Since November 2009
Since November 2009
Q. What do you do at the library?
A. Like everybody here, I do several different things that at larger libraries would be handled by multiple people. I provide reference help to students, which means that I help them find articles or books or help them cite something in a paper, and I help students with more general questions, like how to put a photo into PowerPoint, use Blackboard, or sign up for classes. I also do about 40-60 presentations a semester for classes. I do copy cataloging and some original cataloging, which is how our books and other items get into databases where people can look them up. Another part of my job is the processing of overdue notices and fines (making me the least popular person in the library). Finally, the technical nature of today’s library means that I also design databases, write small programs that make my work easier, or make videos that stream online. All in all, a pretty varied workday.
Q. Where does your expertise come from?
A. I worked at the University of Maine and the University of Pittsburgh for a few years before coming here. I received my Master’s in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Q. What is unique about you that could be of service to the Ivy Tech community?
A. It isn’t unique exactly since others also do this, but part of my job is to know what resources the Library has and to connect our patrons with them. I am always interested in hearing from faculty about what courses they are teaching and seeing if we have something that can help make their class better.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do outside the library?
A. I got into computers and electronics just in the last couple years, so I like messing around with that. A couple weeks ago I fixed a radio and next weekend I am going to try to set up a database/web server on an old computer I have. I’ve always been into sports, more playing them than watching. I also like watching birds. Also, reading (obviously).
Q. What’s on Ben’s book shelves?
A. I have been on a streak lately, so I would actually just recommend the last three books I read. The Puritan Way of Death is a very interesting history of early American attitudes and experiences of death. Winter by Adam Gopnik is a collection of five essays on the matter, and is great to read while watching it snow outside. Finally, The Master Switch by Tim Wu is a well-written book about information companies, and fills in a lot of history I didn’t know about things like cable and FM radio.
Ben wants to share the following website with you today: http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/