Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Welcome to The Baltimore Bookie!

My name is Shannon Simpson and I am the Resident Librarian at Towson University in Baltimore, and apparently the only Resident Librarian in Maryland! I think I've got one of the coolest jobs you could have straight out of library school, which you can read all about at my Towson Website. So, since I have such a cool and unique job, I wanted to share with people, friends, librarians, fellow residents and future resident hopefuls, etc. some of the interesting projects that I'm working on.

My first rotation is in Tech services, and I'm currently working on a number of different projects like analyzing our print versus our electronic offerings. But, my favorite project at the moment is assessing some older books from our collection that were weeded during a huge summer shift, and are now being moved to either Special Collections or a new Legacy Collection. You'll have to check back in so that you can read some excerpts I plan to post from the books about education from the 1920's. Good stuff!

I'm currently working with our marketing department for Towson's part of One Maryland One Book. (Click here to read about One Maryland One Book.) I'll be leading a book discussion later this month following a lecture by Dr. Omar Ali on James McBride's "Song Yet Sung." (Click here to link to Dr. Ali's site.) I waited in line after Mr. McBride spoke at the Baltimore Book festival so I could shake his hand and gush. (That was so cool! He is so cool! He referred to Spike Lee as, "Spike!" Which, I now realize all of his friends, family, acquaintances etc. do, he probably never goes by Mr. Lee. Sorry!  I digress! ) I'll share more about all of this soon on The Baltimore Bookie.

I'm also really into Oral Histories as a direct result of working at Kent State University's Special Collections and Archives, and I'm excited to be attending an Oral History workshop in D.C. later this month. (Click here to link to the OHMAR site and read about the workshop.) I'm kind of hoping to shape my second year capstone project into something with oral histories, but I'm keeping my options open.

In addition to all that, I'll be traveling to the National Library of Medicine this Friday to meet their residents, see the library, and attend a session on Cataloging Historical Materials. A friend today described their library as; ENORMOUS. (Click her to link to the NLM's homepage.) I can't wait!

Disclaimer: Please be aware that I do like to indulge in a bit of crude photoshopping fun every once in a while. (This original picture, sans Shannon head, is actually from a painting called
Der B├╝cherwurm by Carl Spitzweg, and available from the open source site: Wikimedia )


  1. Shannon!! So glad you are having a jolly good time-- my own interpretation of Resident Librarian is sort of a melding being a graduate student with having a job--the best of all possible worlds. Looking forward to hearing more.

  2. What sort of criteria are you using to assess the electronic offerings? Like how successful users are in finding resources?

  3. Justin,

    Not exactly. That would be more like usability testing, I think. We're trying to allow as much as possible to be available to our users electronically, and, here's the tricky part, in perpetuity. As in, forever. Like many libraries, we're discontinuing the print options that we can provide for users electronically. But, we're still keeping our books! Copy this link into your browser and read here about the library that got rid of the books in Massachusetts:

  4. Awesome job! I'm a total bibliophile.