ERIC Number: EJ701753
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-15
Reference Count: N/A
The Idea Generator: Lori Bell--Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, East Peoria
Library Journal, v129 n5 pS16 Mar 2004
Anyone who hires Loft Bell is getting two librarians: one who enthusiastically does the job, and another who develops new ideas, secures grants to fund them, and swiftly puts the ideas into action. There's nothing that makes a job more attractive to Bell than the freedom to try out new things. Jenny Levine, Internet development specialist at Illinois Suburban Library System, says that wherever Bell has gone, "Boom! Suddenly that library is doing exciting new projects. Bell's career has been remarkably eclectic. She's been a children's librarian, a reference librarian, an outreach librarian, a technology consultant for library systems, and a hospital librarian. The constant in all of this has been her love for working with new technologies and identifying and using these in whatever library system she happens to be in. As director of automation services at Alliance Library System, East Peoria, IL, she wrote $1 million worth of successful technology grants, helped 45 rural and small-town libraries connect to the Internet, and coordinated several collaborative digitization projects, including "Illinois Alive!" and "Early Illinois Women and Other Unsung Heroes." At the same time, she organized, and in many cases presented, 50 technology programs a year for member libraries. Bell also collaborated with academic libraries on one of the first 24/7 virtual reference projects. As a medical librarian at the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, Bell wrote a grant to put PDAs in the hands of the physicians, provide appropriate software and databases for the PDAs, and train the doctors. One offshoot of this project was the web log she created to share ideas with colleagues, The HandHeld Librarian. At the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center (MITBC), Bell is project leader for InfoEyes, a multistate virtual reference project for the visually impaired. She's made MITBC one of the first talking book centers in the country to offer digital audiobooks through Audible.com's Audible Otis. This tiny MP3-like player can be mailed to participants preloaded with up to three books of their choice.
Descriptors: Librarians, Library Services, Libraries, Information Technology, Outreach Programs, Grantsmanship, Assistive Technology, Library Networks, Recognition (Achievement)
Library Journal, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. Tel: 800-588-1030 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.libraryjournal.com.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois