This week’s profile came from the Charleston Conference 2010 First Time Attendee Profiles.
Job Title: Distance Education Librarian
Organization: Johns Hopkins University
Born and Lived: I grew up in Commack, NY, which is on Long Island and now I live in Baltimore, MD. I have also lived in Geneseo, NY, where I attended undergrad and Chapel Hill, NC, where I attended graduate school.
Professional Career and Activities: I started my library career by working as an intern in the Duke University Libraries from 2006-2008, first in electronic resources and then in reference. These two diverse experiences left me unable to choose between public and technical services because I loved them both! I started my job at Johns Hopkins in the summer of 2008 and my position is a dream because it beautifully combines the two. Through a partnership with Excelsior College, I work as a distance education librarian providing virtual reference services to students, faculty and staff. In addition, I am in charge of collection development, database management, including acquisitions and licensing, and am the lead for assessment. For the past two years I have also been the chair of the Sheridan Libraries’ Diversity Committee. I recently presented my first poster at the OFFCAMP conference this year entitled “Collaboration leads to integration: A model for embedding resources into online learning,” and I hope to have many more!
In My Spare Time: I enjoy traveling, reading, trying new restaurants (and writing reviews about them online), and beer/wine tasting,
Favorite Books: The Hunger Games, The Time Traveler’s Wife, A Tale of Two Cities, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Most Memorable Career Achievement: Co-leading an entire library website redesign. What a learning experience!
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years?: I hope to see library content become easier to access by further combining information across vendors/publishers into one-stop interfaces to make research more convenient for our users. I look forward to watching these products advance. I also see the role of librarians continuing to evolve to meet our changing users’ needs. For example, I currently work with an entirely online college. I do not believe that print materials will ever not be needed at all, but I think it is also important to note the convenience of anytime, anywhere libraries for a nontraditional student population, such as adult learners and people serving in the military. These non-traditional populations could become the majority at some point, so these are considerations that we may need to watch out for.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.