June 2022 Alumni Spotlight: Timothy Dickey
Adult Services Librarian, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Timothy is an adult services librarian at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. His responsibilities include: responding to all kinds of reference, technology, and reading recommendation questions from the public, as well as providing leadership and branch management – collection management, the leadership of adult programming and life skills, and staff training. In 2022, he was the recipient of the Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award for his outstanding contributions to Library Adult Services; and his book, Library Dementia Services: How to Meet the Needs of the Alzheimer’s Community, is the first complete handbook for library services on meeting the needs of people living with Alzheimer’s. Timothy continues to contribute to the world of library services by educating the next generation of library professionals through programs at Kent State University and San José State University.
“My favorite part of the CML job is being able to see the faces of people I am helping, whether that is helping them get a job, or great stuff to read, or engagement with and support for their children.”
Timothy chose to pursue the MLIS degree to delve as deeply as possible into the necessary skills, issues, literature, ethics, and leadership needed to work in the field. While a student, he worked for the OCLC Office of Research where he helped conduct research on an IMLS grant evaluating virtual reference services and other user information studies and data mining projects. Through his courses, Timothy explored many corners of the library and information science field that he might have otherwise never sampled. His courses ranged in topics from rare books to young adults, and coding to technology management.
Most recently, Timothy was awarded the RUSA Margaret E. Monroe Award for Library Adult Services, an experience that he described as “...deeply humbling but also encouraging…” as it recognized his complete life as an information professional, together with his publications on library services for persons living with dementia. Previously, he was recognized as a 2021 Distinguished Member of the Association for Information & Technology, a Mary T. Kim Scholar at Kent State, and received awards on two student papers, one from LITA for a paper on library technology, and a Sidney Jackson Award for an essay on intellectual freedom.
While he was a graduate student, Timothy was involved with the local chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) which provided innovative programming and wonderful networking opportunities. All the graduate chapter leaders from ASIS&T credit the contacts they made within the organization with leading to their first jobs. Currently, Timothy remains an active member of the Association for Information Science & Technology (Board of Directors, Chapter Assembly Director, Standards Committee co-chair, Midwest Chapter Chair, Information Professionals Task Force), as well as belonging to the Association for Library & Information Science Education (Juried Paper Committee, Teaching Innovation Award Committee), the American Library Association, and the Public Library Association.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS
Timothy’s advice for current iSchool Students is to get involved with professional organizations at student member rates (ALA, ASIS&T, PLA, SLA, etc.). He also warns students not to take too many classes at once, and to take coursework slowly and carefully, reminding students that taking too many classes at once means that they cannot focus on them well, and their work/life balance will suffer as well. Timothy suggests taking classes slowly and carefully to allow students the ability to spread out and explore the field of library and information science. He also says that the most important skills for students to develop include knowledge of technologies, the fluency necessary to learn new technologies, flexibility to step beyond one kind of library service, and the ability to reflect on the profession and where libraries need to invest their time and energy moving forward. Taking different kinds of classes and taking the time to do them well can only help with professional development.
“Take your time and be super mindful of your own development.”
Timothy is happy to hear from students and can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyjdickey/.
Learn about other successful iSchool graduates in our Alumni Spotlights.
WRITTEN BY: SARAH BIHN & KARLI MILLER
Photo: Courtesy of Timothy Dickey