Monday, July 06, 2020
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FAST FIVE
Nick Madsen: Lovin’ the library life

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | June 23, 2020 12:03 PM

Meet Nick Madsen, the emerging technology librarian for the Community Library Network. He provides the experience and you provide the curiosity that will lead you to success with technology, now and in the future. Nick started working at the Hayden Library in 2006 and has held his current position since 2018. Going to school online and in the classroom, Nick graduated from North Idaho College with his associate degree, Lewis-Clark State College-Coeur d’Alene with his bachelor’s and University of Kentucky with a Master of Science in library science. Nick has been recognized by the Idaho Afterschool Network, the Coeur d’Alene School District and the Hayden Chamber of Commerce for his work with the community.

Generation:

No matter which date range you use, I fall firmly in the millennial generation. While some of my ideals are not typically shared by my generation, I did find it interesting that most of the pictures I found of myself were selfies.

Career and community involvement:

My family lovingly jokes about my inability to say no to an opportunity. You need someone to step into the leadership role for third through sixth grade boys at the Candlelight Christian Fellowship Awana program? Pick me! You need someone to introduce STEAM activities to young people at the library and at community sites? I’m on it! You need someone to get their Class B CDL to drive a retrofitted transit bus and teach folks how to use technology? I’m your guy! The Community Library Network and my family and friends have invested in me and I do my best to invest in the community.

Parental status:

Krystal, my gorgeous wife, and I have two kiddos: our son, Holden (almost 3 years), and our daughter, Zoe (just turned 9 months). They are currently obsessed with a pineapple-shaped bubble machine.

1. What are some of the best parts of your job?

When I started at the Community Library Network just before my senior year of high school, I just thought it was better than mowing lawns all summer. But, the longer I’ve been in this profession, the more I am impressed by those who stay in this profession. Serving the community is a calling and a passion, and those who make a difference at the library know this, and the community members we serve alongside know this. The library is in a unique position to help community members help themselves.

2. How have you had to do things differently since the pandemic hit?

Our library is known for being out in the community, and offering interactive, hands-on projects. During our confusing and unprecedented circumstances, we have all become more isolated, and sharing an experience has become more complicated. Following our governor’s and local leaders’ guidelines, the Community Library Network protected our community and staff by closing our physical facilities. Shifting gears, our staff created original content like online storytimes and interviews with local experts in gardening and history. Our staff also drew attention to the plethora of resources available through communitylibrary.net. While our libraries offered curbside service, our outreach staff ensured that our most vulnerable populations still received materials by dropping off quarantined items at their apartments or retirement facilities. These measures could not replace our face-to-face connections with our members, but we were excited to engage with members in whichever way we could.

3. What kind of projects do you have planned as we move into this new era, and how will you keep kids engaged with the library through the summer?

Each summer, the Community Library Network, and libraries around our country, provide summer reading programs to keep students engaged through the summer months. While this summer is going to look a little bit different, we are excited about what is coming up. Through the month of June, and for our most popular presenters, we are depending on a digital format. Multiple videos are being posted each week on Facebook and YouTube, and a take-home kit can be picked up at your library. The take-home kit is yours to keep and includes projects you can complete alongside our library staff in the videos. Staff are creating story walks at each of our libraries, and you can visit our Little Community Libraries in parks and community centers. During community events later in the summer, you might see the Bookmobile, the Discovery Bus or our Book Bikes. Events that work well in small groups will start happening in July. The library is continuing to work with our community partners to offer services to their members as well. Kids (and teens and grownups!) can win prizes by reading this summer and tracking their reading at communitylibrary.net/programs.

4. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I have been the approximate height and weight of a newborn giraffe since I was about 14 years old.

5. Who was one of your biggest influences/mentors growing up, and how did he/she help you become the person you are today?

I have been repeatedly blessed by mentors who care about me, provide me opportunities, allow me to make mistakes and help me do better next time. I have met many of them at the Community Library Network, the greater Idaho library community and the Awana program at Candlelight Christian Fellowship. But I’m going to mention the three who did this for me first: My dad, who worked day in and day out, no matter what; my mom, who has unreservedly been there for me; and my older sister, who always pushed me to be as good as she knew I could be.