NAME: Steven Bell
TITLE: Associate University Librarian for Research and Instruction
ORGANIZATION: Temple University
ADDRESS: 1210 Polett Walk, Paley Library, Phila., PA 19122
BORN AND LIVED: Philadelphia / Haverford, PA
PROFESSIONAL CAREER AND ACTIVITIES: Graduated from Drexel University’s library science program in 1978. Worked in several special libraries before moving on to a business reference librarian position at the Lippincott Library of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. While at UP I earned a Doctorate of Education with a specialization in Higher Education Administration. In 1997 I became the Library Director at Philadelphia University, but moved on to my present position at Temple University in 2007.
FAMILY: My wife and I are empty nesters with two sons in their thirties. We now have two grandchildren. Librarians like to know about pets. I’ve got one. A cat.
IN MY SPARE TIME: Currently taking online courses at Temple towards an Instruction, Learning and Technology certificate. That is leaving less spare time, but when I have it I’ll be walking, biking, yoga, fitness training or writing.
FAVORITE BOOKS: Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy; all travis mcgee mysteries
PET PEEVES: People riding on the “quiet car” of the train who don’t understand what “quiet” means
PHILOSOPHY: Having and enjoying life experiences is better than accumulating objects.
MOST MEMORABLE CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Having the honor and privilege to serve as president of the Association of College & Research Libraries for 2013-2014
GOAL I HOPE TO ACHIEVE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW: The number of faculty using OER (and collaborating with academic librarians to do so) as student learning content far exceeds the number of faculty using commercial textbooks; academic libraries no longer need to purchase and supply any copies of textbooks.
HOW/WHERE DO I SEE THE INDUSTRY IN FIVE YEARS (PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION IF YOU ANSWER NONE OF THE OTHERS): I think the name of the game will be information personalization. We need to figure out better ways to make library services unique to the individual or allow individuals to harness the power of their consumer technology to shape a more customized library experience. Artificial intelligence agents should play some role in this area of industry development. AI technology is likely to advance enough in the next five years to allow us or our community members to create that more personally enhanced relationship with the library.
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.