Robeson librarian John Maxymuk on being Football Historian


Maxymuk is not only a reference librarian at the Paul Robeson library, but has extensive credentials in football history and in Informational Science.

Paul Robeson Reference Librarian, John Maxymuk, not only serves the library community with his expertise in finding anything needed for academic study, he has also been featured in many respected academic publications. Maxymuk is an authoritative voice in the field of football history and his work is included in such media outlets as The New York Times, Sport’s Center, and many other local newspapers.

Modestly explaining some of his very impressive credentials, Maxymuk sat down to speak to Gleaner staff about his position both as a librarian and as a recorder of football history.

Maxymuk states that “From time to time I’ve been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, some local papers, and things like that. And I’ve done some things for the Fifth Down Blog, which is the New York Times football blog.”
While spending his undergraduate years at Oregon State, Maxymuk received his first writing experience as the editor of the college newspaper’s Weekly Arts Supplement. After college, Maxymuk freelanced around the area for local newspapers and magazines but soon found that freelancing was a difficult way to earn a steady income.

“I did some freelance writing and saw that that’s a really hard way to make a living. So, I went back to library school,” said Maxymuk.

Since deciding to go to librarian school, Maxymuk has published several Informational Science reference books that help library users obtain government documents online and he frequently reviews books for Library Journal and American Reference Books Annual. He also authors a quarterly technology column for a library finance journal, The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances.

Remarking on his past, Maxymuk claims “Ever since then [going back to library school]I’ve done a lot of books reviews and I started writing a lot of journal articles, professional literature, and then books.”

Not only has he written professional books as a respected Informational Scientist, but he has also become a prolific author of 11 football books, with another on the way. His personal football opus covers almost all aspects of football’s past including a detailed history of 1400 Eagles players, Eagles By the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them, and his favorite, The Quarterback’s Abstract, which discusses the 338 quarterbacks that have started ten or more games in the National Football League since the modern T-Formation’s first use. (The T-Formation elevated the quarterbacks standing on the field to a team leader.)

There is no doubt that Maxymuk is at the pinnacle of his career as contributing to The New York Times is any writer’s dream, but he wishes to write on topics that are a tough sell to publishers.

Illustrating the power publishers have on their writers, he states “It’s always tough trying to sell an idea to a publisher and I thought I reached a certain point where I could keep working, but they’ll say we’re not really interested in that, we’re kind of interested in this or they’ll just say we’re just not interested in that at all.”


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