Title: Acquisitions Librarian
Organization: UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Address: UMBC Library, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250
Born and lived: I was born in East Chicago Indiana. I lived in Michigan, Virginia, and now Maryland.
Early life: I loved libraries and tried to get people to take me to bigger and bigger ones.
Professional career and activities: I began as a serial cataloger but have now been doing acquisitions for almost 13 years. I did a couple of years as the Chair of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions Acquisitions Serial Task Group and a few year as the President of the Maryland Library Association’s Technical Services Division. I’m an instructor for ALA ALCTS Fundamental of Acquisitions course and I’m currently doing a full re-design of that with Betsy Redman to update and include video and graphics. I have an ALCTS Transforming Collections Grant with colleague Tiffany Wilson and Gergana Kostova. I’ve been chairing a library Institutional Repository Working Group the last few years and have just begun co-chairing a campus faculty committee toward developing one here. I’m on the ALCTS Acquisitions Section Publication Committee and also serving on the board of the University of Maryland System’s Faculty Voice publication. I’m serving a UMBC College of Art and Humanities Digital Humanities initiative, working with colleagues Craig Saiper and Helen Burgess, English in developing an innovation digital publishing initiative at UMBC and have spoken with them and colleague Eric Jeitner at the Joint Digital Library conference about our initiative.
Family: I have a 14 year old son.
In my spare time: I hike, run, weight-lift, and do DYI home improvements.
Favorite books: I don’t read books anymore, but all kinds of info coming in on RSS feeds and professional stuff.
Pet peeves: Micro-managers.
Philosophy: Think BIG and Live life to its fullest.
Most memorable career achievement: Coming soon. Seriously, who has time to think about the past?
Goal: I hope to achieve five years from now I would love to see the Institutional Repository and Digital Publishing initiatives I’ve been working on come to fruition and grow. I’d like to do something with linked data that really demonstrates its power.
How/where do I see the industry in five years (please answer this question if you answer none of the others): E-books that look like print books will be supplanted by e-book apps that fully utilize technology to seamlessly integrate media and links to other resources. Peer review will begin to happen in the form of a “seal of approval” put on self-published digital works and in the form of collections of links to materials that were peer reviewed but are hosted elsewhere. Publishers are going to face an unprecedented level of competition and only the most flexible and innovative will survive. The focus of library vendors is going to have to evolve to toward value-added services that link libraries to self-published and open access materials appropriate to their collections.
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.