Institution: Northwestern University
Born and Lived: Panama City, Panama – The only Caribbean city on the Pacific Ocean! Have lived in St. Louis (MO), Panama, Oak Park (IL), Panama and currently in Skokie, IL.
Professional Career and Activities: Current: Head, Transportation Library, Northwestern University. Previous: consultant US-DOT; director Panama Canal Commission Library (PCC); consultant US, Japan, Panama Canal alternatives commission; Reference Librarian, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Field Geologist (I do miss those helicopter rides.)
Past SLA Board of Directors; past chair of SLA Transportation Division, SLA Fellow, etc…Boy Scouts leader.
Family: Wife Bernadette, married for an eternity. Children: 3, happy and mostly out of our house!
In My Spare Time: Read, play congas, climb mountains, cycle, cook and watch – either too much or too little – international soccer.
Favorite Books: Anything by William Gibson and China Mieville. The Tao te Ching.
Pet Peeves: Bad management, dinosaur rock, people not following through, politicians,slow music at a party,no waves at the beach, long and too personal surveys.
Philosophy: Be prepared. Address problems when they are small. Don’t blame, make sure it does not happen again. Every day may be your last, so make each one count. Don’t lie, be honest. Be present for your friends and family.
Most Memorable Career Achievement: Being elected a Fellow of SLA. Receiving the SLA Transportation Division Professional Achievement Award. Making a (small) difference through transportation information in the US and Panama.
Goals I Hope to Achieve Five Years from Now: Find or re-ignite a passion.
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years: Finally the prophesy of all the old librarians retiring will come through and the “young” librarians will take over and start a revolution.
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.