About Ethan

Professional Work


The biologist Richard Dawkins wrote that genes are the “biological expression of an age”, whereas ideas are the “intellectual expression of a civilization” -- the DNA of a civilization.   Collectively, libraries -- be they print or digital -- store much of this DNA, the gleanings of civilization.   The focus of my work as a librarian has been both to make those gleanings available and to help people understand and produce materials that will be worth gleaning.  Currently, I work as the Head of Access & Technical Services, at Dominican University of California's library.

Because digital information offers easier access than print to a wider audience, I have taught myself extensively about computers and networks, employing these technical skills throughout my career.  For example, when I started my job as District Librarian for
 Redwood City School District the District's 14 library collections were completely isolated.  During my tenure, I connected the catalogs and created an interlibrary loan system between the libraries.  With this upgrade in place, we were able to gradually expand students’ information horizons, as they progressed from grade to grade.  In my current position, I was lead author on an award winning grant to create a mobile computer lab, which I now manage.  Since founding the lab it has been expanded twice to meet demand.  It now consists of 50 MacBooks and is the largest computer lab on campus.  

In addition to developing technical skills, I have authored a variety of award-winning grants, an example of which can be downloaded on my writings page.  I have also supervised 31 individuals, created and taught information literacy courses, coordinated large public library card drives, worked at children's and adult desks at busy public libraries, provided information research services to Bank of America, and worked as the Head of Public Services for a liberal arts college.

Information Technology

For six years, I worked in a variety of capacities with computers and networks.  My responsibilities included administering networks that ran several servers (with different Operating Systems), providing onsite and telephone support for user bases of up to 11,000 people, troubleshooting networks that I did not set-up or design, helping companies to upgrade networks and computers, and upgrading, repairing and building hardware.


While studying at Hebrew Union College, in Cincinnati, OH, I led congregations in Grand Forks, ND and Natchez, MS.  In San Francisco, California and Madison, CT, I worked in synagogues as a summer intern.

Volunteer Work

For more than two years, I volunteered for a library in a charter school within the geographic boundaries of the Redwood City School District, serving many students from disadvantaged families.  Through my volunteer work, I kept their library on a par with the school district's other libraries.

In addition, I have volunteered at the Jewish Community Library of San Francisco, tutored bar mitzvah students and taught Hebrew to adults.


I currently reside in San Francisco, because it is my favorite city I have found so far.  Previously, I have lived in London and Jerusalem.  In my adult life, for 11 years I studied a form of dance called Contact Improv and for 17 years I studied Torah.  For fun, I bicycle, read, write, hike, kayak, dance, travel, found and lead book groups and explore the Bay Area.  You can see some of the hidden places I've found on the Hidden Gems of San Francisco page of this website.  Also, you can read capsule reviews of books that I've enjoyed on my blog page.  I also enjoy tinkering with my computer, which at the moment is a Mac, running the latest version of OS X, Fusion and Windows XP.  For some of my favorite OS X books and utilities, click here.  In addition, I regularly contribute to Wikipedia.


I have a BA in English, with a minor in biology, from Earlham College and an MS in Library Science, from the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill.