ALSC Member Profile

ALSC Member Profile — Meet John Galdun

Each month, an ALSC member will be profiled and we will learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just ten questions, we hope to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. This month, our candidate was randomly selected and was kind enough – and brave enough – to agree to participate. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, John Galdun!

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

I am a Cataloger. Though I have held various positions over the years since 1997, such as Youth Services Librarian and Youth Services Assistant Manager, I fit cataloging into the position. My first job was as a Cataloger of all children’s materials as well as music and movies. I love music and movies. So ever since, I have managed to keep cataloging, and since I love making stuff available to kids, I have kept my focus on children’s materials. Currently, I catalog all children’s materials except movies. I also catalog adult music and audiobooks. Most of what I now do involves copy cataloging in which I fix up vendor records. However, I also work the adult music Reference Desk most weekends. I work at the Indian Trails Public Library District, in Wheeling, IL.

2. How long have you been an ALA member?

13 years.

3. Why did you join ALSC?

I believe children deserve better library services.

4. Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

Yes, I belong to the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). I also belong to the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section (ALCTS CCS). Moreover, I belong to the Public Library Association (PLA).

5. What do you think children’s librarians will be doing ten years from now?

They will get off their chairs and play with the kids. There will be more interaction, teaching them more on how to find what they need on their own, posting their own stuff on the Web, using technology like IPADs and such. I think children’s librarians will become more specialized to handle niche areas like autistic kids or artistic kids and cater to the crowd, like playing video games WITH the kids AND their parents and/or having more comic book conventions involving local artists, collectors, and such. They will display more of what the children collect or create themselves. I think children’s librarians will become more focused on families and family programs. They will empower children even more by becoming a bigger part of the various local social programs, like catering to after-school clubs, also visiting day care centers, and such.

6. What do you think libraries will look like fifty years from now?

I think they will be more focused on children/families. Yes, I realize the taxpayers are adults, but the children/families need the Library more than adults do. I have a feeling parents will get more involved with their libraries and there will be more homegrown programming. Parents will step up and give talks to the children on what they do for a living, taking kids on tours of their workplaces, provide cooking programs, auto care programs, gardening, grilling, etc. There will be more space at the Libraries, and less materials taking up that space, which will then be filled with people. Libraries will be more “green,” and safer in general.

7. What book are you currently reading?

I am listening to an abridged audiobook of The meaning of life : Buddhist perspectives on cause and effect / by the Dalai Lama. I have a long commute, so most of my reading is via audiobooks. Also, I help run a program on meditation (it’s currently all adults, but kids are welcome, though they get a bit fidgety and end up leaving with their parents) involving the teachings of OSHO. As a result, I am drawn to various books related to meditation and find myself now studying cause and effect. I just finished disc 2 (of 3) and it really stresses the mental aspect of our lives and how our motivations/perceptions drive our actions/decisions.

8. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At first, I wanted to be a doctor, because I have had allergies most of my life, but I loved music so much, I wanted to make speakers that actually sound good and right. I never bothered to really learn to play an instrument. I just wanted music to sound good. I ended up going to college to study Acoustics, but the math was so involved and technical I almost lost my love for music. I liked helping kids, and ended up graduating with a Child Psychology BS with a minor in Philosophy. I liked Philosophy so much I went into Grad School to get an MA in it, and landed an internship as a Librarian. The rest is history.

9. How much time do you spend on a computer each week?

I am on a computer all day at work, so I use one as little as possible when I am home.

10. What’s one “rule” you wished every librarian followed?

Compassion. Be nice to each other.


Thanks, John! What a great continuation to our monthly profile feature! (John can be reached at

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our monthly ALSC profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send us your name and email address at; we’ll see what we can do.

One comment

  1. Stephanie

    I second John’s prediction that the libraries of the future will be more geared to children/families. I also think there will be a stronger multicultural emphasis. For example, I envision libraries offering second language classes, books in a wide variety of languages, and fun globally-inspired programs.

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