Category Archives: Library Innovators

Job Description: Innovation Catalyst Librarian

The job posting has been taken down but this listing has promoted much discussion in my classes, and I’ll be mentioning it in talks. Saving it here for posterity.

Innovation Catalyst Librarian (Librarian 1)

Trenton Free Public Library, Trenton NJ

Salary: $50,765 starting
Status: Full-time and benefitted, 35 hours per week including evenings and weekends.
Application Review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

The Trenton Free Public Library is in search of a passionate, creative, type-A professional who will be instrumental in helping lead our organization into significant and meaningful Change!!  Our Library is poised to leap into the future and we are looking for someone to assist.  We are not interested in snail paced incremental change- but rather overhauling everything from policy to staff training, from technology to programming and more immediately.

This position is a rare opportunity to shape a dream job!   We are NOT looking for someone to simply run our Facebook page and Tweet; but rather an individual who is focused on the future.  We want to create an environment where you won’t just advise us on the next ‘big thing’— with only your own vision as the limit- you can CREATE the next big thing!

The successful candidate will, with a great deal of autonomy, work directly for the Library Director. They will engage in all aspect of professional Librarianship.  They will work in all areas of the Library so as to be versed in where and what improvements and change are needed.  They will assist other Librarians in pulling together various divergent areas of the Library’s services to create cohesion and thus improve our performance.  They will take the lead on grant applications to assist in the funding of  innovative services and opportunities.

The Librarian must have strong leadership skills, passion, and a clear vision and ability to implement 21st Century Librarianship and Library Services in all aspects of Library Service. In addition, a thorough knowledge of:

  • the principles, practices and techniques of modern library operation;
  • current trends in the delivery of library services;
  • library and social media technology;
  • grant application;
  • integration of technological solutions for everyday challenges;
  • reference and research techniques;

the ability:

  • to maintain accurate records and statistics and complete reports;
  • exercise initiative and independent judgment;
  • establish and maintain effective working relationships with customers and all library staff;
  • communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.

Education and Experience
The successful candidate must have a Master’s degree in library science from an ALA accredited library school and public library experience. Demonstrated knowledge of technology and social media is expected.

Telling Our Stories – A Lifelong Resource

The Value of Public Libraries – Telling Our Stories – Video Initiative

Chatham-Kent Public Library is celebrating Ontario Seniors Month with the release of a very special video. This video features Una Miklos, a Blenheim Senior who describes the important role libraries have played in her life. The public library is a lifelong resource for members of the community. Chatham Kent Public Library staff will debut this video at the Municipal Council meeting on Monday, June 9  2014.

This video is part of a series that Chatham-Kent Public Library will be launching this year recognizing and celebrating all populations who use our resources and our space. Videos will be uploaded to the YouTube channel: The Value of Libraries – Telling Our Stories. Stay tuned for more great stories from our patrons!

Chatham-Kent Public Library invites community members to create and submit their own videos featuring stories about libraries making a difference in their lives and communities. This initiative will celebrate libraries as places to share and grow with others, to build communities, and make connections. The videos will provide testimonials as to the benefits libraries offer and raise the profile of libraries in our communities.

Chatham-Kent Public Library would like to help build a strong network of library supporters by gathering messages that can be shared and used by libraries and community members alike.

Report on US Visit & Broadband from Warren Cheetham

2013-09-24_1379982824Warren Cheetham’s  final report and presentation about his 2013 VALA Travel Scholarship to the USA, to investigate libraries and broadband internet, is now publicly available. The report was presented at the VALA Library conference in Melbourne earlier this year.
This page has links to the written report and a video of the conference presentation. The page linking to the paper seems to indicate that it’s not available yet, but scroll to the bottom and accept the terms and conditions to access the paper. The video link requires a name and email to register, but it should then play right away.
I was honored to host Warren for 16 hours when he arrived in the US and we had a lively conversation about his project and libraries around the #evening fire. If you are interested in his experiences and  insights touring the US – Champaign-Urbana, Chattanooga, Chicago & Washington DC – take a look at the paper and the video.
(Photo: Warren & I at Sleeping Bear Dunes, June 2013)

News: Outside the Lines

Outsideoutside the lines launches september 2014

Weeklong Celebration Gets Communities Thinking of Libraries 

in a Whole New Way

DENVER–April 14, 2014–Inspired by the urgent need to shift perceptions of libraries, a group of Colorado library marketers and directors have developed a bold, new campaign that reintroduces libraries to their communities and gets people thinking – and talking – about these organizations in a whole new way. Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration, Sept. 14-20, 2014, demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries.

Organizations of all types can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign during the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014, that:

  • Gets people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a different way
  • Showcases the library out in the community as well as in the library
  • Highlights how the library is relevant to people’s lives
  • Represents the organization’s local community
  • Is active versus passive – gets people engaged
  • Is extraordinary and unexpected
  • Most importantly, is fun!

Libraries can sign up to participate at They can also see a list of participating libraries and view videos that provide creative inspiration. To date, 40 libraries from across the U.S. and Canada have signed up to participate and will announce their Outside the Lines activities in the coming months.

The purpose of Outside the Lines is to reintroduce libraries to local communities by helping people understand how libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement, helping libraries better understand how to market themselves and share their stories, and providing a venue for libraries to work together to demonstrate their creativity and innovation.


Outside the Lines is an R-Squared initiative designed by Colorado library marketers and directors that gets libraries “walking the walk” – taking action to show our communities how important libraries are and how they’ve changed.

This celebration takes many of the concepts discussed at RSquared, The Risk & Reward Conference, such as creativity, customer curiosity, culture, community and creative spaces, and puts them into action where they count – in our local communities. Learn more at





Amber DeBerry, 303-688-7641

[email protected]


Stacie Ledden, 303-405-3286

[email protected]



Congrats to Jan Holmquist, 2014 Library Journal Mover and Shaker

Jan Holmquist’s nominators describe him as a “global librarian,” and it’s easy to see why. In addition to his current work as head of development for Denmark’s Guldborgsund libraries, Holmquist’s side projects tend to involve collaboration with librarians all over the world. He is engaged with ongoing international projects in Germany and the Read Watch Play Twitter reading group based in Australia. And in 2011 and 2012, he worked with librarians in the United States and the UK on the “Buy India a Library Project” and then built awareness of the program’s efforts with a presentation on crowdfunding for libraries at the Bibliothekartag conference in Hamburg, Germany.

Congrats to Jan Holmquist, who was just named a 2014 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal!

TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke: Congrats to Jan!  I’ve had the great pleasure of being connected with Jan via Twitter since 2010.  Jan’s tweets and writings inspired me from the start to be the best librarian I can be.  Jan is one of the most honest and sincere people I have ever met.  He is truly the “global librarian” whose thoughts and teachings are held to no international boundary.  Jan writes and shares from the heart.  I am proud to not only call him a colleague but a friend as well. 

Jan and Justin in Hamburg, Germany at the 2012 Bibliothekartag Library Confrernce
Jan and Justin in Hamburg, Germany at the 2012 Bibliothekartag Library Confrernce

 Michael Stephens: I’ve known Jan for many years and he’s been a welcome contributor to TTW. I will never forget a brilliant afternoon spent walking and talking with Jan  all over Helsinki at IFLA 2012. We had so much to discuss: libraries, learning, mobile devices, the future. It was then we decided to partner for research for the first iteration of the 23 Mobile Things program at his library. I am so impressed with his vision of staff exploring and playing with mobile apps as a means to experience what mobile tech offers to users and libraries. Jan was also an excellent choice to go a guest lecture on mobile technology for the #hyperlibMOOC and his innovative video playlist was well-received. (Look, a Moose!)

As Justin mentions above, I truly believe Jan is a perfect example of a humanistic, global librarian, one who embodies what Lawrence Clark Powell wrote about when he described “A good librarian is a librarian, a person with good health and warm heart, trained by study, and seasoned by experience to catalyze books and people.”  For Jan, I’d venture to say he’s helping to catalyze librarians, learners and everyone with the power of technology.

Jan and Michael in Helsinki
Jan and Michael in Helsinki

 Jan at TTW

Buy India a Library project

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor
23 Mobile Things

Embracing Creativity and Play at CityLibraries Townsville

Warren Cheetham writes:

I am very proud of this, because it’s taken a cultural change of about five years to allow something like this video to be produced.

How so?

Digital storytelling is relatively cheap and easy to do, using the tools that most people carry with them each day – tablets, digital cameras and smart phones. Encouraging staff to take time to play with those devices at work has taken a lot of encouragement and support. It was seen as something outside of the ‘real job’ and the idea of taking work time to play seemed a bit wrong.
The second part of the journey involves the wider organisation understanding the opportunities social media can offer, to engage with our community, and not just communicate one way, in a formal, corporate voice using media releases.

In a world where 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, the production of this video might not seem too significant, but for me, it represents the end of old ideas and methods, and the releasing of staff to embrace play and show creativity in their daily work.

And don’t miss this post about Makerspace “rules:’

Laptop & iPad Checkout Machine at SJCPL

Posted to Facebook via the South Bend Tribune:


Laptop and iPads have long been available for free in-library use at the St. Joe County Public Library, but now they’re available via these new vending machines in the lobby at the Main Library. Patrons must be at least 18 years old and have a county library card. Each laptop computer or iPad may be checked out for three hours for free. There is a $1 charge for each hour after that. Is this a service you think you’ll use?
South Bend Tribune photo