Reference Librarian Brian Hecker Ready to Sift the Stacks

New faculty members, from left to right: Dr. Heath Garris, Mr. Brian Hecker, Dr. David Saiki, Mr. Mark Slavovsky, and Dr. Chris Cyr (photo: Communications Office)

New faculty members, from left to right: Dr. Heath Garris, Mr. Brian Hecker, Dr. David Saiki, Mr. Mark Slavovsky, and Dr. Chris Cyr (photo: Communications Office)

Eleven years after turning his tassel, alumni Brian Hecker rejoins the Covenant family as a reference librarian. Mr. Brian Hecker grew up in Spanaway, Washington, a slightly backwoods area of the state with a wonderful view of Mt. Rainer. He attended both a Christian elementary and high school and in 2002, he joined the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). During his first year studying British Literature at the local Pierce Community College, his pastor suggested visiting Covenant. The following year, Brian travelled across the country and became immersed in the college as a transfer student.

With Professor Davis as his advisor, Hecker majored in philosophy and applied his education outside the classroom by regularly debating and discussing philosophy and theology with his peers. Between his academic studies and hobby of Sunday shape note singing (a colonial American form of singing in large groups), Brian also frequented the coffee shops and art district of Chattanooga.

During his upperclassmen years, he frequented the library, assisting John Holberg, the current Director of Library Services. This was his first introduction to the world of library science. “John Holberg certainly made the research process fun, and certainly made me consider it as a possible career choice,” said Hecker.

After three semesters under Holberg’s wing, Hecker considered going on to complete a MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) degree or even graduate studies in philosophy, but eventually decided to pursue education at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California. He reflected on this decision, stating, “In studying philosophy here, I realized how much I didn’t know about the Bible and Christian theology, and I just wanted a greater foundation in that.”

While studying at Westminster, Hecker picked up a role at the seminary library, developing more experience among the shelves. After graduating, he was accepted into a distance program offered by University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee for a MLIS program.

Unfortunately, at this time, his father had a stroke. Hecker then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his father to act as caregiver by organizing his father’s schedule and medication, driving him to appointments and therapy. Meanwhile, he continued working on his degree. After three and a half years, his father was self-sufficient enough for Hecker to move back to California for the last sixth months of his formal education.

He spent the next two academic years working in two different libraries, one year at his old school Westminster Seminary, and another at Gateway Seminary in Ontario, California.

Then to his great pleasure, in July of 2017, Hecker once again travelled across the country, back to his college roots to share his library expertise with his old school and to work with his old boss, John Holberg. “I’m really pleased to be at Covenant.” said Hecker, “I’ve not been here for several years. There’s a lot of new faces in the faculty and staff, but it’s still a very familiar place.”

While he mostly worked the circulation desk in California, Mr. Hecker now spends every workday living out his passion: reference work. “I really enjoy the research process. I enjoy getting people excited about research,” he said. He can always be found at his desk on the main floor of the library or among the labyrinth of shelves he helps students navigate, eager to indulge his expertise.