Staff Spotlight - Nick Kneer

Staff spotlight: Nick Kneer, communications specialist

Nick Kneer joined the University Libraries in March as communications specialist.


Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?

I am thoroughly Ohioan: I was born in Sharonville, grew up north of Dayton, graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelor's in psychology, worked a summer in the Akron area, and finally moved back to the Cincinnati area around 2013. I'm living in Liberty Township now.


What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?

I am the Libraries' Communication Specialist, and it's my job to showcase the resources, programs, and people that make Miami University Libraries the academic heart of campus. One of the ways I'll do that is through visual storytelling, drawing on my background as a photographer and videographer. I'm also responsible for managing the Libraries' social media accounts, so give us a follow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to join the conversation.


What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?

In all honesty, I wasn't specifically looking to work in a library. I was initially intrigued by the role itself and the opportunities I'd have to tell stories, but the more I learned about what the Miami Libraries offered students and faculty, the ways it's innovating and meeting the needs of an increasingly digital and mobile student, and the truly fascinating programs it's developing, the more excited I became about being a part of that environment. Ultimately, after meeting the staff and touring the facility, I knew this was the place for me.


What's the best part of working in a library?

I love being surrounded by people who are insatiably curious, eager to share their knowledge and skills, and truly passionate about the work they do. It's not every workplace where you'll learn about the history of American cheese from a water cooler conversation with a web developer.


What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library? 

If you have an idea, but need a certain piece of equipment or expertise to make it a reality, chances are you can find what you need -- and someone to enthusiastically teach you how to use it -- at the library, free of charge. 


What are you most excited about tackling in your new role?

The Libraries offer so many truly exciting programs and resources, and I'm looking forward to not only learning more about them, but finding creative and engaging ways to share them with the campus community.


What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?

Yeesh, that's a tough one. One of the most interesting fiction books I've read in the past year is Blindsight by Peter Watts. My favorite comfort series is Harry Potter, though.


Any hobbies?

Too many. I love music and theater, cooking and baking, computer gaming and programming, board games, and terrifying my wife with various home improvement projects.


What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?

One of my earliest assignments as a first-year staff photographer for the student newspaper at the University of Toledo was to cover a rally downtown for a little-known senator who was campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary, and that's how I got to photograph Barack Obama.