Library Staff Profile: LCM Librarian Joan Wagner

IMG_0863Joan Wagner, the Librarian at Lander College for Men can often be seen pushing an iPad cart in the halls. This allows her to go into classes with a mobile computer lab.  She hands everyone an iPad and the information literacy lesson begins.  Behind the scenes, Joan is part of the team that covers the Ask-A-Librarian chat.

The message Joan conveys to students is the importance of mastering information literacy skills.  These skills enhance a student’s resume and make them more appealing to employers.  For example, knowledge of databases such as Lexis Nexis or Hoovers is a plus in the hiring process.

Like Ben Franklin, Joan believes in life-long learning. Franklin started his library to encourage self-education on any topic.  Joan has always felt it is essential to seek information to expand your knowledge, regardless of your education level.

Joan’s career has been filled with variety.  Starting out with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Dowling College, she worked for A & S Department Stores, a burglar alarm manufacturer and a cosmetic compact manufacturer.  Her decades of customer service experience have been instrumental in her ability to develop a rapport with students and faculty.

Eventually returning to graduate school for a Master of Library Science from C.W. Post, she became a librarian.  Joan has had experience in public schools as both an elementary and high school librarian and in public libraries as a children’s, young adult and adult librarian.  As an academic librarian she also taught a three-credit class in information literacy.

Joan has volunteered in the community, local government and schools.  Holding titles of Vice President and delegate, she has addressed her concerns at government assemblies.  On Election Day, Joan has been an employee for the Board of Election for over 20 years.  Her best memories include marching in parades, and making lots of chili and fresh lemonade for fund raising.

Helping her three children with homework on family immigration inspired Joan to explore the world of genealogy.  She is the very first librarian in New York to have taken the Boston University’s Online Genealogical Research Certificate Program.   This training enabled her to be hired as a professional genealogist.  She’s even conducted research for the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”   Holding papers in her hand that were hundreds of years old has allowed her to travel back in time.  Joan really enjoys unraveling these mysteries like a detective.

Joan has always liked hunting down information for herself and others.  This willingness to help others has gained her many acknowledgments, most notably from Dr. Moshe Sokol, the Dean of Lander College for Men, who acknowledged her assistance in his new book; Judaism Examined: Essays in Jewish Philosophy and Ethics.

In the future Joan is considering a post-Master’s certificate in digital archives.  She would like to publish articles and books relating to genealogy.

When Joan is not working, she has enjoyed camping in a pop up camper, traveling from Canada to Florida, making about 5 trips a year for over 12 years. She has hiked along many trails and set foot on plenty of mountains. There have been so many incredible breath-taking moments. Joan has seen many historical sites, including Plymouth Rock and the Liberty bell.


Joan was born in Brooklyn and lived in the Carroll Gardens area.  Always a creative person, she enjoys knitting, crocheting, quilting and embroidery.  She has made rubber band powered balsa wood planes kits and has her own N gauge train set.

Bachmann-2-6-6-2withPencilAn N scale model Train (image retrieved from Wikipedia, April 2014)


Check out the video created by her family on one of their many adventures!

Joan and her children enjoy the beauty of upstate NY’s Letchworth State Park



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