Library Issues Personal

Movers & Shakers 2009

I am overjoyed to be included in the Library Journal 2009 list of Movers & Shakers. More important than being on the list, for me, is the incredible set of other people that are on the list. To be included in any list, anywhere, with:

  • Sarah Houghton-Jan
  • Chad Boeninger
  • Michael Porter
  • Lauren Pressley
  • Pam Sessoms
  • Jaap Van De Geer
  • Geert Van Den Boogaard
  • Erik Boekesteijn
  • Jenica Rogers-Urbanek
  • Dorothea Salo
  • and, of course, Karen Coombs

Wow. I am thrilled and a bit overwhelmed. I’m desperately looking forward to reading up on those people on the list that I don’t know…

I have one bit of a correction: in the article, it says “Their commitment to sharing information about cutting-edge technology led to LITA BIGWIG.” That’s not actually true, unless they left out the word “them” between “led” and “to.” BIGWIG is the original brain-child of Karen Schneider and Clara Ruttenberg. They decided that it was time for LITA to focus on blogs and wikis as a part of the organizational structure back in 2005 or so, and BIGWIG was instantiated under their oversight. It was, however, Karen, Michelle, and myself that moved it into the sort of tech breeding ground that it has become. The next overseers will, hopefully change it as appropriate for the times and needs of the organization.

In any case: I am thrilled, and thanks to anyone and everyone who recommended me for this honor. Now to cross my fingers for that Shovers & Makers award…

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

8 replies on “Movers & Shakers 2009”

Jason, thanks for commenting on your blog and I’m sorry I didn’t wait a week or so to raise this — my timing was poor.

I’ll write later about the early history of BIGWIG so it is well-documented. There were more than two of us — it was a group of folks who got BIGWIG launched despite a lot of pushback from LITA, and even before the Social Software Showcase it was something entirely different. Even starting the blog was in retrospect hilariously challenging. “Who would want that? Why do we need that?” etc. I can go back to the message traffic from that period and laugh myself silly. Plus there were crucial moments where BIGWIG itself faced major challenges. We scared folks.

Quite a bit of innovative work has been done behind scenes in our profession. In fact, if you want my take on who should be a M&S, it would be Janet Swan Hill, who led the Task Force on Electronic Meeting Participation through a minefield… and nobody was harmed and ALA, because of her leadership, will change in significant ways. Maybe we need a new award, Older But With More Insurance, for some of the tough un-shiny work that nonetheless yields powerful change.

But you and Karen C. (and others) have done an excellent job with the Social Software Showcase and you well deserve recognition for your efforts with this specific BIGWIG initiative.

Congratulations to you and Karen – well-deserved recognition for putting yourselves into challenges and then delivering quality work.

Correction made on the article page and my apologies for the error to Karen et al. Of course, we (Library Journal) know the history of BIGWIG. And congrats to Jason, Karen C and all the other LJ 2009 Movers. Jason, I hope you get your wish to make that other list, too.

Karen, I would LOVE to hear your take on the early start of BIGWIG. I was in early (I’m actually like user #2 or 3 on LITABlog) but I’m sure there was a TON of work behind the scenes to even get to that point.

Francine: Thanks SO MUCH for the quick change. You guys at LJ rock, and I’ve always been thrilled to work with you.

Thanks, Francine, much appreciated. Jason, let the glow stay focused on you for a while — the Social Software Showcase is really interesting and frankly, there was a lot more behind THOSE scenes — as I well remember. 🙂 Tell us more about it! Why not include… what didn’t work the way you thought it would? What was a surprising success? What outcomes did you have that you didn’t anticipate?

Congratulations, Jason! I’m not at all surprised to see you on this list, and you deserve the honor. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your expertise. You’ve sure helped me out a lot over the past few years.

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