Voices from the Field

Important Note: The Voices from the Field conversations are low-tech recordings of conversations that are frequently done on-the-fly by iSchool faculty and staff using whatever recording technology happens to be available at the moment—sometimes a recorded Skype telephone conversation, sometimes a hand-held digital recorder at a conference. So, we don't promise you studio quality production values but we do promise you interesting conversations and valuable points of view.

All recordings are in MP3 format and will stream when you click the links below. However, if there are unacceptable pauses in the recording due to network traffic, right-click the links below and download the file first and then launch from your local machine. Note that the interviews are 25 to 40 minutes in length with resulting large MP3 files.


Susan Hildreth

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
City Librarian,
The Seattle Public Library

Interview (MP3)—17 November 2009 [Duration: 27:52]

Susan Hildreth oversaw The Seattle Public Library, which includes the world-renowned Central Library, 26 new and expanded branches and a Mobile Services division. The Library operates on a $50 million budget and has approximately 700 staff members. The busy system served more than 13 million visitors last year and circulated more than 11 million books and materials - a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

Hildreth is the former state librarian of California, where she managed a $70 million budget supporting California libraries and cultural institutions.

Before her 2004 appointment by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hildreth was city librarian of San Francisco, overseeing an annual operating budget of more than $58 million and a $130 million building program.

Hildreth was president of the Public Library Association and served on its board of directors. She was an elected member of the council that governs the American Library Association. She was a longtime member of the California Library Association and served as its president and treasurer.

Hildreth graduated cum laude from Syracuse University and holds a master's degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany and a master's degree in business from Rutgers University.

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Georgia Lomax

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
Deputy Director ,
Pierce County Library System

Interview (MP3)—08 December 2009 [Duration: 37:00]

Georgia Lomax is Deputy Director of the Pierce County (WA) Library System. In previous library lives, she has been Director of the Miles City (MT) Public Library, Director of the Flathead County (MT) Library System and a Managing Librarian with the King County Library System.

She began her adventure in libraries as a volunteer during Junior High (her specialty was shelf reading picture books), then became a page at the King County Library System and later a library assistant working in branches and in the Traveling Library Center serving the homebound.

Her boss eventually posed the question: “Have you considered a career in libraries?” After graduating with a degree in journalism from Washington State University, she went on to obtain her MLS from the University of Washington iSchool.

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Marilyn Gell Mason

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
Former Executive Director,

Interview (MP3)—08 December 2009 [Duration: 26:27]

Marilyn Mason recently retired as Founder and Executive Director of WebJunction.

Previously she was Director of the Cleveland Public Library and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. She also served as the Director of the First White House Conference on Library and Information Services from 1979 to 1980 and was appointed by President Clinton to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science in 1999.

Mason is a frequent contributor to the professional press and is a regular speaker at national and international meetings, conferences and seminars. Mason received a bachelor's degree from the University of Dallas, a Master of Library Science from North Texas State University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.

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Betty Mayfield

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
Library Director,
Vulcan Inc.

Interview (MP3)—02 November 2009 [Duration: 39:40]

Betty Mayfield has been responsible for managing all aspects of the personal and corporate book, archival and media collections for the Allen family since 1991. Library collections include personal archives, oral histories, book and print materials as well as a significant audio and video collection. Digital access and preservation of the media collection, design of library software, along with traditional online catalog access to the collection are a main goal of the library department.

Prior to working at Vulcan, Betty was a library consultant and has worked in corporate libraries in Canada, Australia and the United States. Betty was a recent board member for the Friends of the University of Washington Libraries. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of Calgary and an M.L.S. from the University of British Columbia.

Vulcan Inc. is a Seattle-based company owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen. The company oversees Allen's philanthropic efforts and business interests, including investments in biotechnology, aerospace and real estate. The company is run by Allen's sister, CEO Jo Allen Patton.

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Jim Scheppke

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
State Librarian,
Oregon State Librarian

Interview (MP3)—12 December 2009 [Duration: 37:49]

Jim Scheppke has worked at the Oregon State Library since 1986 and was named the State Librarian of Oregon in 1991. Prior to that, he worked at the Texas State Library and in the West Texas Library System. He was as an independent bookseller before becoming a librarian.

Scheppke has served as president of the Oregon Library Association and of the Western Council of State Libraries, and has written numerous articles for professional library publications. He was named Oregon Library Association Librarian of the Year in 1996 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Association of School Libraries in 2001.

He earned his Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Aaron Schmidt

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
Digital Initiatives Librarian,
District of Columbia Public Library

Interview (MP3)—11 December 2009 [Duration: 39:49]

Aaron Schmidt has been a circulation clerk, reference librarian, and library director. Shortly after completing his MLIS at Dominican University, Schmidt saw the potential of applying new media technology to libraries and launched successful programs at his suburban Chicago public library.

Helping the library connect to its community through things such as instant messaging, weblogs and social software led to Schmidt publishing articles in Library Journal, School Library Journal, Library High Tech News, Online, and others. He has presented on the topic of library technology and usability throughout the United States, and in Canada, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain. In 2005, Schmidt was named a Library Journal "Mover & Shaker."

Schmidt moved to Portland in 2006 and became the director of a nearby public library. He helped the library grow and gain full membership in the Washington County Cooperative. During this time he continued to write, give presentations and workshops, and consult for other libraries.

Currently he is the Digital Initiatives Librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library. He helps plan forward-thinking, fun projects for the library, helping them connect to the community and teaching them about the Read/Write Web. He also assists with Web site visioning, conducts usability testing, leads the library's Library 2.0 Interest Group and helps coordinate and generate ideas for the library's digital research and development project called DC Library Labs.

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Lucia Schubert

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
Mercer Island High School

Interview (MP3)—11 December 2009 [Duration: 36:58]

Lucia Schubert is the librarian at Mercer Island High School, a position she has held for the last 15 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and a master’s degree with honors in Library Science in 1982, both from the University of Washington.

She is passionate about enabling students to be effective users of information and ideas and appreciative readers of literature. The world of teenagers, books and computers is her idea of heaven!

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Alex Wade

—MLIS Advisory Board Member
Director for Scholarly Communication,
Microsoft Corporation

Interview (MP3)—05 November 2009 [Duration: 25:58]

Alex Wade is Director for Scholarly Communication within Microsoft's External Research division, where he oversees several projects related to researcher productivity tools, semantic information capture and the interoperability of information systems. Wade holds a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Librarianship degree from the University of Washington.

During his career at Microsoft, Alex has managed the corporate search and taxonomy management services; has shipped a SharePoint-based document and workflow management solution for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance; and served as Senior Program Manager for Windows Search.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Alex held Systems Librarian, Engineering Librarian, and Philosophy Librarian, and technical library positions at the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley.

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Last updated: Thursday, 31-Mar-2011 09:25:01 PDT
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