2012 Eureka Mentor: Jan Sanders
I currently work at the Pasadena Public Library, where I’ve been Director for 7 years. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that brings. In my career, I’ve worked in six states, most years as a director, although I started as a Children’s Librarian. I’ve never really figured out if I move around so much because I get bored with the status quo, or if I just can’t hold a job! I THINK it’s the former.
Before I got to California, I worked as Children’s Librarian in Missouri and at the Memphis/Shelby Co. (TN) PL; I was a community college librarian in Arkansas; managed one busy branch while building another for the Springfield Greene Co PL in Springfield, MO; managed the anchor branch for the Pioneer Library System in Oklahoma; then I moved to NE OK to direct the public library there; and was in Spokane WA as director before FINALLY landing in Pasadena.
I have always had a strong philosophy that any public library director worth her salt must know her community very well. To that end, I’ve always been active in community groups and events. Right now, I’m a member of Pasadena Rotary Club, am on the Vestry for All Saints’ Episcopal Church, am board member for Pasadena Museum of History, enjoy two book clubs, work with a group called the Executive Roundtable (it’s a gathering of non-profit CEO’s) and help lead a group called Pasadena: Community of Learning, which gathers all of us who are involved (no matter how marginally) in lifelong learning.
I’m also active in library organizations including Southern California Library Cooperative, CLA, ALA, PLA plus some random national committees. Professional membership and service is how you give back to the profession.
I want to be part of Eureka! because it’s a chance to observe and perhaps influence the developing library leaders of California. I surely don’t have all the answers, but I think I have experiences and philosophies to share. PLUS, it’s just a lot of FUN!
I have one lovely daughter (who just got married; ask to see photos) and one son-in-law, a brilliant film editor. They (luckily for me) live in Silver Lake. I have almost no free time (my choice) but when I do I like to go to movies, hike with friends, and generally hang out with good, interesting people.