Who is Mike?

I'm a technology tutor and librarian who lives in Chicagoland with my wife and kid (11 years old in 2015). I received my Bachelor's in English (with a VERY useful minor in Cinema Studies) in 1992 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1994 I was awarded an MLS from the same place. I've worked at a number of universities and businesses in a variety of roles, with the now deceased Andersen and my previous employer being the ones where I worked the longest. 

Am I social?

I'm not a particularly social guy but I do have a presence on most social media platforms. Usually if you search gershbec you will find me. BTW, gershbec is a combination of my last name and my wife's last name. But don't worry - she has her own social presence and gershbec is all mine!

Here are the places where you can find me online:


In 2014 I launched the company Very Smart People. Very Smart People offers one-on-one and group training in Apple products, social/web technology and more. I launched this company because I was coming across more and more patrons who were getting their hands on gadgets, phones, tablets, etc. and asking for assistance. Instruction and troubleshooting were some of my favorite parts of my job as a librarian so I figured that maybe I could try to make a living doing it. Contact me if you'd like to see me speak!

I was the Virtual Services Librarian at the Glencoe Public Library, in Glencoe, Illinois for ten years but left in 2015 so I could concentrate on my business. I'm a Mac guy but will certainly use Windows when it's necessary.

So what else ya got?

Music: I love music and I have quite a big collection of cds. Most of them are ripped in Apple Lossless to a hard-drive (which is backed up to a Drobo) and are played through my stereo using a Squeezebox. The songs then get listed at Last.fm where you can subscribe to my station! I'm also on Rdio and Spotify. Or if you really want to get old school you can take a look at the list of my Edison Phonograph records. I have an Edison C-150 phonograph.

Movies: I watch a LOT of movies and I also purchase the movies for my library. I love watching classic Hollywood, foreign films, independent films, horror, documentaries and pretty much anything that's not a recent major Hollywood release (though I do like some of those as well). It's not comprehensive, but my list of completed items on Bibliocommons is a pretty good glance at what I enjoy (it also includes the books that I remember to include). Also, I'm a sucker for anything on Criterion.

Books: As a librarian I feel obliged to list the books that I enjoy, though I am a very slow reader. I enjoy history, biography, music, popular science, true crime and anything else that's well written and pulls me in. After reading fiction for years I came to the conclusion that it does not have much appeal to me (though I will still force myself to read a new Thomas Pynchon book). Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August is the standard that I hold all other nonfiction books to. I'm lazy about recording my books, though sometimes they make it into my Goodreads list. I think Ereaders are great and I enjoy my Kindle Paperwhite, though I’ve largely moved to reading on an iPad.

Nostalgia: I grew up in the 70s and from what I can remember it was a pretty good decade! Many of my interests stem from that period. My favorite toy was Micronauts and while I've collected a few, unfortunately most of my collection was sold at a garage sale many years ago. A much more comprehensive collection for me is Intellivision. I own Intellivision I and II, the computer add-on, the music keyboard, the Intellivoice and nearly all the games.

Sports: The White Sox are my team. I pretty much watch any Chicago sports (NOT the C#bs) and I've become a major soccer fan since my son started playing a few years back. I enjoy attending events at Northwestern University, which has replaced the U of I as my go-to college team. I also enjoy running, doing yoga and anything else to keep my fat gut under control.