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Tyler Hahn named to Library Journal Mover & Shaker list

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Cherokee Public Library Director Tyler Hahn has been named one of nine innovators in the Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers list.

Hahn caught the attention of the national library trade publication for his work “calling attention to the rural digital divide and advocating for the crucial role of rural librarians on the radio, in news outlets and to state and federal elected officials,” according to Library Journal.

He first worked at Western Iowa Tech Community College’s library before joining Cherokee Public Library as youth services librarian in 2018.

He was promoted to director in 2020.

He said the 2018 book burning in Orange City had “a bit of a chilling effect, having me reconsider if I wanted to continue on with a career in libraries.”

He recovered and decided that rather than being afraid of what was happening and the adversity that was affecting his colleagues, he began to look into ways to get involved with library organizations who could assist with challenges facing northwestern Iowa and beyond.

Hahn grew up in Cherokee native right across the street from the library, developing an early appreciation for the many opportunities offered there.

Among Hahn’s achievements is starting an esports program at the Cherokee Public Library with the international nonprofit Network of Academic and Scholastic Esports Federations.

Through esports, Cherokee youth have been able to become better-informed global citizens as they interact with fellow gamers from Mexico, Japan, India and Europe.

Hahn also began teaching game design and other STEM skills at the local middle and high school. He created resources for libraries and schools in the region looking to bring in scholastic gaming.

In the future, Hahn plans to institute a program to teach adults the applications of drone technology for agriculture.

“I’m just really grateful for everything,” said Hahn of his award and the resulting positive feedback.  “Cherokee is an amazing community with leadership that encourages staff like myself to think outside of the box in order to best serve our community. We’ve been able to do a lot of really neat things and be a part of great conversations about library and digital trends nationally.”

He is eager to continue the library service work already committed to well into the future.

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