One of the newest members of The Gunnery faculty is Ed Surjan, our Library Director. I asked Ed to introduce himself and his thinking to the broader Gunnery community via this blog. You’ll see that he combines a deep love of learning, of books, and of literacy skills with great experience in the “real world” and innovative thinking about engaging students and using space (broadly defined) to that end. Welcome, Mr. Surjan!
Having started my first company while still just an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, I come with an active, participatory, entrepreneurial, and technology oriented mindset to my school library career. Prior to appointment as Library Director at the Gunnery this summer, I spent four years in the library at Berkshire School, and am currently a MLIS (Master of Library & Information Science) candidate at Syracuse University.
My approach to librarianship focuses on people, relationships and community, in contrast with the passive methodologies usually associated with libraries in the past. Today, the focus is clearly on our students and actively facilitating knowledge creation in our school community. This centers around developing information, research and digital literacy skills that prepare Gunnery students both for college and lifelong learning in a substantive and comprehensive way. In fact, the critical transition from high school to college is an area of intense personal interest and concentration rarely far from my mind.
The Gunnery Tisch Library will extend well beyond its physical walls as the library staff and I will be a frequent presence in the classroom and around campus. Enhanced library digital resources will be available to our entire community on or off campus anywhere an internet connection can be found on any device.
A passionate lifelong Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks fan, I live off-campus with my wife, BJ, and our yellow Labrador, Joe. In my (limited) free time, I remain an avid, omnivorous reader and music lover, especially of blues and jazz.