I have over 25 years of experience helping to transform library services with a focus on creating value and positive experiences for customers and community, while fostering a healthy and effective organizational climates. (See Full Resume)
Grounded in Emotional Intelligence and Strategic Thinking
As a leader, coach, speaker, facilitator, curriculum designer, and mentor my focus is on helping people and groups realize their potential through greater mindfulness, self-awareness, strategic action, and increased emotional intelligence. I help people and teams expand their states of resourcefulness (i.e. our perceptions of available options and strategies), and foster the development of emotionally intelligent thought, speech, and action which leads to positive and enriching results.
Current Position and Professional Involvement
I am the Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library, an urban library system comprised of a 240 thousand square foot downtown flagship location and seven busy community branches. I am responsible for financial management, identifying and implementing operational efficiencies, and evaluating library programs and processes. My responsibilities also include maintaining productive intergovernmental and community relations, strategic planning, promoting team-building, creating positive employee relations, planning and budgeting for all operational needs, and implementation of appropriate technologies in a public library environment.
I also offer my time pro bono serving on the Board of Directors of EveryLibrary, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit social welfare organization rooted in the values of access, inclusivity, and empowerment and chartered to build nationwide support for libraries everywhere. EveryLibrary is the first and only national organization dedicated exclusively to supporting community organization and political advocacy and action, at a local level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. We provide both tactical and operational support to local voter awareness campaigns, offer seed and sustaining monies to local ballot committees and PACs, as well as conduct direct voter advocacy in support of library taxing, bonding, and referendum.
My professional activities have included Chairing and co-facilitating the American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders program from 2009-2011 and serving as a planner/facilitator since its inception. I have done a three year stint as Secretary for ALA’s Learning Round Table (LearnRT), where I also served as membership chair and webmaster. I developed the Round Table’s first blog, a collaborative blog that addressed continuing education and staff development. On the state level I have served as Chair of the New Jersey Library Association’s Professional Development Committee, and have collaborated and worked on numerous state and regional committees and projects. On a regional level, I helped to found a local Toastmasters Chapter, and served two terms as President and two terms as Vice-President.
Previously, I served as the Associate Director for Public Services for the Salt Lake County Library where I oversaw eighteen branch libraries, a jail library, system-wide reference and information services, programming, and outreach. As a member of the executive management team I collaborated in guiding the overall direction, growth, and culture of the library and lead our strategic planning.
Prior to my position with Salt Lake County Library, I spent over three years as the Associate Director at the Princeton Public Library where I was involved in managing all aspects of the library’s day-to-day operations including collection development, technical services, coordination of services to children, teens and adults, and oversight of information technology.
In my previous role as Assistant Director and Program Manager of the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, I oversaw professional developmet for staff at over 630 libaries across South Jersey, and helped to create and grow numerous regional and statewide initiatives including a collaborative audiobook consortium, the installation of wireless Internet in more than 60 pubic libraries, and the creation and management of QandANJ.org, New Jersey’s 24/7 virtual reference service –the first 24/7 collaborative virtual reference service in the United States. Additionally, I was responsible for vendor relations and the negotiation of collaborative purchasing of electronic databases and services and statewide materials delivery for hundreds of libraries.
I am also a very experienced speaker, known for giving inspirational keynotes and highly engaging workshops. I helped create and subsequently served multiple terms as President and Vice-President of a Toastmasters chapter for librarians. I’d be happy to talk to other librarians who are interested in setting up their own local chapter.
I have been offering formal and informal personal coaching services (sometimes called life coaching, or executive coaching) since July, 2006. I am still learning how to do it, but seem to have a natural ability for it and enjoy it quite a bit. I received training on how to be an effective coach from one of the best — a former President of the NJ Coaches Association–through an IMLS Grant.
I believe that in any moment, each of us can choose to connect with our own vision for a preferred future and take responsibility for getting into action and exerting influence to achieve the desired goal.
I also believe that leadership is grounded in both social emotional intelligence, and effective leaders are deeply self-aware, authentic, and honest, and have the courage to act. I have a deep respect for the power of strong visions, healthy systems, and organizational cultures to align energies towards a positive goal.
I have been involved with library leadership, developing curricula, designing institutes, and serving formally and informally as a mentor and coach for over 20 years.
Some highlights of my work in leadership include:
- In 2013, 2016, and 2019 I co-facilitated a blended (online and in-person) leadership institute for the Oklahoma Library Association. This Institute was co-developed and facilitated with Dr. Sharon Morris of the Colorado State Library. This highly experiential Institute was built around the principles of Emotional and Social Intelligence.
- 2007-2011: I served on the Emerging Leaders Planning Committee, a select committee which is charged with instituting the Emerging Leaders program, securing funding, creating a sustainable structure and planning future programs.
- In October, 2007 I served as a Mentor for the Maryland Library Leadership Institute.
- In 2006/2007 I served as a Mentor to a group of ALA Emerging Leaders.
- In 2004 I participated in (and helped plan) the New Jersey Library Leadership Academy.
- In 2001 I was selected to attend a “recall” session of the Leadership Institute at Snowbird.
- In 1998 I had the honor of attending the Leadership Institute at Snowbird.
In addition to leadership, continuing education, and staff development, I have always been very interested in customer experience and the idea of “library as place“. These interests and ideas are often informed by my experience working at Nordstrom. Sometimes I blab about these and other topics at my blog. I have written about advocacy, as well as learning and staff development on the alalearning.org blog that I co-founded. (It is now defunct, but posts are archived here.) I also co-founded and was a lead author of the Library Garden blog.
For more information please see my full resume.