New Mexico State Library

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Panel Discusses Future, Challenges Facing Libraries

On Saturday, Feb. 7, library professionals met for a panel discussion on the future of libraries at St. John’s College. Moderated by author, columnist, and radio host James McGrath Morris, the panel co-sponsored by St. John’s College and The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library brought together voices from a variety of institutions. The panelists were:

library panel
Photo credit: Santa Fe New Mexican
  • Michael Delello, Acting State Librarian and Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Cultural Affairs
  • Sarah Heartt, former Librarian, Santa Fe Public Schools
  • Patricia Hodapp, Director, Santa Fe Public Library
  • Tomas Jaehn, Archivist, New Mexico History Museum
  • Jennifer Sprague, Library Director, St. John’s College

Patricia Hopapp pointed out that libraries are the most democratic institutions left in the U.S. – and they continue to evolve to meet the needs of the digital age. The panel also discussed the changing role library staffs have had to fill – much different from directing people to the right book.

“It is very clear that the role of libraries has changed,” Mike Delello said. “Libraries are also job and social service centers. So the role of the librarian has become more and more difficult without a real recognition by policymakers of the new role of libraries in the digital world.”

Read more about the Future of Libraries panel in an article by Staci Matlock in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

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