DUBLIN, Ohio, June 12, 2008—Marilyn Gell Mason, Founder and Executive Director of WebJunction, has announced she will retire effective September 1 after serving in several prominent leadership roles in public libraries and for OCLC. She will continue to work as an advisor for WebJunction, the online community where library staff come together to connect, create and learn.
Ms. Mason has also served as a special advisor to the President of OCLC and was a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees for 13 years.
"Marilyn Mason has been a tireless advocate for public libraries," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO, announcing the retirement. "OCLC and the library community have benefitted from her experience, guidance and leadership, and we will continue to seek her counsel as we build on her achievements."
As Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Mason helped establish WebJunction in 2002 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The online community now has close to 90,000 unique visitors a month.
"It has been my great good fortune to work with extraordinary colleagues to bring WebJunction from the merest hint of an idea seven years ago to the rich online community that it is today," said Ms. Mason. "As we prepare to launch our new and improved version of WebJunction later this summer, I am confident that our talented and committed staff will continue to provide members of the library community with content, courses and communities that support their efforts to improve our libraries. Many thanks to the Gates Foundation for providing the insight, encouragement and financial support needed to create this powerful tool."
On May 12, 2003, the WebJunction community launched with a celebration at the Library of Congress. Over the last five years, the community has grown to more than 30,000 registered members, shared over 20,000 pieces of content and collaborated in 30,000 discussions.
"Marilyn recognized early the potential of an online community that could help libraries and librarians communicate and learn," said George Needham, Vice President, OCLC Member Services. "Her vision has been the guiding force behind the creation and success of WebJunction."
Previously, Ms. Mason was Director of the Cleveland Public Library and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. She also served as the Director of the First White House Conference on Library and Information Services in 1979-1980 and was appointed by President Clinton to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science in 1999.
Ms. Mason has served on numerous national and international committees including the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Board of Trustees. She has directed research and management consulting projects and has published widely in the areas of strategic management, and the integration of print and electronic information.
WebJunction celebrated its fifth anniversary with the launch of a new logo, information about an upcoming site refresh and reflections on the past five years. More information on what’s ahead for WebJunction can be found here: http://webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=20175
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 60,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.