Three iSchool alumni and a current student are included in Library Journal's 2020 class of Movers & Shakers, an annual list that recognizes fifty professionals who are transforming what it means to be a librarian. Thomas Padilla (MS '13) and Nicholas Weber (MS '10, PhD '15) were honored in the Digital Developers category; Haley Samuelson (MS '08) was honored in the Educators category; and MS/LIS student Edward Kristan was honored in the Community Builders category.
Padilla is interim head of Knowledge Production at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 2016, Padilla received an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant to document, build on, and share current and potential approaches to developing cultural heritage collections that support computationally driven research and teaching. Two years later, he was awarded a Mellon Foundation grant to further explore what it takes to develop and provide access to collections as data and what it takes to sustainably and ethically support their use.
Weber is an assistant professor and technical director of the Qualitative Data Repository in the Information School at the University of Washington. He is working to make social science research datasets—such as interviews, images, videos, and speech transcripts—easier to store, discover, and access. He is also cofounder of the open-source Council Data Project, which provides tools to make local government data easily searchable, and the nonprofit Seattle Civic User Testing group, a cooperative of technologists and UX researchers that organizes co-design sessions in public libraries and engages members of underrepresented minorities in testing and providing feedback on city apps.
Samuelson is a reference librarian for the Cook Memorial Public Library District in Libertyville, Illinois. She and her colleague, Nate Gass, started a class at the library to help patrons identify fake news. The class was so popular that they devoted an episode of the library's podcast to the topic. They presented a webinar at the Public Library Association Conference to share their work with other librarians. To prepare patrons for district elections, including school and library boards, village trustees, and ballot measures, they started the Be a Voter initiative, a pathfinder that describes the candidates and ballot measures and provides key resources as well as information on how to register to vote.
Kristan is safety and security supervisor for the Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee, Illinois. He has built relationships with public service staff as well as formerly "troublemaker" teens, people with mental health issues, and others. Suspensions are saved for serious infractions—using demeaning, foul, or abusive language directed at staff and other patrons, for instance, or vandalism. He tries hard to make the library a safe place for the staff and roughly 1,800 patrons who seek its services every day, without losing sight of its value as a "community center for any and all information needs."