As the library's Cataloging & Metadata Initiatives librarian, Alan's primary responsibility lies in overseeing the cataloging department. In addition to maintaining the smooth function of this department, Alan evaluates the efficacy of all cataloging records used and makes changes where needed. These records can many times be found on a huge international database called OCLC. In the absence of availability of these copy cataloging records, as they are termed, he originally creates the appropriate catalog record and then adds it to the OCLC database for worldwide use.
Besides this major responsibility, Alan performs many other duties in the library. Working the reference desk is one aspect of Alan's job that he particularly likes. "Working the desk" provides a lot of student contact and many opportunities to teach students how to be self-sufficient in an academic library. Hand-in-hand with the reference desk is library instruction. It"s here where Alan feels he has the best shot at reaching the often reluctant student researchers. Through one-on-one interaction, he has seen the light turn on for many students. This newly acquired illumination is what makes library work all worthwhile in his opinion.
As do the other librarians, Alan has many subject areas for which he is responsible for collection development. These areas include transportation technology including aviation, avionics, auto mechanics, auto body and diesel. All the Earth Science curricula areas are likewise under his scrutiny. He is also charged with providing library instruction for these areas when requested.
To top his workload off, Alan has many obligations on various different library teams and work groups. Members of these bodies address various issues pertinent to the efficient function of the library. Many useful ideas and outcomes are generated here, and Alan feels these teams help foster staff cohesiveness and give the staff members a sense of ownership.
Alan's educational background and work experience is somewhat broad and diverse. He is certified to teach in the Pennsylvania school system in German, English, and reading. He also has two master's degrees, one in education and one in library science. He has taught students at every age and grade level (kindergarten through college). By far he enjoys working with college students the best. They have begun to take on some of the mature qualities of adulthood but still maintain that youthful exuberance. These qualities make college kids especially attractive to him.
Service to the College is particularly important to Alan. He thinks it is essential that librarians show themselves as an integral part of the college mission. One way that he has done this is via the College governance system. For more than 12 years, he was involved in governance in many capacities, as a member on nearly all the committees, as a vice chair and chair of one committee, and as a member and as a chair of various subcommittees. Governance, in Alan's mind, has the potential to advance many innovative ideas conceptualized by the collective efforts of the college community. "Its quite fulfilling to see one of your ideas seriously critiqued by a group of your colleagues and then, in turn, watch that idea come to fruition," Alan says.