Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Born and Lived: Born in Nigeria, now living in Glen Allen, Virginia
Professional Career and Activities: I am a member of a number of organizations including American Society for Engineering Education, American Chemical Society, ALA, ACRL, STS. My primary responsibilities are to build effective collections in science and engineering disciplines and also to assist faculty and students in learning, teaching, and research through active liaison activities. I am passionate about assessment of collections and benchmarking our collections and services against those of peers and aspirational peers. I chair LIBQUAL+® implementation team and use LIBQUAL+® results for improving services.
Family: I have family both in the United States and Nigeria.
In My Spare Time: I like gardening and I have been known to have a green thumb. I also like to read.
Favorite Books: I like non-fiction, though I enjoy fiction as well. I like Ann McMillan’s Castle Thunder: civil war mystery, Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen; a biography The Road to Some Place Else by Lilian Lincoln Lambert
Philosophy: Never leave any stone untouched, or you’ll never know the sweetness that lies beneath.
Most Memorable Career Achievement: I got my doctorate in 2008 and was promoted to full professor 2012.
Goals I Hope to Achieve Five Years from Now: I still believe in the power of quality collections, though we are becoming more user-centered, I hope to write another book about finding value in collections, capturing the data and communicating to stakeholders.
This is because I believe collections are still the integral part of the academy no matter which way we slice it.
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years: Our users (students, faculty and researchers, etc) are going to be the primary focus. Service will no longer be confined to the facilities we call library. Liaison activities will grow exponentially and we will become collaborators in and out of our organizations. Service will be 24/7, there will be no limit in time and space. Mobility of information and services will be key.
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.