Jo Budler: LJ’s 2013 Librarian of the Year
It was a seismic move in the struggle to create a workable ebook access model for the users of America’s libraries. It was engineered by Joanne (Jo) Budler, the Kansas State Librarian, when she realized that an initial proposal in 2010 to renew the Kansas State Library (KSL) contract with OverDrive would increase administrative costs by some 700 percent over the next few years, as the state ebook deal was being restructured. Despite the risk of disrupting and even losing access to ebooks for the users of Kansas libraries, Budler rejected more than one proposal from OverDrive for a new contract until a year ago when she won the right to transfer titles from OverDrive to a new platform. The dispute set off a long (and public) national examination of library service agreements.
Budler worked closely with Kansas Deputy Attorney General Jeff Chanay, whose expertise helped KSL struggle through the complex copyright and ownership issues built into the original state ebook platform contract.
Budler’s ongoing efforts in the ebook battles and her work as chair of the Ebook Task Force of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), in addition to her significant local contributions in the state of Kansas, made clear a picture of Budler as an extremely effective library leader and LJ Editors’ choice for Librarian of the Year 2013.