Librarian makes College of IST his focus

April 20, 2009

By Kim Nguyen

Communications Intern, College of IST

Daniel Hickey already knew from his undergraduate study that he wanted to become a librarian. He expected that he would work as an academic librarian when he received his Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

He thought that he would stay within the Pittsburgh area to start his career — until he attended a conference, and that’s when Penn State became his future.
“When I attended the American Library Association’s annual conference I met my current boss, who told me about the job,” Hickey said. “It seemed like a perfect fit with my education and experience, so I applied.”

Hickey is the College of Information Sciences and Technology's new academic librarian. He started this position in January and is applying his expert research assistance within the area of IST.

“I’m more of like the front line when it comes to answering questions and finding resources that are relevant to research,” Hickey said.

Although he said he may make his job sound easy, Hickey asserts that it takes a considerable amount of work.

“I can get upwards of 20 questions a day, it can just be a lot of time and energy spent,” he said. “You want to help as many people as possible, but then sometimes demand can then exceed faculties.”

Hickey serves as a liaison between the college and the University Libraries. His job includes holding instruction sessions, designing and maintaining Web-based research guides, and helping College of IST students and faculty with finding material for their research.

When it comes to faculty research, Hickey said that the questions he receives can be challenging.

“A lot of the questions that I get from faculty pertaining to research are very difficult,” he said. “They’re researching cutting-edge technology, things that have never been done before -- it can be daunting.”

Hickey’s goal is to help make College of IST students more marketable when they graduate by assisting them in discovering what information sciences and technology resources are used in the industry. He also wants to make sure that students and faculty are getting the best kind of information and applying it in an ethical manner.

“I want to make sure that their research is moving them forward rather than shutting out possibilites,” he said.

Interacting with students is one of the activities Hickey enjoys most as an academic librarian. The enthusiasm that he sees reminds him why he loves research.
In fact, his job also helps him with his own research, as he holds interests in the use of electronic resources in businesses and industry, technology-based forms of reference services and information visualization. He plans to start publishing in the future.

“I see the interconnected nature of what’s going in the school and what’s going on in the library to see the bigger picture,” Hickey said.
College of IST students and faculty can work with Hickey either digitally (through e-mail) or one-on-one. He also holds office hours within his two offices, either in the 316A IST building or in 302 Paterno Library.

For more information, contact Daniel Hickey at



Last Updated January 09, 2015