Hello, and welcome!
I’m Gwen Exner.
If you’re looking for my C.V., it’s available on LinkedIn. If you just want a list of all my presentations, including links to all of the slides and supplementary materials from my various presentations, you can find that here.
If you’re looking for my latest blog entry, you can find it by clicking here.
If, however, you just want to know more about me, then right here is where you want to be.
The first thing that most people realize about me is that I’m a completely unrepentant geek. I love computers, I love books, I love numbers and organizing things and power and opportunities these tools give to people. This is probably what drew me to libraries from an early age, although it took marrying into a librarian family to get me an actual MLS.
Professionally, my philosophy is a slight variation on the basic one I was taught — I believe that libraries exist to meet the information needs of their users, which is to say the users that are considered most likely to patronize that particular library. Following that logic, librarians exist to help the library fulfill its reason for existing. Whether dealing with direct patron contact or behind-the-scenes work, every librarian should keep constant awareness of how their duties enable service. Even when being forced by budgetary or other concerns to cut services, librarians need to determine which cuts will result in the least detriment to the library’s purpose. When a librarian keeps in mind the greater purpose for their work even the most routine job retains its importance, and the overall atmosphere in the library becomes that much more user-friendly.
I took that philosophy with me into my work for the Psychometric Society, which in many ways is like a library. Like most scholarly societies it wants to provide everything possible for its members, but has a limited budget with which to do so. I understand that they tore through a number of potential employees before they asked a librarian for a recommendation, and the librarian in question recommended me. That was over 9 years ago, so it was obviously a pretty good fit! Publishing really is the flip side of the same coin as Serials, which I already had some experience with, and my more recent library work has shown me how very applicable the scholarly communication, project management, and other skills I’ve improved while working for the Society are to libraries.
Academically, my family moved a lot when I was a child, which resulted in the somewhat strange coincidence that I went to 2 kindergatens, 2 elementary schools, 2 jr. high schools, and 2 high schools (with 2 high school letters — 1 for drama from the 1st school, and 1 for academics from the 2nd one). Somehow I continued the pattern by attending getting 2 Bachelor’s and 2 Master’s degrees from 2 universities. I’m scared to even consider starting a PhD!
My main hobbies are reading, gaming, and filk. I enjoy crocheting (I couldn’t figure it out until I approached it as a topological exercise), gardening (my version of it involves sticking plants in the ground, burying a soaker hose, & pulling the tallest weeds once a month or so), and coding (100 little bugs in the code, 100 little bugs..take one out, compile it again, 101 little bugs in the code!).