Meet Jen Hoyer (she/her/hers) recently joined the City Tech Library as the Technical Services & Electronic Resources Librarian.
In a nutshell, what do you do at the City Tech Library?
There are two main parts to my job as Technical Services & Electronic Services Librarian. The first part — technical services — means that I manage the team of folks who catalog all the books that come to the library. Cataloging books is what makes them available for folks to search in our library catalog, and then what makes it easy to go from finding something in the online catalog to locating it on the shelf.
Not everything in the library is a physical book, though, and that’s what the second part of my job — electronic resources — entails. The library provides access to tens of thousands of electronic books and journals, as well as databases of all kinds of amazing research materials — statistical data, videos, and more. It’s my job to make sure those are set up properly so folks can find them through our website and our online catalog, and so they can be used seamlessly either on campus or anywhere else. If someone is having trouble getting access to electronic resources — for example, setting up your personal login for free online New York Times access or using your CUNY login to access databases from home — I’m here to help troubleshoot and make sure those are working properly.
What is your academic and library background?
I have a Bachelor of Music and a Masters in Library and Information Studies. Before working at City Tech, I spent five years at Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection. My job there involved more time visiting classrooms around Brooklyn than in the library itself, so, if you attended school in Brooklyn and your class participated in the Brooklyn Connections program through the Public Library, we might have already met. And, I’ve spent the last eight and a half years volunteering at Interference Archive in Brooklyn; I love spending time in and around libraries and archives!
What made you want to become a librarian? Was there any event or person that influenced you?
I hung out in libraries growing up, and I loved not only that they gave me access to all the books and CDs I wanted to read and listen to, but also that they provided anyone with access to information they needed for so many different things: getting a job; learning to read or helping someone else learn to read; exploring new interests; getting a free movie to watch on the weekend; and just figuring out the world. I think I had a pretty clear idea, as early as middle school, that I would enjoy working in a library someday.
What were your first impressions of life at City Tech? Were there any surprises?
I started at City Tech during the pandemic, which is a pretty strange time to start a job anywhere. Everyone was really helpful and welcoming, which made up for the lack of people! And thankfully I had visited City Tech a few times in the past and knew what it was like to walk through the halls with other people around.
What are some of your favorite City Tech library resources?
One of the first new electronic resources I worked on setting up after I started at City Tech was AVON — Academic Video Online . I’ve loved exploring it because it’s such an amazing collection of video, free for anyone with a City Tech login to watch from anywhere. The videos available include a lot of amazing independent content; I was so excited to find videos produced by Third World Newsreel and by Freedom Archives. There’s also a lot of great PBS content on AVON, and as someone who didn’t grow up in the United States and isn’t familiar with a lot of the cultural references that connect back to PBS, I’ve been catching up with AVON.
What books, tv, films, and/or music are you currently listening to?
I love a good detective novel and have been enjoying the Kopp Sisters Series by Amy Stewart; they’re set (initially) near Paterson, NJ, and are based on the real-life adventures of Constance Kopp, the first female Deputy Sheriff in the United States, and her sisters. I also just enjoyed Authorized Heritage: Place, Memory, and Historic Sites in Prairie Canada, by Robert Coutts. All of these books really feed my interest in how we interpret diverse kinds of source material in order to tell ourselves stories about the history of places and communities around us.
I’m a big podcast listener; lately I’ve been listening a lot to By the Book, the Secret Life of Canada, Love to See it, and No Such Thing as a Fish. And of course I’m a longtime listener to City Tech Stories!