Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Awesome Alumni: Digital Resource Librarian Brian

Brian attended Drexel from the fall of 1996 to the spring of 1998. While at Drexel, he interned at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, assisting cataloguers in a cataloging project. Since graduating, he has worked at Manor College, the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, and Muhlenberg College. Brian has also published articles on mobile learners and distance education, as well as presented his findings at conferences.

What is your current job? Digital Resources Librarian, Bucks County Community College. Faculty Rank: Associate Professor.

How did you find your job? I began in 2001...and I can't recall how I learned about the job back then...maybe the ALA list?

What does your typical day look like? Is this what you expected when you took the job? The position, like all librarian jobs at Bucks, requires all librarians to wear many different hats- an aspect I love. So while I'm responsible for the ILS and the library web site, I'm also working the reference desk and conducting information literacy sessions for classes. Additionally, I serve on various college committees as well as teach a course. I think it's also important to mention that my job duties (even my title) have changed over the years as I have been allowed to pursue my professional interests. This is something to be valued and something I was not aware of when starting my career. 

What do you enjoy most about your job? I like the variety a lot, but above all, helping students achieve what they need is very gratifying. Additionally, as an academic librarian, I am immensely grateful to work at an institution with faculty rank and status (not to mention working on academic year appointment!).

What are some of the common misconceptions about your job/area of librarianship? I suppose to those completely outside education, they think I read a lot...cute. But the greatest misconception students and fellow faculty have is that we're too busy to be bothered. Quite the contrary, we're here to be busy serving their needs. 

What was the most valuable thing you did or learned while in library school? I think trying my hand at a wide variety of courses helped shape my career path.

What inspired you to choose this career? As an undergraduate majoring in history, I spent a lot of time in special collections. So initially, I was drawn to special collections. As I began my career, I quickly shifted to systems work, web site development, and working with students. 

What do you wish you had learned more about? I remember meeting a systems librarian while I was still at Drexel who explained that when it comes to specifics about systems work, she only knows what she needs when she needs it. The idea being that one needs to be flexible and adapt to the changing environment. 

Any tips for current students? Feel encouraged to explore all the variety this field has to offer!

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