Graduate student boosts Georgia librarians’ tech training
MARIETTA, Ga. (Jul 26, 2016) — Julia Huprich is a technology-savvy librarian who has turned her love for education into an innovative powerhouse.
Huprich, who will earn her Master of Science in Information Technology during summer commencement ceremonies, has already used what she learned at Kennesaw State to launch a new learning management system for the Georgia Public Library System, the state administrative agency for all public libraries.
As director of training and continuing education for the GPLS, Huprich said the new learning management system will save the state $40,000 next year.
“Through the IT program, I learned how to build websites and mobile apps, and encrypt code. I knew I could build the same e-learning system that we were paying an outside company for,” she said. “I could spend money on content, rather than the platform itself, and be able to archive it for future trainings.”
Over the years, Huprich’s professional roles have reflected the rapid technology transition that libraries have been experiencing.
“Libraries used to be a place to go to consume content,” she said. “But libraries aren’t used that way anymore. Libraries are used to create content, meet up with others; it’s a place to learn and do. It’s now more of a center for learning and creation.
“Today’s libraries are hubs for creativity. Some libraries have 3D printing capabilities, recording studios and green screens.”
Huprich, who currently oversees the training needs of 63 library systems, more than 400 library locations and 4,000 employees, has come a long way since living in poverty in Costa Rica as a child.
“Education was important, and I knew that education was a way out,” she recalled.
As one of eight siblings, Huprich returned to Georgia with her family and used her own savings bonds to attend private high school for 11th and 12thgrades. She graduated at age 16 and completed her bachelor’s degree three years later.
“Being so young, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I spent a lot of time at the library when I was in school, so I found a full-time job at the campus library after graduation,” she said.
Within six months, Huprich was promoted from library assistant who “checked out books for students,” to assistant to the dean, and was encouraged to begin her master’s degree in library and information science.
After earning that degree in 2007 from Valdosta State, she stayed focused on the technology needs of libraries, entering the Kennesaw State IT program in 2013.
At the time, Huprich was head of Digital Services and Communications for the Cobb County Public Library System.
“Part of my job was to identify, develop and implement innovative technology programs to improve our service to the community,” she said.
Huprich created the Cobb GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) at the Cobb Library in 2014. She called on faculty experts from the Marietta Campus to talk with area female teens and teach on STEM topics. The program grew from 40 participants to 125 in 2016.
Huprich, who is married and has one son, said she wanted to give opportunities to girls that she “wished she had while growing up.”
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.