June 18, 2018

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.”

Convening Community Conversations | Programming

It can be challenging to start a substantive conversation, not just small talk, among people of differing experiences and opinions, even—or especially—when they are neighbors. But libraries, as institutions used and trusted by a broad cross section of the population, are uniquely positioned to convene productive dialog that can help patrons abandon the “echo chamber” and start talking to one another.

Kim McNeil-Capers | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Recently named director of community engagement at the Queens Library (QL) and former outreach coordinator, Kim McNeil-Capers describes her role as “a human bridge of connectivity”—to customers, external and internal stakeholders, community organizations, government officials, and more. Her outreach programs have served over 10,000 people annually, including incarcerated patrons and those living in housing projects.

Pete Barrell | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Educators

Pete Barrell believes his job as a library director is to “cultivat[e] creative, diverse, exciting, inspiring, and new opportunities…for the people of our community,” he says. “I love that I can seek out cool, amazing stuff and bring it to rural Cottage Grove.”

Tonya Angelique Garcia | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Innovators

“My path to librarianship was by no means traditional,” says Tonya Garcia, whose story is a testament to her dedication to her community. A high school dropout,she married young and was a full-time mother. “I knew poverty,” she says, “I knew what it was like to search for quarters to pay for a pack of diapers to last before the next paycheck.”


Building Vibrant Communities Through Literacy & Education: Ohio Workshop Shares Best Practices

Directors and library leaders from around Ohio and Pennsylvania met for a half-day workshop to share best practices and discuss ideas for impacting literacy and education throughout their communities. The interactive workshop was sponsored and attended by EnvisionWare and featured presentations by The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, Akron-Summit County Public Library and Stark County District Library.

Mitchell Davis on Community Engagement from Saying Yes to Self-Pub to Comic Cons

The first SELF-e collection of self-published titles chosen by LJ and hosted by BiblioLab’s BiblioBoard releases this month, in time for the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference. On the occasion, LJ caught up with ­Mitchell Davis, chief business officer of BiblioLabs, to hear how this collaboration originated and where both SELF-e and BiblioBoard are headed.

Rich Harwood on Libraries as Change Agents, Turning Outward, and the Need for Qualitative Data

Rich Harwood is an author, public speaker, and the founder and president of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to change in the public sphere. Since its establishment in 1998, the institute has worked with such partners as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AARP, and the United Way Worldwide, as well as civic groups across the country, to help them develop innovation strategies guided by community engagement.