Daniel Ransom lives in San Francisco and works in Oakland as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts university, with responsibilities in reference, instruction, and electronic resource management. When he’s not working with his students, he’s either at home working with his kids or out on a bike. He can be found online on twitter and tumblr as @ThePinakes (named for the catalog of the Great Library of Alexandria; he has a pet obsession with library history, especially the ancient variety).
“Daniel is THE BEST. He’s a great librarian, online and off. He’s been an incredible resource to librarian friends online (like me). He spent pretty much a week helping me revamp my application materials so I was ready to apply to professional librarian positions. He’s full of encouragement and practical tips on the profession. His grown a steady following on tumblr because of his willingness to share his real-life work, and engage in conversation with the community of (mostly young/new) librarians. He also wears a signature fedora—again, good stuff for a LW crush”
LW: You have been praised on giving advice and sharing professional info, have any tips on how to be a great mentor?
DR: I feel a little funny being labeled a mentor since I’m still relatively new to the profession. But I benefited a lot from the advice I received from experienced librarians while I was still getting my master’s degree, and I like to pass that advice on to the up-and-comers. There’s a tremendous energy among many of the new librarians I meet, and one thing I’ve noticed ‘mentoring’ others is that I get just as much out of the experience as they do. My advice to the advisors — anyone looking to take on a mentorship role — is that instead of feeling like you have to be a great sage, just be willing to be a part of the dialogue with new professionals. If you do that, you’ll benefit as much as they do, and it will energize your approach to your own work. Everybody benefits from a little professional conversation.
LW: What are your plans for Vday? Do you usually do something with the whole family?
DR: Admittedly, Valentine’s Day isn’t such a big deal in our household. Anniversaries and birthdays get much higher billing. Now that our elder daughter is in kindergarten, just helping her complete the 22 Valentine’s Day cards she needed to make for her classmates was the big effort. Before we had kids, we’d try to go out to a nice dinner, perhaps, or catch a movie. We have a few favorite ‘special event’ restaurants around San Francisco. But for our anniversaries, we try to take a trip and do something memorable — one year we rented a cabin in the mountains, and this year we got my folks to watch our kids while we took off for a weekend trip to Seattle. That little change of scenery is nice, especially when you’ve been together for a long time, as we have (sixteen years as a couple!).
LW: You live on a boat!
PS: I live on a boat!