from the State Librarian:
am very pleased to welcome
to the California State Library and our
library community in this great state.
Stacey and I, along with the rest of the
managers and staff at the California State
Library, are moving forward to create a
learning organization that provides great
customer service and promotes staff
development. Stacey will directly
manage both the Library Development
Services Bureau and the Information
Technology Bureau. I believe she has
very relevant experience in these areas
and can readily add value to library
operations and services. I will
continue to directly manage the State
Library Services Bureau, the California
Research Bureau and the Administrative
Services Bureau. Although it is
challenging in the state’s standard
chain of command environment, I know that
we will be successful in creating an
exciting leadership team and moving the
California State Library forward in the
Connection interview with Stacey Aldrich, new
Deputy State Librarian
do you see libraries fitting into our shifting
cultural landscape over the next 20 years?
State Librarian Stacey Aldrich
see the future as a fluid and dynamically changing
space, so I think that there are many possible
futures for libraries. There are bright futures
where libraries are valued community spaces for
learning and information. There are darker futures
where libraries are marginalized and in some
communities disappear. I believe every day we make
decisions that move us toward creating our future.
It’s imperative that we continue to analyze and
understand trends and patterns that affect the
role of the library in each of our communities.
Within a community’s library is the history and
memories of that community, so while we keep up
with technologies that change at the speed of
light, we can’t forget the human component that
informs our organizations. We must continue to
identify white spaces by developing services and
programs relevant to our many users. I think we
must be opportunistic.
am looking forward to creating the future with the
California library community. I think we have
opportunities to retool, redesign, and re-engage
our communities by designing programs and services
that not only meet user needs, but also surprise and
do you see Web 2.0 activities moving libraries
2.0 really refers to the growing number of
social/collaborative tools that are available and
popular on the web. I think the key for libraries
is to continuously learn, play with, and
understand how the tools are being used, and then
identify potential applications for new and
Although the rapid release of new tools can
be overwhelming, we need to create space within
our organizations to experiment with these tools.
libraries have started using blogging to provide
news and program information for their community
(check out Tulare
County Library in Visalia). Others have
created catalog search widgets that Facebook
users can put on their homepages. I’m sure
there are many California libraries that are doing
these kinds of projects.
think it would be great if we could create an
online California sandbox where we could highlight
emerging tools and brainstorm the possibilities.
about the gap that folks leave in library
organizations when they retire?
Is there really a problem in attracting
qualified candidates to the library profession?
New York Times
a good article called “A Hipper Crowd of
Shushers” this July [July 8, 2007].
I like that writer Kara Jesella
deconstructs the “nerdy” profession myth and
gives catchy examples of how today’s librarians
have a passion for “pop culture, activism, and
But another important point she makes is
that the “mass exodus” from our profession is
a myth too. Statistics
prove that library school enrollments have
actually increased over the past 10 years.
need to nurture people who are fresh out of
library school and bursting with ideas about the
integration of information and social
collaboration. We also need to be able to mash up
the experiences of established librarians with the
next generation in positive and exciting ways. The role of librarians is evolving, and we
must continue to identify the important niches
that we can fill in our communities.
organizations also need to be strategic about
developing future library leaders. We need to
nurture the staff that has a spark and passion for
what they do.
clearly enjoy considering the future. You worked
for a “futuring think-tank” in Washington
and you are a member of the Association
of Professional Futurists.
Can you explain to the layperson what a
is more than just a profession; it’s a way of
thinking, of seeing, the changes and fluxes
inherent to mankind.
After many years of practice, study, and
apprenticeship, futuring informs how I view human
culture, change, and achievement not only at work,
are probably most familiar with the pop and
commercial futurist, Faith
Popcorn who has been predicting fads and
trends since the eighties.
But futuring goes far beyond marketing and
Madison Avenue (though many Fortune 500 companies
have futurists embedded in their ranks).
Futuring is the method of analyzing, and
breaking down the ripple effect of change.
Futurists examine how one change can create
historical shifts in everything from business, to
law, to social mores, to family dynamics, to
a long way from Omaha to California.
How will you relate your personal
interests to your new life in
a pretty simple gal. I like thinking about
possible futures, reading lots of magazines,
shopping, gadgets, baseball, traveling, and
hanging out with my husband. Oh, and movies –
especially movies about the future such as Blade
Runner, Minority Report, Sixth Day, and It’s All
About Love. I think Sacramento, and California as
a whole, has so much to offer in terms of
opportunities to do all of these things. I look
forward to traveling and getting to know everyone!
really looking forward to more Northern California
weather - this summer I loved the dry heat and the
wonderful cool at night.
One thing is for sure, I won’t miss the
The temperature was 20 degrees below zero
for a month last winter.
When we ran from our library to the coffee
place across the street, our eyelashes froze in
the seconds it took to make the dash.
I’m also excited to experience California
was an Army brat, but grew up mostly on the east
coast where the seasons are wonderful but perhaps
not as subtle as they are here.