David Rogers moved to the Chicago area to attend college. After teaching English in China for a year, he returned to the area for graduate studies. He started at Jenner & Block's library in 1989. While employed at the library, he enrolled in the University of Illinois GSLIS's Fridays Only program. He received his master of library science degree in 1996. After a little less than a year as an outsourced librarian, Rogers started at Sidley Austin LLP's library and has been with the firm since 1997. He has continued his additional graduate studies online. Rogers represents special libraries on the RAILS Board and is the Board’s Freedom of Information Act Officer.
Why did you decide to serve on the RAILS Board?
When the Illinois SLA listserv message indicated that someone really, really needed to step up and join the RAILS Board, I tossed my hat into the ring. When the person who was selected stepped down, I was asked to complete his term.
What are your interests and background relating to Illinois library systems and libraries?
I have no qualms about being considered a reference rat. Reference and interlibrary loan have been where my heart has been since the mid-1980s. My first introduction to library systems was via the man who dropped off a red bag from the library system twice a week. I asked questions about how the systems worked and enjoyed collaborating with colleagues.
How do you envision the future of library systems, particularly in Illinois?
Showing the value of the dollars spent on the library system in a way that shows the return on investment compared to other entities is a way to compete for the scarcer and scarcer resources available. For the taxpayers, "It's not fair to have information have-nots" is only going to go so far. As library systems streamline processes, I see where the added value to taxpayers will be a strong point.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing RAILS and how can you help meet that challenge?
Funding is a challenge for any organization that relies on the state of Illinois for funding. I can look at the expense side of the ledger to see that the costs incurred are reasonable and standard. There isn't much that I can do on the funding side.
What are some of your outside interests?
My youngest son is in travel baseball and soccer, so most of my outside interests involve schlepping.