May 18, 2009 – Lia Friedman, head of public services at the UC San Diego Arts Library, has been named a "2009 Mover & Shaker" by the Library Journal for her advocacy of "causes both artful and activist," and for "fighting injustice all the way down to the details."
Friedman was one of only 51 librarians in the U.S. recognized by the Library Journal for their achievements in transforming libraries across the nation. At UC San Diego, Friedman is the fourth librarian to be honored with the coveted "Mover & Shaker" nomination since the awards program was launched in 2002. Last year, Jim Cheng, head librarian for the University's International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS) Library was named a "Mover & Shaker" for his efforts in developing an unprecedented Asian film collection and festival and symposium series.
"It's really an honor to be recognized for things that I feel passionate about,
like promoting arts education, information literacy, and access to information for everyone," said Friedman. "I love our Library and am privileged to be part of this powerhouse of a team.
Friedman calls herself an "accidental librarian." She's directed film festivals, hosted a radio show, and ran a radio station. She's also produced records and promoted indie rock bands. While this may not sound like the perfect resumé for a budding librarian, this quirky blend of experience has endowed Friedman with a unique and innovative perspective as an arts outreach librarian. As the head of public services and instruction and outreach librarian for UC San Diego's Arts Library, Friedman teaches students and manages and coordinates popular Arts Library events like the annual Toy Piano Festival and Home Movie Day. She also oversees daily operations of the Library's public services and serves as Web editor for the Library's blog, as well as its public Web pages.
Although Friedman never expected to be teaching students about media and information literacy, she has found it both inspiring and fulfilling.
"I swore I would never be a teacher. I had been in too many classrooms where the students were sick with boredom and the teachers were frustrated and ineffectual. Quite frankly, it looked very hard," said Friedman. "But now, as an instructor, I absolutely love the possibility that I might have an impact on my students and the way they seek out information. It's just terrific to have students seek me out or stay after class to ask more questions or thank me."
In addition to her duties at the UCSD Arts Library, Friedman is involved in a collaboration called Radical Reference, which was created to support activism in the library world and break down barriers to information for all users, both onsite and virtual. Friedman is also currently working with Char Booth, a colleague at UC Berkeley, on an audio project called bibliovox, which will serve as a collaborative, user-built online forum for sharing stories about why libraries matter. The Web site, which is still under development , will explore what makes librarians want to be librarians, uncover the memories we have of libraries from our past, and examine what attracts patrons to libraries in the first place. Eventually, Friedman and Booth hope to establish an online archive of podcasts of opinions, reactions, memories, and predictions. The site will share simple recording strategies using free software and inexpensive equipment.
Friedman joined the UCSD Arts Library in 2006 after a 1-year stint as a research and music librarian for MSNBC/Universal, where she conducted research to support a variety of news and entertainment shows, including "Today," "Nightly News," and "Saturday Night Live." She also worked on a digitization project for the New Yorker magazine and was festival director for the Olympia Film Society. Friedman served as associate producer and web developer for a film production company, Wovie Studios, and worked as program director of KAOS Radio in Olympia, WA.
Friedman received her Master's in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in 2005, and her BA degree from the Evergreen State College in 2000. She is the coauthor (with Melissa Morrone) of "The Sidewalk Is Our Reference Desk: When Librarians Take To The Streets," which appeared in Refer and has been accepted for publication in IFLA Journal. She also wrote (with Char Booth), "Finding Your Inner Moxie," published in Library Journal in May 2008.
The UC San Diego Arts Library, which supports award-winning faculty research and teaching in Music, Theatre and Dance, Visual Arts, and Literature, has been a leader and early adopter in the development and delivery of digital reserves for image, audio, and moving image. As the first major contributor to ARTstor, a digital library developed to support scholarship in the arts and other disciplines, the Arts Library was the first academic library in the nation to digitize their entire slide collection. The Arts Library is also known for its outstanding contemporary music collections, especially its holdings in experimental and 20th century music, and its lively and novel arts events, including toy piano concerts and not-so-silent film festivals.
The UC San Diego Libraries, ranked among the top 25 public academic research libraries in the nation, play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions. The nine libraries that comprise the UCSD Library system provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge demands of scholars, students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 people stream through one of the university's nine libraries. The Libraries' vast resources and services are accessed more than 87,500 times each day via the UCSD Libraries' Web site.