Tim Burke
NYLA President
Upper Hudson Library System

Get to Know Tim Burke

How did you first get involved with NYLA?
When I first joined the staff at Albany Public Library as Assistant Director in 2003, NYLA really came onto my radar. I got involved in statewide advocacy work and when I saw how much NYLA does for the library community I knew that this was an organization worth investing time and energy in. I responded to an invitation to present a conference program and at about the same time, I volunteered for a seat on the LAMS Board...and I’ve been involved ever since!

What do you wish people knew about NYLA?
That every time someone joins or gets involved in NYLA, the organization becomes better, stronger, and a better representation of the New York Library community.

What is the best part of being on NYLA Council (or NYLA in general)?
Knowing that the Council is providing leadership for an organization that makes a real difference for so many people. Not just for the library community, but for all the people they serve.

What do you do when you aren’t being a librarian?
I’m a history geek, especially military and naval history and the Colonial/Revolutionary periods, so I am always reading something in those subjects. And it’s an extra bonus living here in the Capital Region, so close to so much of where that history took place, so I do like to get out and visit sites as often as I can. I’m also a sports fan…Go Detroit Lions!; Go Buffalo Sabres! (and the Bills too!); Go Siena Saints! I’ve also been to about 25-30 minor league baseball parks throughout the US…and I have a Canadian one on the schedule for this summer!

What advice would you give to a librarian who is just starting out?
Get involved (and not just in NYLA…but do that first!!). Take every opportunity to build your professional network beyond your library. You never know when or how it will benefit you and your career, but I guarantee that if you get involved, it will make a difference for you.

What is your favorite thing about your local library?
The fact that I have a public library right in my community is my favorite thing. I think it’s entirely too easy for people to take for granted how truly blessed so many of us are to have such a limitless resource right up the street or within a short drive.

Coffee or Tea? Why?
Coffee...the only good tea is iced.

Cats or Dogs? Why?
Dogs…all the affection and loyalty you need, without the attitude!

Cardigans - Yes or No? Why?
Yes…comfortable jeans and a cardigan = weekend.

eBook or Print? Why?
Both…..I switch back and forth between traditional books and ebooks all the time. It’s the information that matters, not the format. Whatever gets me the information that I need (or want), when I need (or want) it is what works for me.

Dewey or LOC? Why?
I spent the first 18 years of my career in academic libraries and much of that time was as a reference librarian, so I (still) know LC better than I know Dewey. Both are wonderful models of individual item classification, but I guess I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for LC.

And finally, the most important question....what is your favorite dessert?
My wife’s homemade chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk.