Check Us Out: Meet Adam!

By Michelle S. RSS Thu, May 16, 2013

You may have noticed a few of our librarians' shining faces around town lately on buses, billboards, subway placards, and more, as part of our ad campaign in partnership with ADLOOP. We thought you may want to get to know a little more about these awesome information gurus who smile back at you every day on your commute home. So without further ado, meet Adam!

Your favorite thing about your job:
It’s very satisfying when patrons approach me with questions, curiosities, or in-depth research problems, and I am able to lead them successfully to an answer. Or alternatively, introduce them to new voices weighing in on the topic. Not only is it satisfying to help someone come to those breakthrough moments, but it’s also rewarding to be learning all the time with them.

Your librarian superpower:
Dudes, I’m the people's professor. You’ve been to school. It’s the law after all. Maybe you’ve been to university, or are taking classes now. I know for a fact that teachers and professors have wielded their own position of power against you as a matter of course. Well, my librarian superpowers include the fact that I’m an educator who has no unnatural authority over you. At least no authority beyond my duty to ensure that everyone else in the community can share in the skills we have and the resources we can unlock. If you have the desire to learn, I will join you in your quest.

Most pervasive (and incorrect) librarian stereotype:
I find the idea that we would somehow be scared of the internet hilarious and a little bit sad. It’s as preposterous as a doctor being afraid of nanotechnology or an MRI device. All technologies are tools that make us more powerful at what we do. The folks who think the internet will replace libraries let alone librarians rather than strengthen the two are living in a cave. They are mistaking the flickering of shadows on the walls for the life out in the sunshine. Or something like that.

Most pervasive (and, okay, maybe a *little* correct) librarian stereotype:
Shushing. For a minute it was hip in the professional literature to rag on quiet. I do profoundly agree that the library ought to be a place of collaboration, but a public space where contemplation, reflection, and quiet study can be had is essential too. Basically, I’m excited to witness the conversations that are constantly sparked in the library, but I’m also not afraid to ask you to take your phone call and at least some of your drama outside.

Insider tip about the Music Department:
First and foremost, the librarians who work in the Music Department are extremely knowledgeable and fluent masters of the full spectrum of musical discourses. When you see one of us working at the Reference Desk, please don’t be shy about asking us questions. You’re never interrupting. We’re all enthusiastic about questions big and small.

Secondly, there’s a wealth of print, audio, and digital resources behind the scenes that we can unearth for you. If you stop by to ask, we can reveal everything from lost tunes buried in fakebooks and Tune-Dex cards, to vinyl records not yet digitally catalogued, and on to print or digital journals and magazines and the indexes that get you deep into them.

Finally, recently we’ve been experimenting with a friendly sort-of book club for musicians we’ve been calling Readings from the Chamber Music Collection. This collection represents complete part sets for about 30,000 or so works from the across the chamber music repertoire. Musicians have been forming impromptu groups, checking out the music to take home, and then gathering once a month at the library to “read” through works or movements of works. They form new connections, put together new ensembles, and then the process repeats. Audiences are welcome to check out the Readings.  The next one is Sunday, May 26, after that it’s the second to last Sunday of each month 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Room 108 next to the Home Page Café.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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We are lucky to have librarians like Adam in Philadelphia. Power to the People's Professor!Thanks to people like him anyone in Philadelphia can decide to pick up wherever they left off in their lifelong learning.
rebekah - philadelphia
Saturday, May 18, 2013