|CLA Elections 2014 - Misty Jones|
Misty Jones: Interim Director, San Diego Public Library
Statement of Concerns
I must confess that I am not one of those in our profession that always knew I wanted to be a librarian. I chose to get my MLIS because I thought I would get to work in a research institution or a museum and look up information all day. While in graduate school, I took a job at a public library and knew right away I had found my calling. Libraries are the great equalizer of our society and I consider it a privilege to be part of that. Libraries are more than just houses of information. We are community gathering places, technology hubs, think tanks, career centers and lifelines. We have the unique opportunity to constantly redefine ourselves and our mission and what could be more exciting than that?
I thrive on planning and creating new library programs and services, but my true passion is library advocacy. I created a Library Advocacy Committee for the Charleston County Library with the initial goals of restoring library funding and training all public service staff members in basic advocacy messages. As chair of this committee, I work with several others to constantly bring the library’s message to elected officials and other members of our community through our Libraries Out Loud movement. I also created a training program for staff. Upon my move to San Diego, I was invited to be a member of the California Library Association Legislative Committee and Advocacy Sub-Committee. As a member of this committee, I have worked to keep elected officials informed of issues important to libraries and to engage Friends, Trustees and Employees to tell their own library story. This year we all proved that advocacy works with the inclusion of funding for the CENIC initiative in the budget and the addition of $3 million more for libraries and literacy programs. It is vital that we take advantage of this momentum and keep reminding everyone of the invaluable role that libraries play and as President Elect, I will commit myself to ensuring CLA offers every library the support and resources needed to be their own best advocate.
I am currently serving as Interim Director for the San Diego Public Library. I have over 12 years progressively responsible experience in libraries and management, including Deputy Director for the San Diego Public Library and Manager of the Main Library for the Charleston County Library System. My experience covers all aspects of library management including strategic planning, community outreach and customer service, staff supervision, collections and facilities maintenance, grant writing and library advocacy.
Joining the San Diego Public Library in the last year of the New Central Library project required me to hit the ground running and quickly come up to speed to the needs and responsibilities of not only my position as Deputy Director but also the building project. I worked with the architects, construction team and City engineers to plan the final pieces of the project. I also led Library staff in a reorganization to better operate and serve the public in our new surroundings. I developed and wrote the IDEA Lab grant to focus on exposing teens to high end software and technology. This project has become a catalyst for the creation of similar spaces in branch libraries, a maker space at Central and select branches and a development of STEM based programming. I established strong and innovative partnerships with Mental Health Systems and San Diego Workforce Partnership to create two programs that are making a difference by connecting the public with valuable resources. I am currently working on expanding the Veterans Resource Center to the Central Library and developing a project with e3 exposing teens to 3G technologies and augmented reality. Someone once told me “don’t think outside of the box, realize there is no box” and I try to live by that.