December 1, 2021

Report: “A Librarian’s Death Left Her Life’s Work in Limbo. Here’s How It Found a New Home”

From an EdSurge Article by Rebecca Koenig:

How do you put a price on a free resource that serves low-income students? And how do you create a business model to keep that database going while protecting the privacy of the students who rely on it?

EdSurge asked those questions in August 2020 in a story about a college-scholarship database created by a beloved librarian named Gail Schlachter.

Containing nearly 30,000 financial-aid opportunities painstakingly researched over several decades, the database that powered the Reference Service Press book-publishing company faced an uncertain future when Schlachter died in 2015. Faithfully maintained by the librarian’s longtime friend, the database found a new home at an edtech startup, but the company’s leaders weren’t sure how best to use it while sustaining its open-access legacy.

“Where can this thing live digitally so that it’s out of one person’s hands and in the hands of everyone?” asked Drew Magliozzi, CEO and co-founder of the startup, which is now called Mainstay.

The EdSurge story led to an answer. After the article was published, leaders at companies and philanthropies contacted Magliozzi with ideas and offers for putting the scholarship database to use. One corporation offered six figures in cash for it. A nonprofit offered to help Mainstay turn it into a public-facing tool.

Learn More, Read the Complete (1206 Words)

See Also: Direct to Mainstay’s Website

See Also: Direct to the NSPA Exchange Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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