07 May 2007

Changing of the Guard in Philly and Oxford

Making change in two very different but equally exciting ways, two librarians are stirring things up in two of my favorite places.

Fellow Smith alumna and incredible librarian, Sarah Thomas, has shattered "more than four centuries of English tradition" by taking over as head librarian at Oxford's Bodliean Library, one of the greatest libraries of the world. Any one who has sat under the dome of the Camera or in the dark of the lower reading room knows how incredible a place it is. Or imagine the tunnels and stacks lying beneath the streets of Oxford, crowded with all the books ever published in the Commonwealth. For librarians...the stuff that dreams are made on. For Smithies...another example of women on top!

In my home town of Philly, a very different kind of change. Elliot Shelkrot, President of the Free Library of Philadelphia , has resigned. Shelkrot has raised the Free Library up from the ashes during his 20 year tenure but it is his willingness to let the next generation of librarians enter into the leadership of the library that illustrates again his vision and commitment to the library. He will be missed a great deal by more people than he realizes.

Post Script: many thanks to my STAFF (you know who you are) for the research assistance.

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