Stillwater librarian named President of state organization

MEDIA RELEASE • For Immediate Release

Twitter status: Stillwater librarian named President of state organization. #StwOk

sharlene stewart  l  lynda reynolds  r  Lynda Reynolds (right), director of the Stillwater Public Library, became the new president of the Oklahoma Library Association on July 1.

(STILLWATER, OKLA. / July 15, 2013) – The new president of the Oklahoma Library Association will begin her term by introducing her most successful local initiative to the statewide organization that serves nearly 800 public, school and university librarians.

Lynda Reynolds, director of the Stillwater Public Library, became the new president of the Oklahoma Library Association on July 1.  The librarian is planning a “One Book, One Association” program based on the “One Book, One Community” programs she has held in Stillwater.

“One of the most successful programs at the Stillwater Public Library has been our community reading events,” said Reynolds.  “The events brought together readers, non-readers and organizations from all over the community and resulted in solid, long lasting partnerships.  I plan to implement ‘One Book, One Association’ to achieve the same results in OLA.”

Reynolds hopes the program will foster a sense of inclusiveness within the organization and encourage non-members to join the association whose goal is to strengthen the quality of libraries and to keep its members at the cutting edge of their profession

“A strong library association is vital for residents throughout the state,” said Reynolds.  “OLA lets librarians connect with one another and learn from each other.  The stronger the connection, the more our communities benefit from each other’s librarians.  The result is a higher standard of quality in all our libraries.”

According to Reynolds, strong librarians are essential during this time of rapid advancement in technology which is changing the face of the traditional library.

“The role of librarians is stronger than it has ever been,” said Reynolds.  “Years ago communities struggled by not having enough information.  Today, people can easily get mountains of information, but too much of it is unreliable.  Well-trained librarians protect their users by teaching them to choose the best, not necessarily the most convenient, resources. Having unreliable information and no way to assess it is as bad as having no information at all.” 

Despite the advancements in technology, Reynolds says information is still inaccessible to a large portion of the population. 

“We are still very much helping people who either do not have digital equipment or are not trained to use it,” said Reynolds.  “Right now a librarian’s role is to find ways to use new technology and innovative ideas to deliver the best, most reliable and credible information to any person who needs it.”

The trustworthiness of librarians was on her mind when Reynolds chose the slogan for her presidential term.

“I chose “OLA Ring True” to stress the importance of librarians in our communities and how, as citizens, we need to trust what rings true,” said Reynolds.  “I also chose it to illustrate the need for librarians to ring their own bells and draw attention to how important our work is to our communities.”

Reynolds did not start her 25-year career planning to be the bell-ringer for the state’s librarians.  Newly married and having just graduated from OU with an anthropology degree, Reynolds was looking for a job when a full-time position opened up at the Norman Public Library.

“I applied for the position because I was not sure at the time what I wanted to do but I was excited about the idea of working at the public library that I had used as a child,” said Reynolds.  “A mentor there encouraged me to attend library school, and I’m grateful she did.  It’s an amazing time to be a librarian, and I’m proud to have the chance to lead some of the best.”

For more information about the Oklahoma Library Association, contact Reynolds at 405-372-3633 x101 or president@oklibs.org.

-30-