The Spotlight is an occasional feature that will profile a Libraries staff member.
Joy Novak, head of collection management and outreach for Special Collections, is a Washington University alum who graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and history. She earned a master’s in public history from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. in information studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to coming to the WU Libraries in December, she served for eight years as collections manager at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles.
What’s the best part of your job? I really like problem solving, dealing with workflows and identifying needs and finding solutions. It’s like a big puzzle. I also like getting to know people.
How has your past experience prepared you for your work here? I’m coming from a position where I’ve worked with a lot of special collections and repositories and at different levels. I have a good perspective on diverse types of user needs.
What are you reading? I just finished my favorite series, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s a YA fantasy series, but it’s more about the relationship that develops between this group of friends. All the characters are smart and witty, and it’s really well written.
What do you like to do in your free time? I spend time with my family. I also love board games. My favorites are Trajan, Murano, Agricola and Castles of Burgundy. I also love listening to podcasts: /Filmcast, Bald Move, Keepin’ It 1600, FiveThirtyEight, and Slate’s Political Gabfest. I’m a TV snob. I like “Catastrophe,” but my all-time favorite show is “Friday Night Lights.”