People of Point Park: Brenton Wilson is Not Your Typical Librarian Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Position at Point Park: Associate Library Director
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in History and Philosophy from Thiel College
Graduate Degree: M.A. in History from Duquesne University; M.S. in Library Science from University of Pittsburgh
Current Hometown: Mt. Lebanon, Pa.
Not Your Typical Librarian
While earning his master's degree in history at Duquesne University, Brenton Wilson planned to pursue a Ph.D. in the field and become a professor. After a careful review of the job market, Wilson decided to reevaluate his career options, which drew him to the field of library science.
"It interested me - the environment, the research. I'm not a typical librarian so the organization of it also allowed me to do some information technology stuff."
Wilson loves working with innovative technologies and is constantly ensuring that Point Park's library evolves with the digital age. "As technology moves forward, the program changes, (our job) is to make sure we understand those changes and meet those needs."
Many people have inspired Wilson along the way, including former and current colleagues like Kip Ruefle and Jill Ausel at Chatham University, Liz Evans, current library director at Point Park, and Dr. Robert C. Olsen, former president and professor of history at Thiel College. He is also inspired by his mother and his grandfather, who he remembers for his work ethic, his focus and his sense of humor.
"It's Just Point Park"
Wilson joined the Point Park community in 2004, and has been part of many changes during his tenure. Most notably, Wilson played a major role in the transition of the Point Park library into a true independent, singular academic library. During the mid-nineties, the University Center was actually a hybrid public/academic library and part of the Carnegie Library system. In order to best meet the needs of Point Park's students the University ended this partnership and the library became independent again.
Like the library's history, Wilson knows that Point Park's students are unique. In his experience, each institution's student body collectively has a distinct identity. He believes that the variety of different programs that Point Park University offers attracts a variety of different students, whether that is for the cinema program, the dance program, or even the national intelligence and defense program.
"Point Park is just Point Park. You have to experience it to understand it."
Getting to Know All About You
One of the many things that Wilson does is to make sure that everybody at the university - faculty, students and staff - has the tools and resources they need to complete their research. This starts with excellent customer service. Wilson has gotten to know the needs of the community through the use of surveys, statistics and experimenting with different programs. Use of the library has gone up dramatically within the Point Park community during Wilson's tenure, proving a customer-centric approach delivers results.
"We really try to view it through students' eyes, to see how everything we do impacts their lives and meets their needs."