Meet Minnesota School of Business-Rochester’s Campus Librarian Trent Brager.
1. How did you get into the Librarian profession?
I taught high school math and did some substitute teaching years ago. I felt confined being a teacher—stuck—only teaching to the standardized tests that students are required to pass. I wanted more freedom and found it in the library. Students can learn about any topic in a library. It also didn’t hurt that I picked up an appetite for reading in college and never really quit. I make that statement with some caution, however, because the library is about a lot more than just books. It is about connecting people with what they are looking for. Besides, the amount of information we have access to keeps multiplying, and I think we could all use a guide.
2. As a child did you frequent libraries more than the average child?
No! I hardly ever went to the library as a kid. I hated reading until I turned 19 or so. Then, on my summer break from college, I don’t know why really, but I picked up 1984 and couldn’t put it down. It was the first book that I wasn’t forced to read for class. That summer I read a book a week.
3. What sort of degree do you hold?
Master’s in Library and Information Science. It’s a pretty versatile degree. Some people with an MLIS work at big colleges, some in public libraries, some in school libraries, some in archives (where historical items are kept), some in museums, some work with metadata and organizing software systems, and some work for the Minnesota School of Business.
4. Where did you attend college?
I attended The University of Wisconsin-River Falls—BS
St. Catherine University—MLIS.
5. How long have you worked at MSB-Rochester?
I have been here since August 2013, so I am still pretty new here.
6. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
I have such a variety of different things to do every day. I answer questions about finding sources, APA, writing, iPads and computers. I also teach and prepare lessons, create activities and workshops, order and catalog new items, collaborate with instructors and librarians to create new resources, maintain some library guides, and fill out interview surveys. Oh, and I also like being able to meet and talk with students. We have a pretty fun and interesting group here.
7. Do you prefer e-books or traditional books? Why?
I was a staunch print book person for a while. After having the iPad, though, I don’t really find e-books that bad. Still, I look at glowing rectangles all day, so when I do my personal reading I stick with print. Easier on the eyes and, if I drop a book, it doesn’t ruin my day.
8. Who is your favorite author? Why?
Oooh, tough question. I really like dystopian novels that tell what the world will be like if we (humans) don’t change our ways. It all started with 1984 by George Orwell, but I really like Kurt Vonnegut, too. No author has made me laugh out loud more times than Vonnegut. Kerouac made me want to hit the road and Thoreau made me want to live in the woods for a while. I read Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea in school. I read it again when I didn’t have to do it for an assignment and wow, how can someone convey something so complex using only the vocabulary of a fifth grader? To answer your question: no idea. Too many to pick from.
9. Any books would like to recommend?
Yes, Watership Down by Richard Adams. It is all about a group of rabbits who flee their home to find a new place after Fiver, the runt, sees visions of their warren covered in blood. It is an epic adventure and you can’t help but get sucked in and root on the band of courageous rabbits. The funniest part of the whole thing is that the book started as a story Adams told to his daughters on a long car ride.
10. What’s your favorite quote.
“This world ain’t nothing more than what we make of it” – Propagandhi, Canadian secular thrash-punk band