Education: University of Iowa (B.A. and M.A.)
- Reference Librarian, CSU Channel Islands, 2015 – 2019
- Adjunct Professor, University of North Texas, 2010 – 2016
- Director of Thousand Oaks (CA) Library: 2000-2014
- Deputy Director of Thousand Oaks (CA) Library 1990-2000
- Head of Fine Arts, Des Moines (IA) Public Library 1979-1990
- Road Manager, Bill and Bonnie Hearne 1976- 1979
- Director, Harwood Foundation of the University of New Mexico, Taos 1972-1975
- Caretaker, Donner/Branham Ranch, San Cristobal, NM 1970-1972
Non-profit Board Experience:
- Ventura County Library Foundation 2017 – present
- Folk Alliance Region-West (FAR-West) 2009 – 2017
- Hospice of the Conejo, 2001-2005
Specific adventures that have formed Steve’s world view include:
Caretaking a Ranch in Northern New Mexico.
Donner Ranch in San Cristobal, NM (Photo by Jeff Hart)
Through the generosity of Eya Fechin, daughter of Russian artist Nicolai Fechin, Steve lived and worked as a caretaker on the Branham Ranch – now the Donner Ranch – in San Cristobal NM in the 1970s. While Steve lived on the ranch, he acquired basic carpentry and general maintenance skills in exchange for room and board. The ranch is now under the wise stewardship of Eya’s daughter Nikki and her husband Mark Donner.
A Solo Bicycle Trip Through England and the Netherlands
After leaving New Mexico early in 1976, Steve planned a solo bicycle trip through England. He shipped his bicycle and himself to New York where he caught a flight to Heathrow International Airport just outside of London. After landing, he retrieved his bicycle from Baggage Claim, pumped up his tires and rode into the English countryside.
He concentrated his ride on southern England, visiting Stonehenge, Oxford, Stratford-on-Avon and Cambridge in three weeks time. His routine was simple: ride in the morning, find a place to stay early in the afternoon (usually a pub or bed-and-breakfast), and explore the neighborhood for the afternoon and evening. I would then go to bed early and start all over again the following day.
First of Several Trips to Europe
After completing his bicycle adventures in England and the Netherlands, he parked his bicycle in a bicycle parking garage in Den Haag, and then eurailed throughout Europe. Visited the Eiger in Switzerland, the Costa del Sol in Spain, as well as Paris and Amsterdam.
Academic and Library Worlds
Steve has made libraries a significant part of his world since his high school days when he was a Page at the Des Moines Public Library. He continued his library ways – it was not yet a career – at the University of Iowa where he worked in the Medical, Speech Pathology and Pharmacy Libraries his junior and senior years.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree and a Masters degree from the University of Iowa, Steve’s first job after receiving his MLS was as the director of Taos, New Mexico’s Harwood Foundation of the University of New Mexico.
The Harwood Foundation of the University of New Mexico served as the only public library in Taos County and also housed an art museum featuring works by most of the major artists who lived and worked in Taos. Steve was director there from 1972-1976.
In 1974, Steve began a friendship with library luminary Lawrence Clark Powell for whom the Powell Library on the UCLA campus was named. Powell wrote about Brogden in the Jan 1975 issue of Westways magazine:
“Heading the Harwood is lanky, long-haired Iowa transplant Steve Brogden, another of today’s idealistic and practical young people who are continually renewing my faith in mankind.”
In 1975 and 1976, Steve was appointed Visiting Lecturer at the University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science. Here he taught Basic Reference, Library Administration and Trends in Library Service.
After a three-year stint as road manager in the music world (see below), Steve turned his focus back to his library career. He served at the Des Moines (IA) Public Library as a Film Librarian from 1979-1980, and as Head of Fine Arts from 1980 to 1990. Afterward, he served at the Thousand Oaks (CA) Library as Deputy Director from 1990-2000, and as Director from 2000-2014. He made a return back to the academic world in 2010 when he was appointed to be Adjunct Professor for the Los Angeles cohort of the University of North Texas. Here he taught “Advanced Management of Information Agencies.” This UNT program was held in conjunction with the Cal State University Northridge.
Certainly the high point of Steve’s career with the Thousand Oaks Library was the planning, construction and opening of the 22,000 sq ft Childrens Library. Complete with a 4,000 gallon salt water aquarium, the Children’s Library is a reminder to the children of Thousand Oaks that their lives matter, that the city cared enough about them to construct this beautiful library just for them.
Said Thousand Oaks mayor Andy Fox on the occasion of Steve’s 2014 retirement from the Thousand Oaks Library:
“Brogden, you should be proud. You left it better than you found it!”