April 20, 2018

Miguel Figueroa | Movers & Shakers 2005

A Front-Row Seat


When the first career test, back in high school, pointed to librarianship, Miguel Figueroa “just blew it off.” But when a similar test in the senior year of college produced the same result, Figueroa, like the librarian and editor that he is today, did his research and called three libraries (a public, an academic, and a school media center). “Of the three librarians I spoke with, each one said they had never had the same day twice nor had they ever had a bad day.”

As assistant director of publishing for Neal-Schuman Publishers, Figueroa acquires new authors and titles, a job he describes as “like library school everyday.” The challenge, and pleasure, of the job comes from continually learning about such a broad range of topics, from children’s services to facilities design to technology. “I talk to people who know everything about these topics…it’s a position that lets me sit back and learn.”

A graduate of the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River program – which focuses on library and information issues from the perspectives of Hispanics and Native Americans – Figueroa cites two “incredible mentors”: Brooke Sheldon, then dean of the School of Information Resources and Library Science, for teaching him networking – a skill he uses nearly every day – and Pat Tarin, Knowledge River’s director. “She gave me a sense of the bigger picture,” he says. “That’s important since every book proposal may be brilliant, but where does it figure into the larger scheme of the profession?”

“Miguel has an innate instinct for what is right for librarianship and our company,” says Patricia Schuman, president of Neal-Schuman. And that’s what Figueroa, who identifies first as a librarian, appreciates most about his work: “having a hand in shaping what will become our professional literature.”

That and never having the same day twice.



Current Position Assistant Director of Publishing, Neal-Schuman Publishers, New York

Degree M.A., Information Resources and Library Science, University of Arizona, 2003

Wanted To Be An archivist

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