Nick Steffel …Success Story

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

My interview with success story Nick from 6/19/12


Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Nick: INALJ! It was funny, actually, since the job was in the same LIS department where I was a student at the time. I actually saw it posted on INALJ even before I’d heard anyone talking about it on campus.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Nick: Probably the Amsterdam Central Library. I wound up there completely by accident while I was looking for something else, but ended up spending a good couple of hours wandering around it. It’s a huge library — the biggest public library in Europe, apparently — with some really great common areas and lots of computers and multimedia listening stations.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Nick: That’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say 1984 by George Orwell. It was one of the first serious novels I read when I was younger and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s also one of those books I go back and re-read pretty much every year; I always find something new I’d missed.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Nick: I think what interests me the most is related to the oft-cited statistic that a majority of existing librarians (in the US, anyway) will retire over the next decade or so. I think it will be fascinating to see such a huge shift in the profession as so many new people with different skills and backgrounds enter and start reshaping librarianship. It’s an opportunity I don’t think a lot of other professions ever get.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Nick: I’ve always found Jessamyn West (www.librarian.net / @jessamyn on Twitter) to be really thought-provoking as well as wryly amusing. I think our profession really needs to stay at the forefront of the discussion on civil liberties and technology too — for that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org / @EFF) and the OpenNet Initative (www.opennet.net / @OpenNet) are certainly worth checking in on from time to time.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Nick: I’m sure I’ll be far from the first person to say it, but you’ve gotta network with people. While I’m a pretty reserved guy, I still tried to reach out and meet people by volunteering, doing internships, keeping in touch with our school’s adjunct faculty, and joining local professional groups. It made all the difference to have them keeping me in the loop on jobs around town and being willing to step up to bat for me as a reference or a recommendation.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Nick Steffel is the newly hired IT Coordinator and an adjunct faculty member at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. A lifelong geek and technological jack-of-all-trades, Nick has worked in various IT capacities over the last 8 years. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2005 with a degree in History and earned his MLIS in 2012 from St. Catherine University. He has also developed and presented on dublincoregenerator.com, an online tool he developed for working with Dublin Core metadata.

formerly titled: Nick Steffel …In Six