Benson Memorial Library, Chattanooga Public Library, Chattanooga, TN, Libraries, Music, Portland, ME, The Beach Boys and Libraries, Titusville, PA

The Library Career Arc of Justin Hoenke As Told Through GIFS of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys and Their Overall Career Arc

It lines up! You’ve gotta trust me!

1964 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2008-2012/2013: Cape May (NJ) County Library and Portland (ME) Public Library. Little stuff. Teen Librarian. Neat little programs. The surfing songs version of librarianship. Very basic ideas that were creative and at the same time hinted at the fact that I had some bigger ideas up my sleeve. People seem to dig it.

The Beach Boys GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2013-2015: Chattanooga (TN) Public Library. Let’s do some neat stuff. Month long code camps (DEV DEV), sewing machines, 3D printers, maker and learning tables, one gigabit per second super fast internet, entire floors dedicated to creativity, thinking outside the box, and trying to reinvent the library. The PET SOUNDS and SMiLE of my library career. Like Brian Wilson, I was surrounded by some of the most creative and talented people I have ever met. The best of times. The most creative library experience ever.

The View Abc GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2015-Present: Benson Memorial Library (Titusville, PA). Little stuff. Very focused to this tiny community. The equivalent of the bedroom tapes, SMILEY SMILE, FRIENDS, and other tiny little Beach Boys and Brian Wilson gems between 1967-1971. The songs don’t change the world, but if you hear them you like them and they bring you happiness. Good work. Out of the spotlight.

Beach Boys GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

A POSSIBLE FUTURE: A retreat. This stuff is wearing me down. I can’t please everyone and I do my best to make the experience a positive one for everyone, but the loud voices just keep getting louder. Do I want to use my time here on earth and my limited energy on battles? Do I have to change the world? I don’t. All that I have to do is take care of myself and my family and be myself. I can retreat. I don’t have to do this forever.


A possible organizational chart for a public library (2012)

Over a year ago, I wrote this post to collect my many thoughts on the always changing idea of the public library.  I’ve spent some time looking back on that model and have decided to revisit it here in this post.

As with last year’s post, I must stress that I don’t think this is a foolproof model, but instead a collection of ideas for a possible way forward in the public library.  In this year’s model, my focus was to improve communication in the library and to narrow down specific jobs and give people more of a focus.  As a teen librarian who does collection development, programming, and also content creation with my teen library members, I have first hand experience in how balancing the three areas can sometimes be a very daunting task.  Sometimes I will be extremely focused on content creation and the other two areas of my job will not be given as much focus.  It happens, but I believe that in order to move ahead we must give the community the best experiences we can provide them with.  Giving them different library services that are sometimes only half focused on will not suffice.

ADMINISTRATION: Includes CEO, Business Manager, Human Resources, and a Library Manager.  The administration is tasked with keeping the library functioning.  They handle all of the behind the scenes events…budgets, insurances, pensions, record keeping, etc.  The Library Manager is the equivalent of the Library Director.  Their role as part of the administration is to add a “librarian” element into the administration team.

COLLECTORS: Collectors fill a role that most public librarians are involved in currently.  Collectors will first and foremost collec popular materials (books, music, movies, video games, etc in both physical and digital formats) but also work with Creators and Community to collect other locally produced content.  Collectors will have a specific focus (it could be as wide as popular materials or as specific as graphic novels).

CREATORS: Creators are those staff that are tasked with helping library members create unique items.  These items could be physical, digital, or works of art…the creators help the library members bring their vision to life.  Creators will each have a specific focus and training (ex: one person has a focus in recording music) and will work with community members.

COMMUNITY: Community is tasked with programming for the entire library, managing connections with the community and its organizations, social workers, educators, and more.  Their role is designed to provide more focus to the aspect of programming and establishing connections with the community and its organizations.

Think of the library as a web.  We are all connected, yet at the same time we can be very far apart from each other.  At the center of this web is the spider.  The spider acts as the unit  that can zoom around the web keeping all necessary parties informed.  They collect all of the library’s information and make sure that it is disseminated to all necessary areas.  Sometimes they’ll involve other areas very deeply and other times it may just be to keep them updated on what’s happening in the library.  The spiders connect the library.  Their job is to hold the library together and interpret all of the ideas happening every day within the library.

To clarify, I’ll provide you with an example:

The creators are looking to invest in a 3D printer for the library and they know that in order to make this idea a realization they will have to get a grant to fund the project.  The creators cannot take time out of their work with library members in order to write the grant with development, so instead members from the spiders spend time with the creators and watch what they do, talk to creators to understand what having this tool would do for the library, and collect as much information to move the project forward.  The member of the spiders that met with the creators would then take all of this information and move it along to development, who would be in charge of writing the grant to hopefully get the 3D printer.

In conclusion, the spider travels around the library and becomes a member of a specific area for a small amount of time in order ease communication.

SERVICE: This is my catch all term for the areas of the library that include Circulation, Shelving, Security, Maintenance, Technical Services, and other traditional library services that are necessary for the library to function.

TECHNOLOGY: Runs all of the technology in the library and works with the other library areas to make sure their technology needs are met.  The technology area will be divided between those employees that work on the patron side of the network and the staff side of the network.

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Public relations deals with all of the PR for the library, informing the community about events, collections, and anything that happens in the library.  

DEVELOPMENT: Development is tasked with helping the library find funding beyond the public funding it already receives.  


  • You’ll notice that the communication lines go directly to the area I am calling the spiders and not between the other areas of the library.  I believe I should clarify this.  The idea behind the spiders is not to have all communication always going through them.  The other areas of the library are most definitely encouraged to communicate with one another.  I just didn’t want to put all of those lines on the chart as it would’ve made it almost unreadable.
  • Thanks to Susanne Duncan at the Portland Public Library for planting the idea of “spiders” in my head.  Once I heard the idea from you, I knew it fit in this piece.