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Meet the MCLS trainers: John Sterbenz

John Sterbenz has been an instructor with MCLS (and previously, MLC) for 15 years. He has taught several OCLC classes and Excel workshops in the past and currently teaches the ever-popular MARC: An Introduction along with MeLCat Cataloging and Advanced MeLCat Cataloging. We featured John in the MCLS newsletter back in March 2018. Now seemed like a good time to re-introduce him, since he recently joined the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET) as its Executive Director.

Prior to this new position at DALNET, John had been employed at the Kresge Business Administration Library at The University of Michigan since 1992, joining its librarian ranks in 1998. He spent over 18 years serving in various Technical Services roles at the library, including as manager of the unit from 2000 – 2016. In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Senior Associate Librarian, and was responsible for primary administration of Kresge’s Innovative Interfaces library automation system and electronic collection development. Professionally active across the region and nationally, he has participated in numerous presentations, panel discussions, and committees related to Technical Services, cataloging, and systems matters.

We asked John to tell you about himself and his work with us at MCLS:

“I’m proud to be a part of the MCLS instruction team, helping to lay a foundation critical for the success of not just libraries generally, but broader efforts like MeLCat through the instruction of courses like MARC: An Introduction and the various MeLCat Cataloging courses. I was selected to serve as one of the original MeLCat Cataloging instructors with the creation of those courses in 2006 and remain dedicated to their instruction throughout changes made not only to the various MeLCat servers but to the cataloging standards as well.

“I’m a professional instrumental musician, playing occasional jobs on accordion and piano. I also sing, taking an active role in theatrical productions and choruses throughout high school and college and then picking up the hobby again around 13 years ago. My current singing efforts are focused on the barbershop genre, where I sing with a barbershop chorus and a quartet which occasionally performs across Washtenaw County. I enjoy travel–especially to amusement parks, national parks, cities, beach visits, and in support of various University of Michigan teams. Cooking–baking, in particular–is also a fun pastime. I’m also an avid pub trivia player, with my team winning over $2,000 in cash and $5,000 in other prizes since starting to play in 2014.

“Most of my courses are taught from home and my cat CinderFella will sometimes want to…’grace’…my classes with his presence. Popular and photogenic, a picture of him is included in each day’s slide deck so that his popularity can continue on even if he elects to not pay me a visit during any given class!”

Semester after semester, John remains one of our highest-evaluated instructors; here’s what just one participant had to say:

“Mr. Sterbenz did an excellent job leading the workshop. His pace was good (though there was an enormous amount of material to cover); he stopped in appropriate places to ask if people had questions, he was clear on directions and outlined how the course would run and what he planned to do each session. [John] reviewed what we covered the previous day and highlighted what he thought were the necessary takeaways. Many thanks–I would highly recommend the workshop to anyone.”

We are thankful for the excellent teaching John has provided for our workshop participants through the years and look forward to our continued partnership. Congratulations on your new position, John!