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James Ochsner - Participant

James is Director of Library Services for Sutter County Library. He attended the University of Nebraska and finished his BA in Art at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. He earned his MLIS from San Jose State University and has worked as a waiter, retail clerk, construction laborer, Gallup pollster, custodian and was a private school teacher before turning his attention to the library world. James is past President of The California County Librarian’s Association, currently serves on the NorthNet Executive Committee and is a member of Sutter County’s Executive Team.

He believes that having strong ties to people is key to promoting a more livable community. This made the Aspen Institute’s re-envisioning process for libraries a perfect fit for Sutter County Library which was one of 23 libraries across the country selected to participate in the pilot phase for the Aspen Institute Action Guide for Re-Envisioning Your Public Library. Working together on the Action Guide pilot led the Aspen Institute and Sutter County Library to partner on creating one of the Aspen Institute’s four model community dialogues in 2016-2017.

James has continued the dialogue with individual leaders who attended the Sutter County Leadership Roundtable and sees his position as not only one of connecting people to resources but also one of cultivating conversations amongst those who have the ability to move the community forward.



Sutter County Library


Director of Library Services