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What Library Network Managers Do - An Interview with Theresa Myrhol

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The 89 branch libraries of The New York Public Library are organized in six networks, which are managed from six hub libraries throughout the boroughs of Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Library Network Managers serve as public service managers and mentors and are responsible for overseeing staffing, training, budgets, programming and services for their multiple locations, as well as leading or participating in initiatives that support the mission of The New York Public Library.

Last month, NYPL News asked Seward Park Library Network Manager Theresa Myrhol a few questions about life at The New York Public Library and her role as a network manager.

Theresa started her career as a library trainee at NYPL’s New Dorp Branch in 1998. During her 11 years with NYPL, Theresa graduated with a Master in Library Science from the Pratt Institute, worked at several locations in a variety of capacities and received the 2006 Maher Stern Award for Excellence in Community Service. By the time she was promoted to Library Network Manager of the 17-branch Seward Park Hub in 2008, Theresa was managing the entire borough of Staten Island.

Q: What do you like best about NYPL?

I can sum it up in two words. Helping people. That is something that I have done from day one and continue to do today but from a different vantage point. Now I help others to better help the people.

Q: Tell us a little bit about what network managers do at NYPL?

The best part of being a network manager is that every day is unique. Time is spent working with library managers and their staff to assist with challenges as well as celebrate their successes. We also collaborate with other departments to support initiatives and brainstorm ideas for ways to better serve the public. It gives me great pride to know that through the knowledge and experience of working collaboratively with them I directly contribute to the goals and mission statement of the organization.

Q: What projects are you working on at the moment?

One exciting thing on the 2010 horizon is the opening of the Battery Park City library. This spring, we will be serving a community that once lacked a neighborhood branch and we look forward to learning and serving their diverse needs.

Q: What does it mean to be a librarian in the 21st century?

One has to think beyond the traditional four walls of the library. Embracing the opportunities that social networking brings is essential. It is a vehicle that fosters new relationships with users while strengthening existing partnerships. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and video will continue to shape and expand ways to share the wealth of information The New York Public Library has to offer.

Q: What books, movies or music are you looking forward to in 2010?

Worst Case by James Patterson
The Spy by Clive Cussler
Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief directed by Chris Columbus
David Bowie by David Bowie
Disintegration by The Cure

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