As former Nevada State Librarian and current Project Director for a 3-year U.S. Dept. of Education workforce project, Tammy Douglass Westergard is a leader in envisioning the dynamic role of libraries in the future of learning and democracy in America. Tammy deployed the first certification program within any public library in America where individuals can earn a Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1), a nationally recognized industry credential necessary to get many of the high paying careers in advanced manufacturing. In parallel with California public libraries, Westergard launched in Nevada the first State-wide learning program in American public libraries delivering augmented reality and virtual reality STEM content and equipment, resulting in immersive learning experiences for thousands of learners. Westergard imagined and then became the project design leader for the first-ever initiative deploying 3D learning tools for the College of Southern Nevada’s (CSN) allied health programs. As a result, CSN is the first dialysis technician training program in the world to use a virtual reality simulation for instruction and CSN was able to accept remote, online learners into its program for students who were previously unable to access the program.
Tammy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, a Master of Library Science from the University of North Texas and is a member of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information studies honor society. The Library Journal named Westergard an “Agent of Change Mover and Shaker.” Tammy’s great passion is advancing educational opportunities through the library. She believes there is dignity in work, which is why she is expanding first-in-the-country programs she created that help displaced workers reskill and upskill so they can step into living wage jobs.