The Spotlight is an occasional feature that will profile a Libraries staff member.
Eric Joslin started at Olin Library in 2008 as shelving coordinator, became a technical assistant in Access Services in 2009 and has spent the last two years as a data analyst. He went to Webster University from 2001 to 2005, earning bachelor’s degrees in audio production and history. Before he came to WU, Eric worked at the Webster University Library and the St. Louis County Library, and at record stores Sam Goody at the Mall of America in Minneapolis and Streetside Records on the Delmar Loop. A St. Louis native, Eric lives in South City with his wife, Rachelle; his almost 2-year-old son, Linus; their beagle, Starla; and their basset hound, Butters.
What is a data analyst?
A big part of what I do is extract data from the various software we use in Access Services. The main ones are Sierra, which is the integrated library system, basically the back end of the catalog; Ares, which is the reserve system, and Illiad, which is what we use for interlibrary loan. I run queries to collect and maintain statistics for the unit and create reports to do troubleshooting or to increase efficiencies. I’m asked to make those reports available for collection-development decisions.
Another big part of what I do is record maintenance. When there are bulk moves, I’m one of the people who updates records so they display properly in the catalog.
Mary Skubic and I also run the daily patron load, a process where we receive data from HR and SIS and import them into our systems to create patron records and grant everybody the privileges and access they’re supposed to receive.
What areas of your job do you particularly enjoy?
When I get to work with other groups. I’m drawn into projects where I work with subject librarians, systems, acquisitions, and cataloging. I never know what I’m going to walk into from day to day.
What do you do in your free time?
I listen to music. I like to record hunt at Euclid Records and at a record show that happens once every three months or so at the American Czech Educational Center in South City.
What are you reading?
Right now, I’m reading The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain. I just re-read Kitchen Confidential. I’ll binge-read an author and read three or four books in a row, much the same as how I listen to music. John Steinbeck is my favorite author. Anthony Bourdain, John Steinbeck, you know, the classics.
You have a beagle and a son named Linus. Do you like Peanuts?
Yes. Linus isn’t actually named after Linus Van Pelt, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s just easier to say that he is.