—has approached several libraries over the past six months [...]

More Wins than Losses for Libraries

Posted by Lisa Peet on Nov 9, 2016

On a long election night filled with tension and political upset, 79 libraries across the country had referenda on the ballot. The news for libraries was more good than bad. At press time, 54 wins and 12 losses were recorded, with the remainder either not applicable—representing votes to leave a district, for instance—or still too close to call.[...]

Q&A with Gary Shaffer, New Director of USC’s MMLIS Program

Posted by Lisa Peet on Nov 3, 2016

Gary Shaffer, CEO of Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL), OK, since 2011 (and a 2006 LJ Mover & Shaker), will be stepping into a new role in January as director of the Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) program at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business.[...]

At Your Service

Posted by April Witteveen on Nov 2, 2016

In 2014, the American Community Survey reported that an estimated 19.4 million veterans were living in the United States. Libraries, both public and academic, are well positioned to serve the unique needs of this population by offering programming and meeting space, sharing veterans’ stories, and providing the community connections necessary to transition successfully [...]

The Fix is Free | Programs That Pop

Posted by Donna Martel on Oct 14, 2016

What do you do with a broken toaster, a lamp with a frayed cord, or a shirt with a loose button? Toss it? No way! Massachusetts’s Westborough Public Library and the Rotary Club of Westborough partnered to offer Westborough’s first Repair Café at the library in March 2016. Repair cafés are free meeting places that are all about repairing things together.[...]