LART Bios: Rick Stoddart

Who are you?

I am the Chair of the Library Assessment Round Table, and the Assessment Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries and Press. Previously I was an Instruction and Reference Librarian at Boise State University where my liaison area was the Social Sciences. Prior to that, I was a Reference and Government Documents Coordinator at small college in rural Georgia. I received my library science degree from The University of Alabama. I also have a Masters degree in Communication Studies from there also. I am originally from California but I have lived in Montana, Colorado, and Kansas among other exotic locales. Currently I live in the “land of Airlie” which is a magical spot north of Corvallis and south of Monmouth.

What interests you about Library Assessment?

I am interested in telling the story of libraries and I think library assessment is one way to that. By finding out what your stakeholders value and articulating your libraries impact in those areas you create common ground. I see this common ground as one way to not only tell the story of the library in terms your stakeholder understand but also as way to build communities and strength relationship.

Where do you draw inspiration for being a librarian from?

I draw inspiration from my peers. We have some great librarians in Oregon. I also draw inspiration from our patrons and students. I guess ultimately, I think the whole ethos of being a librarian is pretty cool and we have role to play in making society a better place (cue bombastic inspirational music).

What are some cool things going on at your library right now?

Our Emerging Technology & Services department is building mobile apps that complement books being done by the OSU Press. We just rolled out our new strategic plan and I think this is going to push into doing some new things such as developing our own curriculum and building new spaces for our students.

Besides the library where you work, what is your favorite library and why?

We weren’t rich or anything, but my mother built a small library in my sister’s room when she moved out. I always liked that. I like the old Carnegie libraries — I just think they look cool. The library in Missoula and libraries in Wichita hold a dear place in my heart too for the services they provided me when I lived there. I like all the small community libraries in Oregon too.

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