SILS alumnus Jason Griffey named Harvard Berkman Center fellow

September 8, 2015

Jason Griffey (MSLS'04), an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS), was recently named a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Berkman Center faculty, fellows, students, and associates engage with a wide spectrum of Internet issues, including governance, privacy, intellectual property, antitrust, content control, and electronic commerce. SILS assistant professor Zeynep Tufekci is a former fellow and faculty associate at the Center. Fellowship terms typically run the course of the academic year, and fellows primarily work in Cambridge, Mass., alongside Berkman faculty and staff in a vibrant research community.

Griffey is a librarian, technologist, and founder/principal at Evenly Distributed LLC, which provides consultation to libraries in need of expertise in strategic technology planning and building projects. As a Berkman Center fellow, he will explore communities' engagement with open, inexpensive hyperlocal digital networks, with special emphasis on bridging inequality of information access.

“I’m most excited about connecting with the people associated with the Berkman Center, and by extension the library community in the Boston area,” Griffey said. “Berkman has a history of supporting the mission of libraries, but I’m really excited about the opportunity to spread the word about the amazing work that libraries are doing and make connections between them and the other fellows. I’m also looking forward to finding people to collaborate with on my own project, and see what new voices and minds can bring to it.”

Since graduating from SILS, Griffey’s career path has kept him on the forefront of new and innovative processes to help libraries and their patrons.  He was selected by the Library Journal in 2009 for the "Trendspotters" category in its "Movers & Shakers" issue. 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. He received a Foundation Prototype grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation in April 2014 to help further develop and expand the geographic distribution of LibraryBox. 

Griffey was one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries grant in January 2015 to help launch the Measure the Future Project, which will develop and distribute open source code and hardware that will provide actionable statistics about the use of the physical spaces in the library.

Prior to founding Evenly Distributed, Griffey was an associate professor and chief digital strategist for the library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He served as the primary lead on technology planning for the University's new $48-million, 180,000-square-foot academic library. He has written two books and contributed to numerous publications on the topic of library technology.

Griffey said earning his MSLS at SILS gave him the latitude to explore a wide range of subjects, while ensuring he developed a strong grasp of library science fundamentals.  

“The importance of a breadth of education is so key in the current library climate, as it allows librarians to be agile in their response to the changes in the profession,” he said. “A good understanding of the theory, a grounding in technology, and experience in one of the amazing libraries on campus, and I had a great baseline from which to grow the rest of my career.”

Libraries or groups interested in consultation or speaking engagements with Griffey should contact him through his Web site http://evenlydistributed.net. You can also follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/griffey.