A Look Behind the Stacks: Meet the Library with Mike Kiel

In libraries and archives “the stacks” refers to the many resources held by a repository for students and researchers to use. Librarians, archivists, and others work hard to preserve and make these resources and collections accessible and to create a welcoming environment for students and researchers. As the school year progresses, A Look Behind the Stacks continues highlighting the people and work behind the UB RLB Library and the Special Collections & Archives. Follow our blog to Meet the Library and to learn more about our library work behind the stacks!

We’re excited to introduce Mike, Reference and Instruction Librarian and Head of Information Literacy Initiatives! We hope you enjoy learning about Mike in his own words:

Name: Mike Kiel, but I go by my middle name so a lot of the time you’ll see my name styled as Stephen “Mike” Kiel

Mike poses with the local Baltimore history book collection in the Special Collections & Archives Research Room

Role in the Library: Head of Information Literacy Initiatives

Educational Background: Like most librarians I have a Masters of Library Science, before that I got a Bachelor’s in Linguistics. It was a long path to get there though with a couple of changes of major and courses in a lot of subjects. Having a background that is a little all over the place makes me a great librarian though!

Previous Experience: I’ve been at UB for 10 years, which blows my mind! I’ve done a lot of different things in that decade from working with faculty to start a game collection to managing the RLB library’s transition to being a digital depository for federal government documents. I’ve also made a lot of desserts for parties.

Current Project: Right now I’m doing an overall assessment of the library’s various ways of providing information literacy instruction and talking to as many faculty as possible about the strengths and weaknesses of what we do. It’s interesting and gives me a different perspective on how library faculty interact with the rest of the university.

Favorite Experience in the Library: My favorite parts of working here have been our students. There’s really nothing like seeing someone have a “lightbulb” moment where they learn something and you can see on their face how happy it makes them. Similarly, it doesn’t happen all the time but it’s really rewarding when you hear months later that what you’ve done helped someone succeed.

What have you learned while working here: I’ve learned a lot by working here. When I started here it was my first academic library job so I’ve learned that I like teaching, which is something I never expected to do, and I’ve learned an enormous amount about how universities work. I also knew very little about UB before coming here and have been really grateful to learn just how much everyone here cares about students.

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Reference and Instruction Librarians at the RLB Library are here to provide information literacy instruction and research assistance! Learn more about information literacy and research consultations at the RLB Library here!

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