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Steven Feyl ’94
This is part 18 in our weekly summer blog series in which we highlight some of the amazing Furman alumni who have gone on to work in library and information professions. Click here to view all posts in this series.
Today our featured alumni is Steven Feyl ’94. Feyl graduated from Furman with a bachelor’s degree in history. Then in 1995, he completed his master’s in library science at Simmons College. He has worked in both academic and public libraries including the New York Public Library system. He currently serves as a university librarian at Pace University.
Tell us a little bit about how you chose to work as a library and information professional?
“In truth the profession chose me. I’ve continually worked in libraries since I was 14 years old when I started as a library page at my hometown local public library in Old Greenwich, CT. It was only after I got to Furman that I had an “a-ha” moment and realized that I could work in a library as a career (I began at Furman thinking that I would major in chemistry but when I could barely get through introductory chemistry I realized that I had to think about alternatives and “Voila!” librarianship!)”
What is the most interesting library in which you’ve worked?
“Working in the branch library system of the New York Public Library was a fascinating experience for me. The people that come into the branch libraries in New York City are a fascinating group of people to work with. Ranging from the wonderful, the heartbreaking, the engaging (and the insane!) everyday there was a surprise and an adventure that is hard to describe and duplicate.”
What is something you have been surprised by during your career?
“I am surprised by how much and how fast libraries have changed in the course of my career. When I first started we were in the death knell phase of the card catalog and now we are talking maker spaces and 3D printers in the library. So much change! Even with all of this rapid change and development, I find there is still something timeless about the library that hasn’t changed and remains the same. I try in my library to preserve both spirits the best that I can.”
Is there a particularly fond memory from your time at Furman that you would be willing to share?
“I have such fond memories of my time working in the old James Buchanan Duke Library as a student worker. I had so much fun working in the library and I can’t state how much these experiences contributed to me becoming a librarian. I remember our library intramural softball team (called “Long Overdue”) and how bad we were. I remember having shelving cart races on the second floor with other student employees after we were done shelving our books (you sit on it like a horse and pull yourself down the shelving aisles with your arms.) I also remember all of the wonderful library staff at Furman that mentored me and nurtured me along the way to become a librarian. Those little moments had a big impact on my career. I try to make sure to make the time to have these moments the best that I can with my current student employees here at Pace University. I dream of someday “spawning” a new librarian into the field and I currently have a couple of student employees hoping to head to library school soon!”