Institution: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Preston Smith Library of the Health Sciences
Born and Lived: Born: Cheyenne, Wyoming; Raised: Central Louisiana; Lived: Baton Rouge, LA, Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Lubbock, TX
Professional Career and Activities: I have been a professional librarian for over 20 years. I started as a serials librarian at the main university library at LSU, and then I became a law school librarian for the University of Texas at Austin. After almost seven years, I took a job as a taxonomist at an internet start-up company in Dallas. After they lost funding, I went back into law librarianship with a county law library. From there I went back into law school librarianship at the Texas Tech University School of Law, and then became a solo librarian at a culinary school. And now I find myself working at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as Senior Director for Technical Services. In my current role, I also serve as co-chair of the collection development committee of the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association.
Family: My mother still lives in central Louisiana as does my older sister and her family. My younger sister lives in Houston with her family, and my older brother is in Dallas. Let’s not forget my Chihuahua, who is much like my child, and who is certainly my best friend.
In My Spare Time: Like many librarians, I love to read, especially mysteries and whodunits. I also like films, movies and traveling. Cooking, fine dining and classic cocktails are always on the menu.
Favorite Books: I don’t think I have a favorite title. My favorite genre would be mysteries/whodunits.
Pet Peeves: People who text while driving, and whining.
Philosophy: Life is too short for cheap beer, bad food or weak coffee!
Most Memorable Career Achievement: Building a library from scratch as a solo librarian in a culinary institute.
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years: Well, first of all I consider librarianship more of a profession than an industry. That being said, I do think that the very nature of academic publishing will change librarianship over the next five years. I also think that issues such as open access and copyright will be at the forefront of the profession. I certainly believe that libraries are at an ever increasing risk of losing their print collections at the hands of administrators looking for more space. And lastly, I hope to be around to witness the death of bad ideas like patron driven acquisitions, and libraries purchasing textbooks.
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.