Member of the Month

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Bonnie JuergensBonnie Juergens
Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Amigos Library Services

Professional experience
The fact that I plan to retire in January 2017 indicates how difficult it is to keep a synopsis of my career brief, but here is my version:
I have served in two regional networks, both originally created to bring the benefits of shared automated cataloging to their members. This means I’ve been involved with library automation and library adaptation of information technology for over four decades. I’ve worked in public and academic libraries as an employee and a consultant, and in addition I’ve worked as a consultant to state and special libraries and to library automation vendors. I’ve had the great privilege to serve as the director of Amigos Library Services since 1989. As a result of my diverse work settings, I have worked with and learned from impressive, creative, caring, and very imaginative professionals over the course of my entire career. I am grateful to each of them. What a fantastic ride it’s been!

Innovative library practices
This is too huge a question for me to answer succinctly. I’ve seen them all!  From back when it was unheard of to offer leisure reading titles in an academic science library to today’s Pokémon Go initiatives, librarians continue to find new ways to engage, educate, and support their communities. I recently had a conversation with the director of a new and primarily electronic academic library who described the resounding success of her library’s introduction of game night. Who would’ve thunk that e-resource-based library users would respond so positively to an opportunity to spend an evening in the library playing old-fashioned board games and getting to know fellow students and library staff members face to face?  Libraries continue to bring “high touch” to the high tech audiences they serve – and they do it creatively and affordably.

Favorite book
Asking a librarian about a favorite literary character or book is like asking a mother to name her favorite child… so here is what comes immediately to mind: Doris Lessing’s Martha Quest is one of my all-time favorite characters. I read those books when I first moved to Texas and they are inexorably tied to my memories of starting my life here. A more recent favorite is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache from the Louise Penny series. Ask me at a different time and you’ll probably get a different answer. 

Most memorable TLA experience
Chairing the Task Force that created the TALL Texans leadership development program – that was some of the best work in which I’ve ever had the privilege to participate.

Created on May 31, 2016 | Last updated January 09, 2017