David Eifler, MCP, MLS
Environmental Design Librarian
Areas of Academic Specialty
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City and Regional Planning
How many years have you been in the profession?
Why did you become a librarian?
After careers in the nonprofit and private sectors, I realized I wanted a profession that synthesized the best of both: the social equity aspects of homeless service provision and the innovation and entrepreneurship I experienced working in biotech. I’d been spending a lot of time in public libraries with my young son when it dawned on me that libraries epitomized a commitment to justice, innovation and social entrepreneurship. And, a commitment to education for all. As an older parent I understood that the best gifts we give the next generation are the skills, passion and resources that allow them to become lifelong learners and informed citizens. Becoming an academic librarian at a public university allows me to support the next generation of scholars and citizens while helping preserve the rapidly dwindling commons of public higher education in the service of humanity.
I’m on the executive board of AFT local 1474 at Berkeley.
Why is it important to be active in our union?
Unions are critical to librarians maintaining their professional and academic status in the ever more privatized academy. Working in the union allows us to advocate for our ourselves, our students and our institutions with a collective voice that can’t be easily disregarded. Our union, the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers, brings together professional librarians and lecturers in common cause to better conditions for ourselves and the students, faculty and communities we serve. And, in this current era, unions may also be the last, best hope for protecting the institutions we love and preserving the “public” in our public universities. We simply won’t succeed individually; we need unions to fight for the values of public higher education that we librarians and lecturers understand best.
How are you contributing to this round of bargaining?
- I’m on the Table Team
- I’m on the Statewide Bargaining Committee
What aspects of working conditions do you want to see improve for your fellow librarians?
Salary so that UC librarians can afford a decent life. Adequate professional development funding so we can stay at the top of our game and better contribute to our profession. Improved housing and working conditions that support and promote our diverse social, cultural and academic backgrounds.
When you’re not fighting for the rights of Unit 17 members, what do you do to unwind?
Gardening, home renovation projects, long walks through the community.
What book are you reading right now?
Thomas Childers’ The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany and Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Art of Living
What is your favorite movie?
Lina Wertmuller’s Seven Beauties
Do you have a favorite sports team?
University of Washington Huskies Football
Tell us something most people wouldn’t know or guess about you.
I’ve hitchhiked coast-to-coast five times; once in less than three days.