April 20, 2018

Emma Hernández | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

The first time Emma Hernández encountered the term digital inclusion was on the application for the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN)/Google Fiber Digital Inclusion Fellowship, a one-year program for emerging leaders from digitally divided communities to improve digital access. “I…realized that these words described the difficulties I had faced as a lifelong member of the digitally disconnected masses,” she says.

Jennifer A. Ferretti | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Jennifer Ferretti has been a digital librarian for more than ten years at various institutions. A fine arts graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), she returned to MICA in 2015 to lead digital initiatives. “I never wanted to be a librarian,” says Ferretti, because “I didn’t know what librarians did. I never had a librarian I connected to and never met a Latinx librarian.” A supportive internship supervisor at the Smithsonian (2007–08) and a strong community on “librarian Twitter” changed that.

Allie Stevens | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Allie Stevens’s lightbulb moment came when she took an introductory public libraries course at Louisiana State University. Before that, Stevens thought she’d be a science or medical librarian. The class opened her eyes to the many skills required to be a public librarian. “I loved the inherent challenge in that—to learn something new on any given day and to help people in direct and tangible ways.”

Erin Hoopes | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

In April 2015, when a group of Philadelphia teens shared their distress over the death of Freddie Gray while he was in Baltimore police custody, Erin Hoopes found a way to help them voice their emotions by creating the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Social Justice Symposium for Teens. Library staff regularly converse with teens about issues such as police brutality and racism, and Hoopes, who has extensive experience designing programs for teens, sought to deepen the dialog.

Jason Johnson | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

When Jason Johnson started at the Spokane County Library District (SCLD) in 2004, he saw it as a day job—one that allowed him to concentrate on the music and other creative endeavors he had moved to Eastern Washington to pursue. He’s been a rock musician for years, mostly playing in the band Buffalo Jones.

David Lopez | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

“This is your eulogy./ Un canto sin letras./ Una memoria/—inexpresable.” David Lopez wrote the poem “Eulogy” after the June 2016 shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, FL. It appeared on the website The Brillantina Project, an online poetry anthology for LGBTQ+ writers that Lopez created in response to the massacre. “When these spaces of healing do not exist, we have to create them on our own and show the world that we are here,” says Lopez, who has an MFA in creative writing as well as an MLIS.

Kristin Treviño | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Community Builders

Kristin Treviño, youth and digital services librarian at the South Irving Library, part of Texas’s Irving Public Library, used her knowledge of the impact that connecting young readers with the right book can have to plan an immensely popular event, the North Texas Teen Book Festival.

Mara Thacker | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Mara Thacker’s love of Indian culture began at 18 when she watched her first Bollywood film. Captivated, she dove into South Asian literature, learned Hindi, and, ultimately, earned a degree in Indian literary and cultural studies. This gave her the tools to create a unique collection of South Asian comics and graphic novels at her library.

Robyn Saunders | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

For more than 25 years, Robyn Saunders has worked with people seeking to change their lives. That number is about equal to the number of nominations she received—from colleagues, social workers, community board members, organizations, job seekers, and others.