Get to know Tim Lockman (MS '05), reference and instruction librarian—and musician

Posted: January 5, 2017

timlockman.jpg?itok=wkUvk6K_ Tim Lockman discovered on the job that the field of librarianship is "broader and deeper than I imagined when I began, and I find myself doing work that I hadn’t pictured myself doing as a grad student." He is currently pursuing a master's certificate in instructional design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout to add to his professional training. With a full-time job, graduate school, and a side career in music, Lockman is one busy librarian.

Where do you work and what is your role?

I have been a reference and instruction librarian at Kishwaukee College, a community college in rural northern Illinois, since 2006. In addition to reference and instruction, I do collection management and teach a one-credit-hour information literacy class. I have faculty status at the college, so I'm involved in standing committees on academic policy and online learning and regularly work with faculty colleagues on projects like our campus-wide assessment effort. As a side project, I've been heavily involved in technology implementation and training on campus. And I also create online instructional materials. A sample of my video tutorials is available on the Library's YouTube channel. My "How To Read a Scholarly Journal Article" video has been included by librarians at other institutions in some graduate-level learning tutorials. 

What do you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is working with the students. I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the light bulb turn on when a student grasps a new concept I'm showing him or her. That's exhilarating to me. 

What do you see as the most important impact of your work?

I would say that the most important thing I can do is to provoke students to think critically about information sources. This seems increasingly important in the world of fake news, native advertising, and the "echo chamber" effect of customized information dissemination and consumption.

How did the School help you get to where you are today?

Besides giving me the credential that I needed, the iSchool challenged me to think like a professional. From my professors and classmates, I learned to seek knowledge in many different places, both traditional ones (journal scans, new professional books) and unexpected ones (blogs, writings outside the library science profession). I have become an omnivorous seeker of knowledge, and the iSchool taught me how to do that.
What advice would you like to share with our students?

Find somebody who's doing what you want to do, or what you think you might want to do. Then ask them what it's like and how they got there. This is why a mentoring program is such a great thing. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Besides reading, of course, I enjoy riding my motorcycle (in warmer weather), and playing the guitar and singing. I've been doing music for about 25 years now, and this past year I released a new recording called Castles in the Snow, which is available on CD Baby and from streaming outlets like Spotify. I often perform Celtic, classical, and folk-style instrumental guitar at special events, and I do an occasional concert. Most recently, I played and sang Christmas music at the annual Steeple Walk event in Geneva, Illinois. 

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