Meet the Public Library Data Alliance: Cyndee Landrum

Meet the Public Library Data Alliance: Cyndee Landrum

Cyndee Landrum is the Deputy Director of the Office of Library Services for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). She oversees the agency’s largest program, Grants to States, which is the primary source of federal funding for library services in the U.S. Landrum has served in public libraries across the country, including as CEO-Director of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library in Indiana, assistant director for public services at Oak Park Library in Illinois, assistant director of Mt. Lebanon Public Library in Pittsburgh, and in various positions at the Glendale Public Library in Arizona. She will serve as the IMLS liaison to the Alliance.

The Measures That Matter project is funded by IMLS and done in collaboration, so as a liaison I’m there to represent the agency. I don’t vote but I make sure our interest in this project is represented. We have significant interest in this area because of the two surveys we publish and our intimate relationship with library data. We have a data interest and so do the organizations represented, and the whole concept is to bring those voices together.

It’s important work and we’ve gathered a really well-rounded group of individuals through this inaugural alliance. I’m excited to see what they bring to the table and the things they elevate through this work.

Early on in my career, I spent a lot of my time participating in the data process for libraries — compiling, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting for the library systems where I worked. I thought a lot about data, its importance and significance, and the kinds of things we measure. Trying to build an evidence-based culture in libraries is important to me. I’m happy to serve as a liaison to this group and glad to see it move forward at the national level and gain traction in the profession.

We’ve made progress around refining some of the data that we have traditionally collected, and now there’s a great opportunity to refine that. We still have a bit to go in terms of applying some of the different types of analyses, evaluations, and assessments so we can tell a more complete story about the important impact of libraries’ work in the communities they serve.