Organization: YBP Library Services
Born and Lived: For the majority of my life I have lived in New Hampshire, but I recently moved to the greater Atlanta, GA area so I could be closer to the libraries I work with in the Southeast.
Professional Career and Activities: I’ve been working for YBP Library Services for 3½ years, first as an inside sales representative, and now as a field rep. It’s been great finally getting to meet people face to face! While my work with YBP is my first strong foray into the world of libraries, I am passionate about books in general and the ideals that academic libraries in particular uphold.
Family: Two wonderful parents who live in New Hampshire, and a sister/best friend that lives in Brooklyn. Lots of extended family in Georgia and North Carolina as well, which has made it a much easier transition moving to Atlanta.
In My Spare Time: I love to read (good books and bad, depending on your definition), and am pretty much a pop culture junkie- listening to music, watching movies, and television viewing are all things I often enjoy spending time doing. Having grown up in a fairly rural environment, I also have a great appreciation for the outdoors, and enjoy hiking and taking nature walks… though not if it involves snakes! I also take dance classes when I can- I grew up doing dance, and still love it.
Favorite Books: Because I have loved reading from a very young age, a lot of my favorite books stem from that era- and it’s so hard to choose just one book! My favorite author as a kid was Tamora Pierce, and I still love reading her books today. Nowadays I read a lot of young adult books that are based in dystopian societies or young adult fantasy (Kristin Cashore’s books, for one), and I’ll admit to being a fan of regency era romance- Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Celeste Bradley are probably my favorite authors for that type of content.
Pet Peeves: Lights being left on- I grew up in a household where if you left a room, you turned off the light. When people come to visit I’m often trailing after them turning off lights, and I always get so upset with myself if I forget to turn off a light before I head out.
Philosophy: A good attitude and hard work can accomplish a lot; never assume the worst, and never be afraid to ask questions.
Most Memorable Career Achievement: Probably when I found out that I got my most recent position with YBP as a Collection Development Manager- I was so proud to be able to continue my career growth with YBP.
Goals I Hope to Achieve Five Years from Now: Finish up my master’s degree, and hopefully still be working in the academic library world. Also, to get a cat (or two)!
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years: This is a tough one, because even though I’ve been in the industry for three years, there has been a lot of change during that time. eBook use has increased dramatically, and while there have been great strides to provide that content when it’s current, there’s still a ways to go. And acquisition of print titles is still quite strong; it’s really the collection development decisions and goals that have changed in my mind.
So, in five years? Almost anything is possible. I think eContent is definitely an area that will continue to expand, including Demand-Driven Acquisitions. Beyond that, I’m hoping to learn more as the year progresses what the future holds for libraries. Working for a book vendor, my responsibility is not just considering the future of the library world, but how we as a company can meet whatever does come along in the future.
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.