Submitted By: Tracy Reilly
During the winter, it’s not unusual for the Penn State Behrend campus to be buried under a blanket of snow. For Matt Ciszek, Head Librarian at the John M. Lilley Library, it’s just like being home. Growing up in Niagara Falls, NY, Matt saw his share of blustery, freezing cold days. But in the summertime, he could open his windows and faintly hear the rush of water over the Falls, which were a mere 15 blocks from his childhood home. He says it was a great place to grow up, even with all the tourists.
Matt came to Penn State Behrend in January 2018 after spending 11 years as the Head Librarian at the Penn State Shenango campus. Before starting his career at Penn State, Matt spent several years troubleshooting problems at a company that produced library-related software, much like Workflows. Later, he decided to move into the academic side of library work. He spent a year working at the law library of The University of the District of Columbia, the only historically black, public land grant university in Washington, D.C., where he enjoyed the rich culture and long history of the university.
Matt has spent the last 8 years working in the policy making body of the ALA council. He says he finds it truly worthwhile to work with the leadership and members to create initiatives and policies. It’s also given him a chance to meet a lot of great people. But ALA isn’t the only place where he’s met great people. When it comes to being at Penn State, Matt says “the people at Penn State are what makes it worth the working.” He’s currently looking to do some renovations to the Lilley Library, as well as being in the beginning stages of developing a Knowledge Commons.
In his spare time, you can find Matt singing in the tenor section of his church’s choir. An avid photographer, he likes to take pictures of nature and, especially, buildings and architecture. Something else that Matt enjoys doing is working with stained glass. He took a class on making it and has loved it ever since. He hopes to soon have a house where he, along with his husband Michael, can have the space to create stained glass pieces and have an adorable miniature schnauzer running around the yard.