My name is Jon Frater. I’m a librarian at Metropolitan College of New York, and I’ve been here since 2007. Before that, I was still in library school, working as part of the Technical Services department at the New York Academy of Medicine. Until recently, NYAM was the second largest medical library that was open to the public. My start date there: September 10, 2001.
I’m a librarian. Specifically I’m a Technical Services Librarian which is a fancy way for me to tell people that I’m responsible for making sure that orders get processed, materials arrive on time, and are correctly situated in our online catalog so that our students and faculty can find the stuff on our shelves and in our catalog. It sounds more complicated than it is, and in daily life, I’m a computer jockey more than a book jockey. It keep me busy and it pays the bills, and there’s always something new to learn. At any rate, I’m not suicidal.
I teach. I’ve been teaching on and off since 1993, when I moved to Nagano, Japan to teach English to Japanese high school kids by way of the JET program. When I got back to the states, I found that to teach in NYC, you needed a license, and so I started the process of getting one. I joined the Teacher’s Education Program at Hunter College, got an OPD license to sub and I used that to work with 6th, 7th and 8th graders at I.S. 145 in Jackson Heights. It was fun.
What got me out of teaching was the paperwork: OPD license holders need to renew their paperwork every year, and I sent mine in months ahead of the game (early May? I think?) September loomed and I’d heard nothing from the Board Of Ed. So I went to the office in Brooklyn to find out what had happened to my license. “What license?” they said. Then they showed me a desk with a stack of paper at least a foot high and let me know in no uncertain terms that my paperwork was in that pile somewhere and they would get to it when they got to it. I quit the Board of Ed. on the spot, got myself a job at the Academy as a stacks monkey and I’ve been working in libraries ever since.
I write. Newspaper articles, magazine articles, game reviews, book reviews. I even wrote and sold a few radio plays to an outfit calling itself Mental Minutes, and a couple of RPG adventure books to Palladium Books for their Robotech line. I’ve written library-related articles for journals and contributed book chapters. At the moment, I’m working on placing more non-library work, but that’s a long term goal. I’m also working on a series of science fiction books called The Blockade but that’s a very long term goal.
I blog. I came up with the name Rogue Scholar in a fit of pretentious pedantry years ago and imagined a whole web site devoted to material for teachers to browse through. A blog was easier to build and maintain. Mostly, I try to post on topics that interest me.