About Me

John the Librarian

I’m currently a librarian in the Digital Branch at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, MO. My job is to make sure the digital resources and services offered by the Kansas City Public Library serve the needs of our community. My goal is to ensure that these online resources are needed, usable, and accessible. I dabble in readers’ advisory and I review upcoming science fiction and nonfiction technology titles for Booklist.

I was born and raised in Fargo, ND (too small) and lived in Chicago for almost 18 years (too big) before I moved to Kansas City. I call KC my “Goldilocks town” because it’s just right.

My wife and I have the prettiest dog in the world.


Experience

I received my Master’s Degree of Library & Information Science in January 2011 from the Graduate School of Library & Information Science (now the School of Information Studies) at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. I began work at the Kansas City Public Library in July 2011, first in the Public Affairs department, followed by a move to the Digital Branch in January 2013.

Prior to that, I worked for over a decade on the technical side of live theater and corporate events, and spent a few years as a general office jockey for a variety of health and support-related nonprofits.

Read more about my work history »

Read more about my graduate student work »


Affiliations & Memberships

I’m a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation and the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society.


My Favorite Book

As a librarian, I’m frequently asked what my favorite book is. This is the most honest answer I can give:

I’ve had more favorite books over the course of my life than I can remember. Even now, my favorite book changes depending on the day, the season, my mood.

My favorite book has been: the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, Kim Stanley Robinon’s Mars trilogy, Alastair Reynold’s Revelation Space universe, the original Ender trilogy from Orson Scott Card, James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Andy Weir’s The Martian. It’s been the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos, and Tad William’s Otherland series. Sometimes it’s the Iliad of Homer, the Inferno of Dante, Boccaccio’s Decameron, St. Augustine’s Confessions, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, or all of Søren Kierkegaard’s work. It’s anything by Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett or Alan Moore or Octavia Butler. J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Samuel Delany never wrote a bad story or a misplaced word. I’ll drop just about anything for a work by Kurt Vonnegut, Philip José Farmer, Ray Bradbury, or Harlan Ellison. I like Tony Hillerman, Robert Parker, Jonathan Kellerman, and Ian Rankin. To say nothing of all the non-fiction I’ve read: histories, biographies, science, philosophy, theology. I re-read the novel Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover surprisingly often and I will always believe that Where the Red Fern Grows is a better book than Old Yeller.

But usually my favorite book is whichever one I’m reading now.

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