The Spotlight is an occasional feature that will profile a Libraries staff member.
Chris Brady started at Olin Library in 2008 as circulation supervisor and became circulation librarian in 2013, after receiving his MLIS from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing in 2005 from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Before coming to the Libraries, Chris worked at a Marine Corps commissary, as a pre-K teacher at an Army base, and as a security guard. He lives in south St. Louis with his wife and daughter.
What’s the best part of your job? I like dorky things like scheduling. Working with Marty Cavanaugh and Kacey Owen to figure out how to schedule students and staff across 400 hours’ worth of tasks each week is actually one of the few puzzles I like. I also really enjoy getting to know all the people who come to the front desk.
The other thing I enjoy is working with others on projects to solve persistent background problems. It’s not glamorous, but it is satisfying.
What is one of the biggest changes you’ve seen in your job? Well, we used to close at 2 a.m. Starting this fall, we’ll be 24/7. It’s tricky at first to work out how all that happens, but Sarah Laaker’s been great to work with each time the schedule changes.
What are the most common or strangest requests you’ve received at the Help Desk? ‘How do I (fill in the blank)?’ ‘Where is (fill in the blank)?’ ‘Hey, can you tell me when my pizza’s here?’ ‘Have you seen my girlfriend?’ ‘I was supposed to finish my senior thesis this semester but I haven’t done anything yet, so can you find me 50 sources on …’
What are some of the weirdest things you’ve found in books? Half a tomato slice. A patron’s hollowed-out book that had a bottle of pills and a MetroLink pass. It was hidden behind other books. A birthday card with $200 in cash.
What do you like to do in your free time? Cooking — baked ziti, souvlaki. I take my daughter to taekwondo and skateboarding.
What are you reading? The Man Who Was George Smiley by Michael Jago. I just finished Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys, a biography of the band The Replacements.
So you’re a big music fan? What are some of your favorite bands? They include early Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Rós, Cocteau Twins, Red House Painters, Low, and Mogwai.