May 18, 2022

Michael Rodriguez: UConn Librarian and Wiki Writer

From the University of Connecticut:

Michael Rodriguez (Image: Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Among the more than 6rom across UConn’s past and present – from Ratcliffe Hicks to Andrew Agwunobi, from the Benton Museum to Charles and Augustus Storrs.

These widely varied encyclopedic entries share a commonality: They were written by Michael Rodriguez.

“Editing Wikipedia feels like a meditative activity – it’s something you do to wind down the day,” says Rodriguez. “Some people sit on the couch and watch television. I sit on the couch, and probably watch television, but also write Wikipedia articles.”

Part Hobby, Part Public Service

Rodriguez works as a collections strategist for the UConn Library. His job is to think holistically about the library’s various collections, assess the needs of the various communities who rely on the library, and then make decisions about the materials the library acquires or makes available.

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He writes Wikipedia articles under the handle “Topshelver” – a nod to his college days, when he worked part-time in his public library in Florida and spent a lot of time re-shelving books – many, many books. At one point, he’d gotten so good at shelving books that he timed himself to see just how fast he could go.

“I realized I had shelved 200 books in an hour,” he says. “One of my colleagues at the time jokingly said that you’re a ‘top shelver,’ and it just stuck.”

For Rodriguez, the appeal of Wikipedia echoes the appeal of being a librarian, a profession that involves so much more than just putting books back on shelves. Library and information science offers the ability to learn about a vast array of topics and contribute knowledge to the public sphere.

Learn More, Read the Complete Profile (about 1280 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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