December Member Spotlight

Edward Eckel
Engineering and Applied Sciences Librarian
Western Michigan University Libraries
What are you currently reading?
Anna Karenina by Tolsoy; Careless Love: The unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick.

What are your research interests?
Currently, I'm interested in how freshman engineering students develop topics for their research papers. This gets into how novice researchers figure out what is a good problem to pursue, and how to come up with search terms for something one knows little about. Also I've been part of the recent Harwood Initiative training run with MCLS and am very interested in getting that going at my university.

Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library?
I love going into my study in my house, closing the door and singing out loud to myself. I sing blues, country, rock and soul music. Unfortunately, I don't know how to play any instruments yet so I can't accompany myself, otherwise, I'd try to sing in public. Plus I've always been interested in poetry. Recently I've really love the book Cannibal by Safiya Sinclair.

What drew you to the library profession?
I grew up spending every waking moment in my local library. I used to help out during breaks and over the summer by running the film projector to show movies for kids. Then I began working in my college library when I was an undergraduate. Then, after a few twists and turns, I went to library school.

What do you value about MiALA?
I'm really enjoying getting to know my STEM colleagues elsewhere in Michigan. Either doing monthly electronic meetings or in the MiALA pop-up conferences or the annual conference, I learn about what my colleagues are doing, get ideas for things to try myself, and also hopefully can share a little of what I do and what I've learned as an engineering librarian.

Is there anything else that you would like to share/include in your member spotlight??
I'm looking forward to being more active in MiALA. I think this statewide organization is doing a great job of connecting academic librarians and promoting professional development.