Republished from 11/28/11, a highly popular interview with Hack Library School’s Zack!
Naomi: What made you interested in blogging for Hack Library School?
Zack: I had been following Heidi and Micah on twitter before coming to library school. They saw a few posts I had written and offered to take me on after a positive guest post experience. I’m a big believer in the ideal of Hack Library School, that its up to students to make sure we get what we need out of the system. If you go back and look at library literature about library school from 10 years ago, they have the exact same problems we do now. It’s not the school’s fault in most cases either. Think about how much information technology has changed over the past 10 years. How do you hire for that in an academic environment? What do you do when something doesn’t work right, you design a patch and hack it.
Naomi: Are there other blogs or resources you can recommend?
Zack: UnConferences are a great way to break out of structures of library school and be exposed to interdisciplinary knowledge. Specifically THATCamps, InfoCamps and BARCamps, all of which feature technology and information as primary foci but through slightly different lenses.
For Blogs, I also really enjoy the In the Library With A Lead Pipe Blog. I think its a phenomenal site. Moby Lives is a must read for anyone with any interest in publishing as business. That includes libraries.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Zack: If I had to choose my favorite library is the library at my undergraduate institution, Western Washington University. It’s housed in two adjoining buildings. I’d rate it a bit lower to be honest, but the last time I was there they had made significant changes to the interior space of the library. Incorporating a tech center, which had been mitigated to the lower floor before, and opening a cafe. They’d also increased open and study space. It’s become a model for what I think libraries on university campus’s should be.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Zack: My favorite book is like my favorite Library. I really don’t have one specific. The three books that stick out most in my mind are: Love Is A Mix Tape, Rob Scheffield’s story of his love, marriage, and subsequent status as a widower as told through his late wife’s mix tapes. The Shadow of the Wind, Zafon’s surreal thriller, is really a treaties on the love of reading, and the spark that sent me to library school. Julian Comstock, was the best science fiction book of 2009. I know I am totally beating a dead horse here, but I feel completely cheated, it went up for every major award but couldn’t pull any of them out of the hat. It was a great year for science fiction.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Zack: I like helping people. Sure I love books, but what I love about librarianship is being able to connect people to ideas. It’s even better when you have to dig a little to find what they’re looking for.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Zack: Bring business cards to conferences and send application packets, not just a complete application, resume, and cover letter.
I am from Seattle, WA. After a stint as a bookseller at one of the big box stores I decided that I loved what I was doing and decided to become a librarian. I currently attends the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science, where I will start my final term in the new year. I blog at http://wildbookchase.blogspot.com and tweet @wildbookchase