Name: Benjamin T. Shurance
Job Title: Library Director, Instituto Bíblico Asunión
Interests and hobbies: running, family, church community (not necessarily in that order)
What is your job?
I’m the Library Director at the Instituto Bíblico Asunción, a Mennonite Brethren seminary in Paraguay. Since I’m the only librarian on staff, I oversee all aspects of our relatively small library: purchasing, cataloging, circulation, statistics, etc.
What is your hobby?
I like to get out and run a couple of times a week, and I try to train for a few distance races each year. I also dedicate a lot of time to my family (my wife and our 15 month old son), as well as serving in our church community (playing keyboard, leading worship, and preaching). These last two are not exactly hobbies per se, but—like hobbies—they bring me pleasure and are simply a large time commitment.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
I am especially grateful for the opportunity to interact with the students and serve them in diverse ways. Whether suggesting research topics, helping to find information, or talking through personal and ministerial experiences, my job allows me to serve in a sort of pastoral role with students.
How does your professional life inform your recreational life?
When I’m doing a lot of cataloging, I sometimes start thinking about things in terms of the DDC.
How often do you shelve books?
Never, unless I’m in the mood to so. Thankfully, there are several students working with me (through the financial aid program) that take care of shelving.
Do you work at the public desk all day?
I do. This can be tiring, as I’m prone to be interrupted at any time. Still, I’ve gotten used to it and am more glad to serve. (And even though it’s a library, the office layout allows me to listen to NPR or music in hushed tones most of the time.)
How boring is your job? Is what you do satisfying?
My job is only boring as I allow it to be. There are days when I don’t live with intentionality (coram Deo as the Latin phrase goes), and I can get bored. But most days, I find purpose, joy, and satisfaction in the ways that I’m able to serve the faculty and students.