Name: Gill Needham
Title: Associate Director
Organization: The Open University (UK) Library
Born and Lived: Born in London and lived in various parts of the UK. For the last 30 years in Milton Keynes (about 50 miles north of London).
Professional Career and Activities: I am currently Associate Director (Information Management & Innovation) at the Open University Library. My varied career has encompassed roles as researcher, librarian, project manager and educator. I have clocked up more than twenty-five years’ experience in senior roles in the library and information sector, with an emphasis on innovation and skills development.. Since joining the Open University I have led strategic work in areas such as information literacy, flexible learner support and library systems development and have authored on a number of Open University courses. . Current work obsessions are digital literacy, mobile developments and digital libraries.
Family: Married with one daughter
In My Spare Time: there isn’t much of it – but I go to the gym, read a lot, enjoy movies and follow football (soccer)
Favorite Books: Middlemarch & Howards End
Pet Peeves: Bureaucracy gets me down. People who dont listen to other people
Philosophy: Life’s too short – get on with it and dont stress over things we can’t control
Most Memorable Career Achievement: I was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the UK Higher Education Academy in 2006.
Goal I Hope to Achieve Five Years from Now: a happy and healthy retirement!
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years: Either a) unrecognisable as higher education has become increasingly free and open and content is largely free or b) expensive and elitist
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.