Andi Beckendorf '93

Associate professor of library and information studies, research and instruction librarian

Loves bass instruments: Andi started playing the double bass when she was nine years old. Since then, she's developed an interest in playing more unique bass instruments like those from Russia-- including the balalaika and domra. "My personal goal is to learn how to play as many bass instruments as possible," says Andi. "Now I hope to teach myself how to play the bass guitar."

On sabbatical: Andi recently found an ideal way to combine her background in music, research, and library science. On a recent sabbatical she researched how to create an index of the back issues of Bass World (a publication written and produced by the International Society of Bassists) and offer them in a digitized format.

Her advice to prospective and current students: "Don't be afraid to explore and take courses in what you're interested in," Andi says. "It may be a topic that will come in handy in your future career or turn into a fulfilling personal hobby."

You could say Andi has developed strong ties to Luther throughout her life. "I first visited the Luther campus when I attended Dorian Orchestra Festival while I was in high school," says Andi. "Since then, I've been here as a college student, an adjunct music professor, and now as an associate professor in library and information studies."

Although Andi's role has shifted in recent years to teaching library research skills, she continues to develop her interests and talents in music.

For example, she currently plays in a nearby regional symphony orchestra which holds regular rehearsals and gives several concerts each year. She also plays her Russian folk instruments for benefit concerts and fund-raisers. "What people find most interesting about these instruments is their unique look. The sound is appealing, too, since they're traditional folk instruments similar to the mandolin."

Although Andi's involvement in Luther's music program has been a major influence in her life and career, her current position as research and instruction librarian suits her interest in working with people best. "My main responsibilities include providing course-related instruction for classes across the curriculum," she says.

"What I enjoy most about teaching at Luther is getting to know students--reading about their interests in writing reflections for class, watching them perform on stage or the athletic field, and seeing them grow into leaders and informed citizens. Helping students discover who they are helps me stay engaged in my own work."