Call it luck, destiny, or foresight… Marcus Richter isn’t sure why he decided to go to graduate school for library research, but he’s glad he did.
“I had never worked in a library before in my life,” he says. “But I had recently moved to the U.S. from Germany to serve as a pastor. I knew I didn’t want to be a pastor forever, so I decided I needed to find something different to do that would connect with the skills I already had.”
His lack of experience didn’t stop him from thriving in graduate school, where he discovered a love for not just books but the other resources available in the library. After earning his master’s degree in library and Information science through St. Catherine University in Minnesota, he became the technical services librarian at Alma in 2009.
“With the overload of information that exists in the world and on the web, my job as a librarian is to help evaluate all the information and find the best sources,” he says. “Even if you’re a senior, you still can benefit from asking for help from librarians to find the right resources!”
Richter, an assistant professor of library research, also teaches courses not just in his main discipline but also in religion and German. He says interacting with his students is his favorite part of his job.
“I like working at a small school because I’m able to actually work with the students, not just look at books all day,” he says. “I like seeing their reactions as I help them develop new research skills, and I get to see them grow as students and researchers.”
While Richter has a wealth of knowledge available to him, one thing he still doesn’t understand is why some students are afraid to ask librarians for help finding what they need, he says.
“Don’t be nervous; we don’t bite,” he says. “We’re here to help and assist—we’re your partner in research. And if you don’t ask us, who else should you ask? Your professor grades you: we don’t grade you.”
- Master of Arts, 2004, Library & Information Science, Dominican University
- Master of Arts, 2001, Theology, Seminary of the ELFK