published Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Chattanooga Library director receives national honor

Corinne Hill, executive director of Chattanooga Public Library, has been named the 2014 Library Journal Librarian of the Year, a Library Journal honor that recognizes an individual credited with transforming their library and community, and the profession.

Hill, named a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” in 2004, was named executive director in 2012 after city-hired consultants June Garcia and Susan Kent concluded that every aspect of the central library and its four branches needed repair and improvement, according to a news release.

Since her hiring, Hill has introduced many successful programs, including the Gig Library Project, offering one-gigabit-per-second fiber Internet service to all of its residents and businesses and provides downloads of ebooks and other materials, the news release stated.

She also oversaw the transformation of 14,000 square feet on the Chattanooga Public Library's fourth floor that for years was used to store archives, decorative art, and extra furniture. The space now houses a laboratory and Maker space, full of cutting-edge equipment, including a high-resolution flatbed scanner and a 3D printer.

“In just over a year, Corinne Hill has turned her library into a vital hub of learning and experimentation,” said Rebecca T. Miller, Library Journal's editorial director, in the nrews release. “She did it first by connecting to Chattanooga as a place, and responding to the city’s ambitions as a tech center. And, she did it by pulling in great librarians, and then setting them free to make magic. In the meantime, Hill has created a model for other librarians to watch, delivering great traditional services as she and her team test the cutting edge of library service.”

Hill said she manages the library in the way "I had always wished I had been managed."

“Coming up in this field, you get so tired of hearing ‘No,’ or ‘Let me tell you why that is not going to work,’ or ‘We tried that years ago; it didn’t work,’ ” she said.

The award is celebrated in a cover story in the January issue of Library Journal and at a special reception during ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia.

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