Welcome Matt Johnson, Librarian for English and History

Please join us in welcoming Matt Johnson, our new librarian for English and history, to the UCLA Library! We asked Matt a few questions about coming to UCLA:

What goals/hopes do you have for this year as our new librarian for English and history?
I look forward to building relationships with the students, faculty, and staff in the English, history, and comparative literature departments and working with colleagues in the English Reading Room, Library Special Collections, and the Clark Library (and beyond) to enrich the experience of students, contribute to teaching and learning, and assist in the research process. I’m particularly interested in interdisciplinary research and programs, and I look forward to working with Library and campus partners to support this work.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?
I received a BA in English in literature and language at Virginia Tech and a MS in library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill along with two graduate certificates related to public health. I’ve always been interested in conducting and supporting research from being a writing center consultant to undergraduate research ambassador to now a librarian, and from course assignments to conference presentations to publications. I’m eager to see how I can help to shape UCLA Library and to see how I can contribute to teaching, learning, and research at UCLA.

What things will you be tackling first? 
I look forward to the opportunity to meet with students, faculty, and staff to learn about their needs and goals to see how the Library can best support them. Similarly, I look forward to building relationships with colleagues at the Library and across campus and getting involved with current and new teams and projects.

What are you currently reading, watching, and listening to? or What do you like to do outside of work?
Before moving to Los Angeles, I solicited a list of books that take place in LA; so, I’m currently working through that list (thanks to LA County Public Libraries). I’ve read Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and I’ve recently finished Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Marie Lu’s Champion. On the academic side, I’ve just finished Kane Race’s Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs and Matthew Reidsma’s Masked by Trust: Bias in Library Discovery. I have yet to pick my next book.

In terms of television, I’ve just finished re-watching Gossip Girl (and disappointing myself with the final reveal of Gossip Girl), and I’ve turned to Gilmore Girls. My television watching is mostly oscillating between these two cultural artifacts—at some point, I might develop taste.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but my favorite song at the moment is Karaoke by Big Freedia (ft. Lizzo).

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We are delighted to have Matt join the UCLA Library. You can contact him at mattweirick@library.ucla.edu