As our Principal Librarian/Strategist, Gretchen Freeman provides Tech Logic with the kinds of irreplaceable insights that only a librarian can bring—drawing from more than 40 years of experience implementing technology for libraries and library partners. Formerly, while serving as the Associate Director for Technology at Salt Lake County Library, Gretchen led the library’s IT organization (21 libraries) in a comprehensive RFID conversion and an implementation of Tech Logic solutions throughout the library. Under her leadership, Salt Lake County Library reached achievements like 97% self-checkout adoption.
Gretchen joined the Tech Logic team in 2015 and continues to help libraries automate their workflows so that they can focus on connecting with patrons. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions for Gretchen about library technology and workflow in your unique space.
To help us get to know Gretchen, we asked her a few questions:
Gretchen: I would summarize my work with Tech Logic in the following three ways:
Gretchen: My background is unique in that I have spent considerable portions of my career as a librarian alternating between library and vendor environments. In my years working at Dynix, I created and grew its first Customer Service division and also served as the company liaison to the expanding user group. This experience of being a liaison between libraries and their technology provider helped me understand the perspectives of both. My experience also gave me a deep understanding of Integrated Library System (ILS) software development, which helps me envision solutions to library technology challenges.
My tenure at Salt Lake County Library overseeing a large IT organization gave me an appreciation for the technology environment surrounding and integrating with the ILS. I also gained an understanding of the larger political ecosystem in which libraries operate. I grew the IT organization there to support a busy multi-branch urban library system deploying numerous technology solutions. It offered valuable insights into the complexities of IT project implementations and the “ripple effects” of new workflows throughout the system.
Gretchen: My first large-scale assignment at Salt Lake County Library was to procure and implement RFID and self-checkout starting in 2005. Because of building and remodeling projects, the RFID implementation lasted five years and also came to include security gates, automated materials handling systems, and shelf-management using staffCIRC TRAK. Tech Logic partnered with us to make sure we were taking advantage of the capabilities of each solution—achieving 97% self-checkout adoption, developing the new AV X-range overlay tag, earning 98% customer satisfaction with AMH, and using staffCIRC TRAK to implement a totally new way for real-time exceptions scanning. As a result, I often consulted with other libraries who were starting the same journey with similar process and workflow changes.
When my husband and I made the decision to finish our work lives in Utah and move to the Pacific Northwest, Gary Kirk, Tech Logic’s President, called to ask if I might be interested in continuing that library consulting work. I agreed because I believed it had value for the company and its customers. Today, RFID has passed the tipping point to become a tried-and-true library technology solution—one that I enthusiastically endorse!
Gretchen: I would summarize Tech Logic’s unique differences with the following:
Gretchen: Libraries empower their communities in ways like the following:
I believe that libraries will contribute even more to community learning initiatives in a post-pandemic world of alternatives to classroom experiences. I believe that libraries will be an even larger part of a community’s safety net to identify and refer patrons who are facing a variety of economic, mental, or physical health issues. I believe libraries will embrace serving a growing diversity of patrons speaking multiple languages. Finally, I believe that training for librarians and library staff will expand far beyond their expertise in library materials and services. Library staff will be trained as advocates for a vital institution in politically charged environments.
Gretchen: I’ve been working in library technology for so long that I remember microfiche catalogs and my library’s first Apple-2E computer! When we implemented an early Dynix ILS in 1985, I was hooked on its power to entirely change how the library operated. I loved designing new workflows with staff and new services for patrons—and I still do.
My husband and I are both readers (narrative non-fiction being a favorite genre) and enjoy streaming opera performances from New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
Because we live in Oregon—and in one of the country’s leading wine-producing regions—we enjoy our outings to wineries and to the beautiful Oregon coast.
If you have any additional questions for Gretchen or you would like to connect, please feel free to reach out to Tech Logic for a connection.
Tech Logic connects libraries with their communities through dynamic, innovative, and efficient workflow technologies—delivering unparalleled service and outstanding patron experience. Since 1997, we have worked exclusively with libraries to develop solutions that empower library patrons and staff.