Since the Rev. Dr. David Dickinson was appointed as the first state librarian in 1870, he has had 15 successors (which means librarians serve an average of more than nine years). State Librarian Jo Budler took the job in 2010, and her negotiations to control the exploding administrative costs of ebook access earned her Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year award in 2013. Budler has since worked with libraries across the state to ensure that they have the resources they need, such as databases, ebooks and other research materials.
According to Budler, “The thing I love about my job here is you can look at what’s coming out in the library field and know the smallest libraries are not going to be able to afford this service.” She says it’s important to figure out what the State Library can do to address this problem: “How can we make it available statewide so that residents of the state, no matter where they live, have the best library service?” Considering the number of small, rural libraries in Kansas, our interlibrary loan system (which is paid for with federal funds) is essential for providing everyone in the state with the “best library service.”
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