Member of the Month

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Member of the Month

L.G. Swift
Regional Librarian Supervisor, Fort Worth Library

Professional experience
One could say that I began my library career from the ground up. I began as a page at the Fort Worth Library in 1967 while in high school. I was then hired at the Arlington Public Library (completed my BA at Texas Christian University and my MLS at Texas Woman’s University while at Arlington Public) and began as a clerk followed by the position of Library Assistant; and then I was selected as Outreach Librarian and later was promoted to Branch Manager. I transitioned to life after Arlington after 27 years of service. Next I returned to the Fort Worth Library as Branch Manager of the Shamblee Branch Library and worked simultaneously for the Watauga Public Library prior to being selected as Director of the Burleson Public Library. After almost 3 years, I then rejoined the staff at Fort Worth Library as Branch Manager, sequentially over the North Side Branch; the Summerglen Branch; and the Southwest Regional Library. Most recently I was selected as the Regional Librarian Supervisor over 5 units. During my assignment to the Summerglen Branch Library I was also selected as librarian for the First United Methodist Church of Denton.

Additionally, the Texas Library Association has been a key part of my career and professional experience. I have served as secretary, treasurer, co-chair and chair of District VII. I have served on a number of TLA Annual Conference panels beginning in 1977 and as recently as 2014. I have also worked on Local Arrangements Committees many times and have enjoyed every experience. I anticipate working on LAC in Austin in 2015. I continue to serve on the TLA Workforce Task Force committee. Every TLA experience has provided growth and opportunities.

Innovative library practices
The Worth Reading Program (#wr365), which began over a year ago at the Fort Worth Library, is truly innovative and inspires adults and youth to think about the joys of reading and seeking knowledge 365 days a year. The excitement this program has gathered across the city is incredible! Partnerships from major organizations and key city leaders including Mayor Betsy Price continue to make this program a success.

Additionally, partnerships have been the conduit for initiating innovative programs in libraries across Texas. Workforce partnerships have more recently allowed Texas libraries to begin programs to help those looking for jobs and has brought community organizations together to help financially and in-kind. The eSkills Library and Job Center in Fort Worth is one such library/workforce partnership which also includes partnerships with Tarrant County College; Tarrant Literacy Coalition; Friends of the Fort Worth Library; Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. The program is now going into its 4th year and class attendance has more than tripled. 

Favorite literary character or book
One book I have read and re-read over the years is Our Common Herd by Sue Sanders. I am captivated by history and particularly Texas history. This book discusses real life in Central and North Texas in the 1800’s and through the oil booms of the 1930’s. A great read if you can find it.

Most memorable TLA experience
I was selected to attend the 1995 TLA Tall Texans Leadership Development Institute. I would highly recommend members applying for this program who are mid-career and wish to connect with mentors and librarians across the state. It was an incredible experience! Tall Texans served to reinvigorate my career and the instructors and other institute attendees inspired me to focus on the path I wanted my library career to follow.

Created on Nov 1, 2011 | Last updated September 02, 2014