SILS alumna, Shari Laster, takes on national leadership role

March 28, 2012

The expertise of The University of Akron's University Libraries' Shari Laster (MSLS '07) in government information access and preservation has been recognized by peers throughout her field. Now she has been selected as chair of the Depository Library Council (DLC) to the Public Printer, beginning in June.

Laster, an assistant professor of bibliography and government documents and reference librarian in Research and Learning Services, was appointed to a three-year term on the 15-member council in 2010 by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Currently, she is the council's chair-elect, while James R. Jacobs, government documents librarian at Stanford University, serves as chair through May. The council advises the Public Printer of the United States on policy matters relating to the Federal Depository Library Program, of which UA has been a member since 1963.

Since joining UA in 2008, Laster's campus service has included the Faculty Advisory Council to President Luis Proenza and the steering committee for the University's reaccreditation process. Within University Libraries, she chairs the Government Documents Task Force and is a member of the Web Development Group. Laster earned an M.S. in Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. at Rice University.

Laster is active at the state and national levels in several professional organizations, including the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association. In her role as chair of the Depository Library Council, she will lead the council during the analysis phase of GPO's current state-level forecast project.

Safeguarding public access
"Right now, more than 1,200 libraries within the United States are committed to safeguarding the public's right to know by ensuring permanent no-fee public access to federal government information," says Laster. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to work with the GPO to strengthen the program and ensure its ongoing vitality through conversations held locally, within each state, and at the national level. I am committed to supporting the inclusiveness of these conversations, so that depository coordinators from libraries of all sizes and types, in every part of the United States, and with every level of funding and staffing, will have the opportunity to be heard and considered."

"Ms. Laster has the knowledge, commitment and skills … to provide the DLC with a well-rounded background that will be an asset in the GPO’s State Forecast Project," says Davita Vance-Cooks, the Acting Public Printer. "Congratulations to Ms. Laster on being elected by her Depository Library Council colleagues to serve in this important role."

Adapted news release and photo courtesy of The University of Akron.