Meet Tyler Wade, new Cataloging and Metadata Services Fellow at Princeton University Library

Princeton University Library (PUL) is delighted to announce the appointment of Tyler Wade, Cataloging and Metadata Services Fellow. Wade is one of two Fellows who will participate in a two-year fellowship created through the PUL Early Career Fellowship Program. The program, in collaboration with Princeton’s Office of the Provost and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Library and Information Sciences (SLIS), is part of PUL’s ongoing commitment to implement strategies aimed at recruiting and retaining staff from underrepresented groups. The aim is to address racial and ethnic disparities in the library and information science field.

What did you study as an undergrad?
I was a Psychology major and completed my undergraduate degree at North Carolina State University. I minored in Entrepreneurship & Practical Arts. 

Profile pic of Tyler Wade

Photo courtesy of Tyler Wade

What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in librarianship?
I wanted to work in technology, but not as a programmer or engineer, and library information science offered me that. Once at SLIS, an internship at Research Triangle International (RTI) helped me focus on what my specialty would be. I was the first scientific stature hub intern working with the library and information services at RTI.

At RTI, I helped to curate a research repository, improving the accessibility, findability, and usability of their research. This experience helped me understand how broad an impact information science had - that everything that we do entails metadata and cataloging, librarianship made sense to me. There are so many ways to utilize this experience. 

I also worked as a Graduate assistant at NCCU for the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Equity Research (LAIER), where I had some experience working with artificial intelligence. LAIER does research in, among other things, using machine learning for authorship attribution, autonomous vehicle research and various other STEM related projects. I also supported the publication of “Women Breaking Barriers in Libraries and Technologies” with Dr. Aisha Johnson and Dr. Siobahn Day Grady. I was the LAIER’s very first graduate assistant chosen to work specifically with Dr. Grady.

What drew you to this role at Princeton University Library?
I’m so proud to have landed this job at Princeton and to be one of the first two people to come through the fellowship. It is just a privilege to have the opportunity to work in an institution with such a great reputation. I almost didn’t even apply because it was in New Jersey! It’s fun that this is another “first” for me - to be one of the first PUL Early Career Fellows - a hat trick of “firsts”!

What do you hope to accomplish in your two years here?
For myself, I hope to gain new skill sets and make some new friends! It’ll be a great experience to have a network of people who are like-minded - to share ideas with, to learn from, to ask questions of. Thinking more broadly, I hope to be successful in my time so the program can get permanent funding. Paving the way for others who graduate from NCCU to have a similar opportunity would be a wonderful accomplishment.

What aspect of the job are you most excited about?
Getting to work with some of the people who I have met. Jennifer Baxmeyer, Lia Contursi, Bess Sadler - I’m excited to be working alongside these people and learning from them. Bess has even offered to teach me some skills around software development to broaden my knowledge there. It will expand on some of the AI experience I had working at LAIER. 

What are your career aspirations?
Wherever my career takes me, I would like to be a highly viable, highly valuable commodity in the workforce, somewhere in the field of technology - to have a company seek me and my specific and various skill sets out.

Photo of Tyler travelling

Photo courtesy of Tyler Wade

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to travel. My favorite places that I’ve been to so far - Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Belize - and there’s a long list of places I would love to visit. I’m also a huge video and computer gamer. I really love watching anime - I definitely watch more anime programs than television shows with real people. Tokyo is top of the list of places I want to visit - the capital of anime and video games! I’m also a huge NBA basketball fan. My favorite player is LeBron (James), but my favorite team since I was a kid is the San Antonio Spurs. I grew up idolizing Tim Duncan. I’m also a big nerd when it comes to Marvel and DC comic movies - I’m not a big comic book reader, but watching the movies made me want to go back and research all the characters and their storylines through their original comic books. I also love to eat! 

Who inspires you?
My mother inspires me to do better. She is always motivating me to be the best version of myself. Constantly trying to make her proud is a big reason for my success. I simply just want to repay her for always putting me in great positions to be successful in all my life endeavors. No matter what happens I know she always has my back and it’s hard to fail when you have someone in your corner who is constantly cheering you on!

Tyler begins his fellowship on July 11. He will be based in Cedar Grove, North Carolina, and will be on campus July 11-23 to work alongside the Cataloging and Metadata Services team and to attend the Library IT, Imaging and Metadata Services All-Hands meeting.

Published July 11, 2022.

Interview by Stephanie Oster, Publicity Manager

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications