Entrepreneur and librarian Jason Griffey (MSLS'04) has made a number of significant career moves over the past several years, and he has always been in the forefront on new and innovative processes to help libraries and their patrons. Selected in 2009 by the Library Journal for the "Trendspotters" category in its "Movers & Shakers" issue, Griffey has been and still is committed to open-source. He has a number of creative projects currently in process that incorporate open-source.
In 2012, Griffey initiated an open-source project called LibraryBox, a "portable digital file distribution tool" designed to connect locations with limited Internet connectivity with digital information. In April 2014, the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, which seeks to support innovative ideas enhancing community engagement, awarded a Foundation Prototype grant to Griffey to promote further development and expand the geographic distribution of LibraryBox.
Griffey, an alumnus of the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently made the decision to leave his position as associate professor and chief digital strategist for the library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to focus on working with a wider range of library types across the U.S. He has launched a new business called Evenly Distributed LLC to provide consultation to libraries in need of expertise in "technology planning, building projects and technology implementation, makerspace planning and strategic planning for new technologies."
"Working with the amazing faculty and students at UNC SILS gave me the foundation to make this move into a new career path,” said Griffey. “It's been a decade since I graduated, but I still count some of the relationships that I made in my time at SILS as key to my career. I don't think I would be nearly the open source advocate that I am without my time working with Paul Jones, and my early interest in writing and blogging was supported by a number of my classmates from the Class of '04. I'm really excited about this next stage of my career as a librarian - getting a chance to help libraries of all types move themselves forward."
In addition to his business ventures, Griffey continues to share his expertise with colleagues in the field of information and library science. Along with his books, Gadgets and Gizmos: Libraries and the Post PC Era, Mobile Technology and Libraries, Privacy and Freedom of Information in 21st Century Libraries and Library Blogging, he recently contributed a chapter entitled, "The Case for Open Hardware in Libraries," to Kenneth Varnum's new book The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide published in May 2014. He also wrote about 3D printing technologies and library decision-making for an issue of ALA Techsource's publication Library Technology Reports, published this summer. Finally, Griffey will serve as a panelist on the LITA Top Technology Trends presentation at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition 2014.
Libraries or groups interested in consultation or speaking engagements with Griffey should contact him through his Web site (http://evenlydistributed.net).