John Blyberg, Assistant Director – Innovation and UX (User Experience) here at Darien Library, is the 2009 recipient of the LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award for his development of the Social OPAC application suite. The LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award, established in 2004, is given to recognize exemplary entrepreneurship by providing an innovative product or service designed to meet the needs of the library world through the skillful and practical application of information technology. Social OPAC (http://thesocialopac.net), also known as SOPAC (for Social Online Public Access Catalog), is a suite of open source software (OSS) tools that brings the power of social computing and Web 2.0 to library catalogs. 

John planned and designed the Darien Library’s new website, which launched in September 2008. The new design and software he created has integrated our website with its online catalog to improve the experience for users and to allow them to participate in the social aspects of the catalog by tagging, writing reviews, and managing their own accounts.

“SOPAC 2.0 was created in response to requests from other libraries for a package that would easily enable them to implement social computing functions in their [catalogs],” John said when notified that he’d won the award. “I’m honored to have been selected for this award, and to have been of service to the library community.”

“We are very proud of John for this achievement,” Library Director Louise Berry said. “He has made a really significant contribution to the library world.”

The award will be presented at the LITA President’s Program in July at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. LITA (Library and Information Technology Association) is a division of the American Library Association.

Congratulations, John!