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Libraries' student worker appointed to statewide task force

The Rutgers University Libraries congratulate Andrea Simzak, Mabel Smith Douglass Library information assistant, who was recently appointed by State Librarian Norma Blake to serve on the New Jersey State Library’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future.

The task force is charged with recommending how libraries can meet projected demographic changes that include serving groups of library users who are increasingly diverse and older. The task force will also explore other trends and how libraries can fully utilize technological advances to better serve the public.

"This is my first experience on a panel of this nature, and I am thrilled to be working with such dynamic and knowledgeable librarians," Simzak said. "I hope that our ideas will help New Jersey libraries to remain relevant in this current climate of change and initiate further thought about how they can continue to meet patron needs far into the future."

Simzak, a student in the Master's of Library and Information Science program at Rutgers, also currently works as a research assistant for the "Seeking synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives" grant project, an international research project that is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Over 50 New Jersey library professionals/students applied to participate on the task force, but the library had to limit its size to 26 members to keep it at a workable number. The task force will meet monthly through February and will submit a final report to the State Librarian that will ultimately be presented to the New Jersey Library Association Conference in April 2008.

The task force was conceived to follow up on the groundbreaking work of the Mid-Atlantic Library Futures Conference organized by a consortium of six state libraries from the mid-Atlantic region that took place at Atlantic City in May.

Posted October 24, 2007