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Kenton Librarian Named Among "Movers & Shakers" in National Journal

Ann Schoenenberger of the Kenton County Public Library has been named a “Mover & Shaker” in the library industry by the national publication Library Journal.

In its March 15, 2017 issue, Library Journal named 52 outstanding professionals committed to providing excellent service and shaping the future of libraries. Ann was selected for her commitment to the profession and innovation in working with the community.

Ann currently serves as a Digital Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. As Digital Librarian, Ann oversees the Library’s e-newsletter, the library’s marketing segmentation program and chat services. Ann has also been using innovative technology to engage people who may not otherwise use the library.

This year’s class of 52 joins a group of talented professionals who are dedicated, innovative, and passionate about their service to the library and their community.

The STEM/STEAM movement, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, (arts), and math, has been steadily working its way through schools and libraries across the nation. From this movement, maker spaces have been developed. A maker space is a place where people of all ages can go to conduct hands-on activities and projects with a variety of traditional tools, such as a sewing machine, or by using more current digital technology such as a 3D printer.

Ann has worked to make strong partnerships with local web developers, tech companies and the maker community. She encouraged user groups to use the library and hosted Coder & Maker Club workshops on soldering, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Python and physical computing. Through the use of Coursera MOOCs and help from tech mentors, she offered a complete 12 week "Beginning Programming" course that evolved into a project-based learning experiment.

She has cultivated a relationship with Kenton County Public Schools. She has worked with school staff to develop a school media specialist and public librarian summit and idea exchange. As a result, the Library was able to provide over 700 library cards to one school so that they may use the Library’s online resources to enhance their studies.

Also an exhibiting artist, Ann spearheaded an effort to create a pilot community makerspace within the Hellmann Creative Center, part of the Center for Great Neighborhoods in Covington. This embedded Library project will work to develop resources and services with the groups served by the Hellmann Creative Center, the Westside neighborhood and Covington artists, community groups, youth and residents seeking to build creative and technical skills. Through open and free access to digital library content, technology, instruction, mentoring and collaborative projects, the makerspace will increase economic, creative and employment opportunities and strengthen the educational pipeline for Covington's emerging technology and arts corridors.

Nicole Frilling, the Library’s webmaster and Ann’s supervisor states, “Ann has a vision for the future that includes community building and creating community focused STEAM based technology partnership. Ann found connections that allowed the Library to reach out to new populations. She is driven to facilitate learning environments that empower, inspire and ultimately lead to happier, healthier and more economically successful individuals.”

Community partner Tiffany Vincent sums up Ann's abilities, "Ann is what I would consider the prototype for the 21st century librarian: She is thoroughly knowledgeable in all the new and up-and-coming technologies, but she's also not afraid to suggest cracking open a book to get the information you need. She's at the center of the maker movement in northern Kentucky.  One of her biggest skills is taking a room that ranges from absolute beginner to seasoned professional and making everyone feel like they're both contributing to the class and learning. That's a difficult line to walk when it comes to technology." 

The 2017 Movers & Shakers were selected by the editors of Library Journal. Each of the Movers & Shakers will be prominently featured in the March 15th issue of Library Journal and celebrated at a special reception in June during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Chicago, IL. The print feature’s companion website is sponsored by OCLC and available at http://libraryjournal.com/movers.

Ann is the second librarian from the Kenton County Public Library to be recognized as a “Mover & Shaker.” In 2012, librarian April Ritchie was recognized for her efforts in building a sister library program for libraries. This program pairs larger library systems in Kentucky with those smaller systems which do not have the same amount of expertise and resources.

-Staff report

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