Western Courier

Lorenzen chooses a career as a librarian

Tabi Jozwick, Courier Staff

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college to study for their future career, but for Western Illinois University’s Dean of University Libraries Michael Lorenzen, it was a student job at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) that led him to his career as a librarian.

 “While I was a student at Bowling Green State University, I worked in the library there,” Lorenzen said.  “That really got me interested in librarianship and went on and got my master’s in library science at Kent State.”

 A native of Bowling Green, Ohio, Lorenzen played football and wrestled in high school. While he was a student at BGSU, he studied philosophy and radio-TV-film

 “There is not really any jobs for professional philosophers anymore, the job market is tapped for that, but librarianship has been a really good choice,” Lorenzen said. “I have worked at a couple of different schools. I have worked at Ohio University and Michigan State and Central Michigan and Western Washington University and then I came here to be dean in 2013.”

Lorenzen said that when he went to BGSU, he originally planned to enter a different career.

“It would have never occurred to me to work as a librarian,” Lorenzen said. “I was thinking of going into radio-TV-film and that was actually my second major in addition to philosophy. I worked in the library and I really liked it, which I would have never known had I not had a student job. I enjoyed working with materials, I enjoyed helping patrons out and I talked to the librarians of Bowling Green State. . I decided to become a librarian too.”

Like any librarian, Lorenzen does like to read.

 “I have quite a few books at home, although most what I buy now, I donate to the library because I simply don’t have space in the house to keep lots of books,” Lorenzen said.

A favorite book of Lorenzen’s is “Doom” by Frank Herbert because he thinks it is well written and thought provoking.

Outside of reading and working in the library, Lorenzen likes to keep active.

 “I like to go hiking, that’s my favorite physical activity because it keeps my blood pressure down and it doesn’t hurt the joints at all because it’s a good way to move about,” Lorenzen said. “I like to go caving. I’ve been in over 20 caves in six different states.”

Lorenzen’s sense of adventure could have led him to venture out of his major and become a librarian

 However, he does advise students to get prior work in a library before taking on the job.

 “I would say, work in a library first. Get some sort of job as a student or even volunteer if you need to, make sure that you like that kind of work. Lots of people think that they want to become librarians and when they get into the library jobs, it’s not what they thought it was going to be, and they end up going into a different career,” Lorenzen said. “If you did some work in a library, get some idea what it is like and want to do it, then by well pursue it. It doesn’t matter what you get your undergraduate degree in. There’s no undergraduate library science program. They are at the master’s level, so major in something that you like and work in a library and talk to some librarians and if you want to do it, head off to library school.”

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Lorenzen chooses a career as a librarian