Three Female Librarians Changing the Industry | Company InFocus
The three women below are inspiring and admirable, each in their own right. These three women are all devout technologists who are keeping a finger on the pulse of the library industry increasingly shifting to digital.
Each woman gives a new definition to the term “librarian,” as well, thinking more about big-picture and world-changing ideas and concepts than day-to-day organization and inventory.
These women are sure to impress you and give you a new perspective when considering the library industry. Read on to learn more about Erica Olsen Firment, Jessamyn Charity West, and Riti Grover, some of the most influential female librarians as of late.
Erica Olsen Firment
Erica Olsen Firment was born in Flint, Michigan but now calls San Francisco, California home. She is a mom and wife with more than 15 years of professional experience.
As a “librarian by ethnicity,” Erica runs the Librarian Avengers website, where she lets her quirky, unique personality and lifestyle show. Don’t forget that she’s also wildly intelligent and skilled, as evidenced by her attendance at Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Michigan.
Erica is a UX Designer by profession, and she claims that being a librarian is her religion. Her blog caters to fellow librarians often, but because she is not employed as a librarian in the traditional sense of the word, she is breaking the boundaries of what it means to be a librarian.
She herself says, “Librarians bring order to chaos, and so, with a little luck, do I.” She’s referencing her work doing IA & Concepts, Visual Design, Brand Identity, and Interaction Design as a UX Designer. By accomplishing each of these, she truly does bring order to chaos.
Jessamyn Charity West
Jessamyn Charity West was born in Concord, Massachusetts but now calls Randolph, Vermont home. She is a librarian with a penchant for teaching technological literacy and also the daughter of Tom West, the computer engineer, and technologist.
Jessamyn’s father clearly passed on his intense skill and knowledge of the tech world because Jessamyn is actively involved in computer literacy and what she calls “the digital divide.” She likes to write about how small, rural libraries can utilize technology to serve their patrons better.
She claims, “I can teach anyone to use a computer.” Because of this vast knowledge of computers and digitized information, Jessamyn heavily influences and changes the library industry to be more digital.
With Jessamyn’s master's in librarianship, she is well-versed in libraries as a whole. She runs multiple blogs, but her blog with a librarian focus is Librarian.net. She commonly posts an Ask The Librarian series where she answers FAQs that she has received recently due to her status as a very-online librarian.
Library Journal, an American trade publication written by and for librarians, named Jessamyn a Mover and Shaker of the library world back in 2002. She has not relented in her awe-inspiring effects on the library world since then, either.
By combining her two great loves and talents of technology and libraries, Jessamyn is changing the way the library industry operates.
Riti Grover calls Farmington Hills, Michigan home, and she is active in and loved by her community there.
She was, until recently, the Library Director of Farmington Community Library, where she changed the landscape of the community library with her vision and knowledge. She is a highly influential and interesting person with many years of experience in librarianship.
Her master’s in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University helps her to have deep practical knowledge and understanding of librarianship that she has brought with her to numerous public libraries.
Her own website states that she “specializes in establishing public libraries, assessing library services, and upgrading them with the latest innovation to ensure they meet today’s demand for community, library facilities, and promotion of knowledge.” Riti has indeed been dedicated to upgrading public libraries whenever and wherever possible, as she has a long resume complete with each library she has helped improve throughout her career.
Riti knows the world is changing rapidly, with digital and technological advancements looking almost exponential over the last couple of decades. This is why she has pioneered the way for libraries and librarian communities to modernize and digitize their processes.
A true innovator and strategist, Riti is a role model for the next generation of public libraries and their leaders to engage with and learn about successfully and efficiently running a public library.
Riti’s work all over the country to update, modernize, digitize, and improve public libraries is making a huge positive impact on all of our community libraries. Her work and the change she’s affected are some of the most influential to date. Because of her, communities are thriving, and libraries are evolving.