Q: What do you see as the major challenge(s) facing the Guilderland Public Library?
A: Our primary task is to continue the process of growing with changing times. In the last ten years, the world of information has changed probably more dramatically than at any time in human history. That any library remains vital and relevant through such a time period – and GPL has certainly done so – is a testament to great staff, great leadership, and patrons who are highly motivated to seek out information and entertainment. The challenge is to continue to ride this wave of change, without either falling off the surfboard or falling behind the wave’s crest.
Q: What are your goals as the library’s director?
A: To begin with, I hope to learn a lot about the library, the staff, and most importantly, the people of Guilderland. When I feel comfortable that I understand our community’s needs and desires for the library’s future, we can go from there. My biggest asset at the start is my ears.
Q: How can the Library stay relevant in an era of diminished “print” reading – when it seems everyone is always looking at their phones, tablets, or laptops?
A: Public libraries in our region have done a great job of showing up on peoples’ phones, laptops, and tablets! There are so many more ways to connect to information these days – and I would venture to say that many members of the community – including myself at this early point in my GPL career – don’t know all of the services, databases, and capabilities to which GPL offers access. Being an effective consumer of information requires a lot more than being a good user of the web. There are many rich layers of information that our community has access to through the library’s portals – both the physical doors of the building, and through the website and other internet resources.
Q: When someone walks into the Library in 10 or 15 years, will they see a facility dramatically different then it is now?
A: Absolutely. But who can say, at this moment, how different it will be? If we rewind 10 to 15 years, we would be lacking many of the capabilities we offer today. One great thing, though, is that the GPL works at many levels. Fifteen years from now, we will, I am confident, still have people checking out good old-fashioned books, including me. But I’m also sure we will be offering access to incredible technologies that at this point are only someone’s dream – or ideas on a drawing board. It is a very exciting time to be in the information business.