SJSU iSchool Director Appointed to Advisory Group for Advancing Library Innovation


SJSU School of Information Director Sandra Hirsh was recently named as one of the 16 prominent information professionals who will advise and shape the work of the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries.

Two years ago, the American Library Association (ALA) formed the Center for the Future of Libraries, and on November 10, 2015, the organization announced the creation of a brand-new advisory group to “bring important thought leadership to the Center’s efforts and advance a new focus on innovation and library transformation.”

Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool), was named as one of the 16 prominent information professionals who will advise and shape the work of the Center for the Future of Libraries. “We have seen amazing transformations in information landscapes in the past 20 years,” Hirsh explained, “and although professionals in the field face new challenges, the opportunities for growth and innovation are really exciting.”

According to the ALA, advisory group members were selected “based on a high level of expertise, knowledge of emerging trends across the library environment, and commitment to library innovation.”  These particular skills are essential for the group which will help to ensure that “libraries, librarians, and library workers have the tools needed to create individual opportunity and community progress in a rapidly changing environment.” 

Hirsh has been actively involved in many professional associations, including serving as president of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and serving as councilor-at-large for the ALA’s International Relations Round Table. Her new book, Information Services Today: An Introduction, discusses the transformed environment of information services and the increasingly important role information organizations and professionals play in our global communities.  

Among the other leaders chosen for the advisory group is Toby Greenwalt, director of digital strategy and technology implementation at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, who, like Hirsh, gave a keynote address at the SJSU iSchool-sponsored open and online Library 2.015 Worldwide Virtual Conference on the future of libraries.

Hirsh noted that part of her excitement about the work of the advisory group comes from the chance to think about the evolution of libraries in the 21st century with other leaders and innovators. “I am honored to serve on the advisory group with other information professionals who are transforming what information organizations are and what they can do, and who are strategically planning for the way libraries will adapt to future change,” remarked Hirsh.   

More information on the Center for the Future of Libraries, and on Libraries Transform, the ALA’s current public awareness campaign, is available on the ALA website.