- Derik A Badman
- In the Library with the Lead Pipe
Derik A Badman is a member of the Development and Support team for Springshare, Inc, creators of LibGuides and LibAnswers. His website Madinkbeard is home to his comics criticism, blog, and webcomic (Things Change: The Metamorphoses Comic). Derik was an ALA Emerging Leader for 2008.
Longer, less formal version:
When I was a kid I had a lot of books and whenever I cleaned my room I would take each book off the shelf and dust it individually. That’s either some sign of obsessive-compulsive behavior or a sadly stereotypical indication I would end up in libraries. I got a job at the local public library (Samuel Pierce Library in Bucks County, PA) when I was 16. My brother had worked there, and it seemed like a benign enough way to earn some money, better than retail or food. I shelved books, I shelf read (I still know my Dewey decimal numbers), I stamped due date cards (ugh), and once I was called “Satan man” by a kindly little boy, perhaps due to my colored and spiked punk rock hair.
A few years later, I started at art school (Tyler School of Art, the art school of Temple University where I still work) and needed a work study job. This time the library was a sure bet since I had experience at it. I got to check out books to people now, but I still had to shelve and shelf read (I know the N section of LC very well). I continued working at the library for 4 years. As graduation approached, I had no real prospects (almost no one gets a job in art unless one is a graphic designer). Lucky for me, a so called “paraprofessional” job was opening up at one of the University’s small branch libraries. I ended up spending 5 years at that library, adding supervision, reserves, circulation, and reference to my skill set.
After a couple years, I enrolled in Drexel University’s online library school (err, that is “iSchool”) program. Too much money later, voila!, a librarian. As these things go (for me, at least) a job opened up at a different branch library, and I became an Access Services Librarian, adding collection development and instruction to my repertoire. I was also adding a lot of computer skills to my resume by volunteering as much as possible for all sorts of committees and projects and giving myself various projects like designing our library blog. A year and a half later I switched jobs, becoming the Digital Services Librarian and adding liaison work, too.
I did a lot of things at Temple: reference, collection development, liaising, instruction, website work, committee work, and a bit of programming. I started doing more with programming, learning by doing with a few different projects such as Blackboard/library integration and customizing an open source ticketing system to work as an email reference service for the library.
In March of 2010 I was asked and accepted an offer to join the team at Springshare, where I work on development of software and offer support to our customers. While I was a bit reluctant to leave the library proper, the shift in job responsibility was too tempting for me as a chance to continue growing my programming skills without completely leaving the library world. Also, I work from home, which is great for me.
I’ve been presenting on topics such as subject guides, Blackboard, journal alerts, personal information management, and virtual reference, and I’ve learned that the more I do and the more people I meet, the more opportunities I get. There’s always something around the corner. I’ve even done a bit of writing for publication.
I’ve been blogging since 2004 at Madinkbeard.com, but I’ve never blogged about libraries or librarianship before now (except as a conference blogger for ACRL07). My blog was originally focused on literary constraint but has since changed focus to comics criticism (I still say “comics” not “graphic novels”). I wrote a monthly column about comics at ComixTalk. I’ve been drawing comics since I was in high school. I made thirty-some issues of a minicomic called “The Partial Truth” in the mid-late nineties, and in 2005 I started a webcomic called “Maroon” which ran for 52 weekly episodes. My current webcomic is called Things Change: The Metamorphoses Comic and has been running twice weekly since August of 2006. I’ll readily admit that if I could afford it I’d stay home and drawrite every day.
I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania with two cats and my wife, who is also a librarian. We have a lot of books. Some of my reading interests are: postmodern fiction, French fiction, ancient Greek classics, the Spanish Civil War, punk rock, literary criticism, literary constraint, Surrealism, and, of course, comics of many kinds.