March 16, 2018


The Heart of Transformation: Shaped By the Moment, Anchored in Mission | Editorial

We seem to be creating a new level of humane library—as this year’s Movers & Shakers illustrate. Welcoming a new class of Movers offers an occasion to celebrate the many creative, passionate, and committed people who work in this field. For me, the process of selecting each Mover & Shaker from the many nominations is an opportunity to see just how robust individual effort, supported by enabling organizations, can be—and how impactful.

Tom Bober | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

Students who can confidently analyze primary sources “look at things with a critical eye,” says school librarian Tom Bober. But cultivating this crucial skill can be daunting, as he discovered as a classroom teacher. After attending the Library of Congress (LC) Summer Institute in 2013, however, Bober was armed with strategies—and ready to spread the word.

Jerica Copeny | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

In November 2017, a few months after she became Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s (EVPL) civic data scientist—one of the few in the country at a public library—Jerica Copeny volunteered at the inaugural conference of Data for Black Lives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.

Trina Evans | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

When it comes to funding programs at the Kokomo–Howard County Public Library (KHCPL), Trina Evans has dubbed herself the #persistentlibrarian. “I am not afraid to ask, be told ‘no,’ or wear people down until they say ‘yes,’ ” Evans explains. Since she began working a few hours a week for KHCPL in 2014, Evans has become, in the words of Director Faith Brautigam, a “one-woman tidal wave.”

Marian Fragola | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

A photo spurred Marian Fragola to create the Making Spaces series at North Carolina State University (NCSU). As part of a study on the library’s gaming spaces, a student snapped a picture of herself looking into one of the rooms, her body reflected in the glass. “[It] captured her feelings of not being welcomed,” says Fragola, director of program planning and outreach. The photo brought home to Fragola and her colleagues the issue of women’s underrepresentation in the Maker movement and tech.

Kiara Garrett | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

When a prospective date asked Kiara Garrett to recommend a book, she suggested Junot Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her. He mistakenly thought the collection offered relationship advice. Garrett told him, “If you liked Jay-Z’s album 4:44, then you would like this book.”

Amy Mikel | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

“My mind-set is to think through a process or procedure or problem and connect the threads of a solution,” Amy Mikel says. “Then I keep at it, even if it takes years.” That may explain how Mikel’s in-person class for 20 teachers has in three years become a digital class for more than 1,000.

Shannon O’Neill | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

As director of archives and special collections at Columbia University’s Barnard Library, Shannon O’Neill practices “radical empathy,” both in the materials she selects and in the way she interacts with colleagues. The concept of radical empathy in archival practice comes from Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor’s “From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives,” explains O’Neill. In practice, she says, “we allow ourselves to be open to and affected by one another, and we acknowledge and actively confront oppressive structures—ones that are colonial, carceral, and racist—in archives.”

Karen Parry | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Having been what she calls “a patient of the Internet” when her mother was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, Karen Parry knows how difficult it is to find trustworthy health information. So after her mother died in 2009, Parry started Just for the Health of It! at the East Brunswick Public Library).

Tracey Wong | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Tracey Wong is not one to take no for an answer. Early in her career as a classroom teacher in the Bronx, NY, she asked the principal to reopen the shuttered school library, since she would soon have her library degree. He said budgets made that impossible. “So I started pretending I was the librarian,” Wong says. “I emailed him articles on test scores and how to change school culture. I brought in an author. I manually checked out books to my reading groups. I did colleague lunch-and-learns on my own.”