I have an M.L.S. from the University at Buffalo, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College, and a B.A. in English (with minors in Philosophy, Education, and Psychology) from SUNY-Fredonia.
What was your professional background before your current position?
I spent several years as a Public Services Librarian at Ave Maria University in Naples FL and also chose to be a stay-at-home Dad for a while. I have been at Alfred University since 2008, spending most of that time as an Information Literacy Librarian.
Describe your current position:
Dean of Libraries at Alfred University
What do you like best about your work?
Alfred is a very unique place with some of the kindest and most interesting people I have ever met. I like that no two days are ever the same. Working with patrons across Art, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Business very much satisfies my intellectual curiosity. Our library staff and faculty are wonderful folks who keep me on my toes and daily impress me with their devotion to our patrons and each other.
What has been your biggest professional challenge?
Figuring out creative ways in which to address inadequate staff and faculty compensation in a time of immense challenges for libraries and higher education.
How are you seeing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion play a more prominent role in your work environment?
This moment has opened the door to many long overdue conversations about ways in which our libraries can listen deeply to our patrons and work together with them to build collections, spaces, displays, artwork, programming, and staff that reflect the beautiful diversity of our campus community.
What other organizations are you involved with?
I am actively involved with the SUNY Librarians Association and SUNY Libraries Consortium. I am also a member of ALA, ACRL, and the newly established CORE division within ALA, where I currently serve on the Awards and Scholarship Committee.
What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
Read as widely as possible about issues relevant to librarianship from as many disciplines and perspectives as possible. Beware unexamined "best practices" that merely leave us doing what everyone else does (sometimes poorly). Find inspiration from the abundant sources from which it may be discovered.
Are there any tips you would like to share that have helped you get things done over the last year?
Set out to accomplish 1-2 things each day, whatever other surprises the day may bring. Also the importance of hobbies. Two of mine are hiking and playing the guitar (sometimes at work; sometimes heavy metal; sometimes loudly, usually when we're closed...).
Favorite blog or website:
ESPN to keep up with my beloved Chicago sports teams. New York Times and the Economist for news. Paste for reviews.
What are you most proud of?
All of the people whose lives our libraries have impacted. There is no greater feeling than hearing from students and student workers years later about their life's adventures and the ways in which we made a difference when they were here. One of the best parts of being in my role is that I get to collect and share those stories with others.
What would you like to learn?
How to play the banjo I recently purchased.
What are you most looking forward to doing as things start to reopen more widely?
Spending time with people in informal settings. Relaxing. Talking. Being together. Also going to baseball games.
Thank you Brian!