Mendocino College Faculty in Focus: John Koetzner
Some people might find it surprising to know that Mendocino College Head Librarian, John Koetzner, enthuses over library technology at least as much as books! As part of planning for the new Library building, now under construction on the Ukiah campus, Koetzner recently introduced Thin Clients into the library. These devices, which all use the software on a single server, use only 4 watts of power as compared to 200 - 250 for a regular computer or 150 - 200 for a laptop. Easy to maintain and cost efficient, Koetzner is proud that the Thin Clients have opened up 10 new large screen computer stations in the Library, at a fraction of the cost of new machines.
Koetzner, who is in his eighth year at Mendocino College, received a BA in English at CSU, Dominguez Hills, followed by an M.A. in English at Sonoma State University. His first teaching job was at Santa Rosa Junior High in Santa Rosa, where he taught English and science. While working as a high school Library Media Teacher, he completed a second Master's degree in Library and Information Science through San Jose State University in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he applied and was hired for the position of Head Librarian at Mendocino College. Regarding changes in the past eight years, Koetzner says: ”More students have portable devices - cell phones, laptops, notebooks, iPads, etc. than they did seven years ago. We used to check out laptops in the library, but now students seem to have their own. The notion that a cell phone is a way to access information on the web has been revolutionary for students! I have an iPhone, but I don't want to read articles on it. Yet, many of the students are already doing that.”
Mendocino County Library employee, Robert Parmenter, recalls his years as a student worker in the College library under Koetzner's tuteledge. “I started working at the Mendocino College Library as a student the same year that John was hired on as the reference librarian. It became apparent very quickly that John was on a mission to update and modernize the library as soon as possible, no small feat considering the funds available. I would describe my time working with him as not only exciting, but very motivating too. In all honesty, John is one of the reasons that I decided to look into library sciences as a permanent vocation. It was an amazing time for me, and one I remember very fondly.”
In addition to his job as Head Librarian, Koetzner has worked in the wine industry for many years, and also works as a freelance writer, writing book reviews, music reviews, and a wine column. “While I was a starving undergraduate,” he says, “I worked in the restaurant business as a waiter.” Hobbyist Healdsburg wine makers for over 10 years, Koetzner and his wife planted a little vineyard this summer, and plan to make wine from their own grapes for the first time in a few years.
Koetzner, who is serving his first year as faculty Academic Senate President, says he feels lucky that the faculty have a positive relationship with the college administration, since he knows this is not the case at many college campuses.
When he is not working, Koetzner likes to canoe, hike, go to concerts, dance, read, write, and attend sporting events. Koetzner and his wife share their home with two Miniature Schnauzers and two cats.