Amy Eshleman

Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Planning and Partnerships, The Chicago Public Library

As Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Partnerships, Amy Eshleman is responsible for the implementation of long-range planning and the public/private collaborations and resource sharing partnerships of the 76 locations of the Chicago Public Library.  She was appointed to this newly created position in 2006.  Prior to 2006, she served as the Library’s Director of Development and Outreach.  Amy joined the Library in March, 1994.

Amy was responsible for the development and implementation of the Library’s most recent five-year strategic plan – Chicago Public Library 2010 and is leading the Library’s current strategic planning effort. Working with her colleagues at CPL, she developed programs such as One Book, One Chicago; Chicago Book Festival; the Kraft Great Kids program; Computer Smarts @ CPL and CyberNavigators. Amy is currently leading the CPL team in the creation, implementation and expansion of YOUmedia, the Library’s innovative space for teens that is a national model for interest-driven, participatory learning.

The 21st Century Public Library

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speaker: Amy Eshleman, Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Planning and Partnerships, The Chicago Public Library

Host: The Harold Washington Library Center
YOUmedia space
400 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605

In the last few years, many have suggested that libraries are no longer relevant, as books and information are increasingly available digitally.  However, the Chicago Public Library is more relevant than ever and a beacon in our neighborhoods.  How has the Chicago Public Library transformed itself into not only a quiet place to check out books, but an innovative and essential space in the community – where early literacy research is put into practice during storytime, where teens not only consume information but create and produce short films, create and perform music, perform spoken word and redesign games and where adults in every neighborhood use the resources of CPL to explore job possibilities.

The main focus of the morning will be the space we will be meeting in, the innovative, digital media space YOUmedia space at the Harold Washington Library Center.  The YOUmedia space is a collaboration between the CPL and Digital Youth Network and has helped inspire 30 new youth learning labs in libraries and museums across the country.  Amy Eshleman, Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Planning and Partnerships, will discuss how the dynamic space, which is a physical place at the main library and now three branch libraries as well as an online space, extends learning beyond formal learning environments and inspires collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and fun.  CPL’s YOUmedia space is helping re-define the purpose of libraries and museums to expand and become hubs for youth engagement, creativity and learning.