In the First of our Staff of the Month interviews, we meet Tim Niver, currently Community Services Librarian at the Victor Farmington Library. He’s been an invaluable part of the team in VFL’s growth in recent years. Interview by Andrew Ceyton
Hey Tim, thanks for talking. So let’s start with your background. What is it, education-wise and other?
I grew up in Victor and graduated from Victor High School in 1986. I have an Associates in Electronics degree from Alfred State (I’m not sure how I ever graduated). After working for 17 years as an electronic technician and test engineer, I went back to school and graduated in 2010 from Brockport with my BS in English and have NYS certification to teach secondary English and Special Ed. This degree was one of my proudest achievements. When I realized that teaching was not for me (hated it), I went back to school for my Masters in Library Science from the University of Buffalo and graduated in 2012. I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. After graduating, I met our current library director, Elly Dawson, while we both worked part time at the FLCC library. She graciously offered me an opportunity to work at the Victor Library as a front desk clerk. From there, she gave me further opportunities to do some other fun stuff and here I am.
So you grew up in Victor. How has the village changed since then?
Obviously, Victor has grown tremendously in the last couple of decades. There was a time when I was somewhat sour on the growth of Victor and didn’t appreciate how it had changed. I think the high school is so big it could have its own climate. But since working at the library and relearning the community and the people, Victor once again has a special place in my heart. The people I’ve met and re-met are wonderful, friendly and kind. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed from my childhood, actually.
Very nice. I didn’t grow up here but I know what you mean about falling in love with ‘modern’ Victor. Speaking of changes, what changes at VFL in your time here have you been most excited about and/or looking forward to?
The Victor community has grown so much, and while I feel the library has grown, it hasn’t grown proportionally. There are so many opportunities for this library. We’ve only tapped into a small fraction of what can be done here and I look forward to what new ventures the future brings. With that said, Elly has done a tremendous job with relaying out the physical aspects of the library, along with guiding its overall direction. We have more books now than before, but yet the library looks bigger than it did. I am also very fortunate to have the opportunity to establish adult programs and classes, and I’m excited to see the continued growth in our educational and cultural events.
It is pretty amazing how our collection has grown even after removing some shelf space. The programs have been a huge expansion as well. So let’s think Big. If you could have just one pie-in-the-sky wish granted for VFL, what would it be?
I would wish for a huge, enormous state-of-the-art library. High tech check out stations, an automatic book return sorter and more space for labs/maker-spaces which could be used for a variety of things, like a digital recording lab for instance.
That would be amazing. I love to see kids, heck adults too, learning how to express themselves like that. Speaking of kids, Favorite Childhood book?
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats from NIMH, which I checked out frequently at the old library and is still on the shelves in the current library. It’s in pretty good condition after all these years, too.
That’s a good one. Best book read recently?
I love reading, and I always have a queue of books, usually more of the classic stuff. However, the book I just finished reading which I thoroughly enjoyed was The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
Gaiman is a superb technician. I love his short stories. And our final ‘wacky’ question, what famous person do you wish could just follow around besides Elly?
It’s hard to top the opportunities Elly has given me. But the opportunities that author, naturalist, and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau have given me are a lifetime of philosophical guidance and structure, as well as practical and attainable goals.
Thank you so much for your time Tim! Next month, our very own Jane Durham.
For older interviews visit the VFL Staff page. Links to interviews will be next to the interviewee.