Our “Star of the Week” today was chosen from our First Time Attendee Profiles for the 2010 Charleston Conference.
Born and Lived: Born Baytown, Texas but moved around a lot while I was growing up, as well as an adult. Those places were: Crosby, TX; Highlands, TX; South Houston, TX; Springfield, MO; Bensenville, IL; Valhalla, NY; Brookfield, CT; Itasca, IL; Mars Hill, NC; Waco, TX; Plano, TX, Dallas, TX; Richardson, TX; Mars Hill, NC; Arkadelphia, AR; Dallas, TX; Bluefield, VA; Hallsville, TX.
Professional Career and Activities: Have a B.A. in Music from Mars Hill College (NC) and a B.S.Ed. from Baylor University. Received my M.L.S. at S.L.I.S., North Texas State University (now University of North Texas). 1979-83: Taught 4th grade in Richardson (TX) ISD, 1983-84: Librarian, Wylie Public Library (Wylie, TX); 1984-89: Instructional Librarian/Music Library Coordinator, Mars Hill College (Mars Hill, NC); 1989-90: Head of Cataloging, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR; 1990-1997: Head of Cataloging/Asst. Manager then Manager of Database Development & Control, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Library (Dallas, TX); 1997-2000: Director of Library Services, Bluefield College (Bluefield, VA); 2000-present: Director of Library Services, East Texas Baptist University (Marshall, TX)
Family: I am fortunate to still have both of my parents, who live with me and my two cats, Baylor and Misti. I have two younger sisters, two brothers-in-law, one niece who just had her first child, and two nephews.
In My Spare Time: I read, write, listen to music and occasionally do needlework, quilting and sewing. I’m also a member of my church choir.
Favorite Books: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Christy by Catherine Marshall are my two all-time favorites. I’m an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers and enjoy many of the more well-known series authors in that genre. I’m also a big fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series because we can all use a good laugh every now and then.
Pet Peeves: Sneakiness and dishonesty.
Philosophy: My philosophy of life comes from my personal relationship with and faith in Jesus Christ. I try to follow his teachings by approaching all aspects of life with love for others, building up rather than tearing down.
Most Memorable Career Achievement: At this point probably presenting at this conference. However, I will say that being nominated for both Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who of America several years ago was pretty satisfying.
Goal I Hope To Achieve Five Years from Now: I still want to get a doctorate in higher education leadership – if I can find the time to do it!
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years?: I see a continued move to more and more digital products, although I really don’t think that traditional print books will be totally gone for a very long time, if ever. However, I see us looking at electronic resources in a less specialized way – by that I mean that it’s now simply another format that still need librarians for efficient ways to organize, deliver, and access. To a great extent it is that way already – I’m less worried about the format as I am where the information is – I approach the finding of information by looking at a variety of resources across a variety of formats now and it doesn’t matter to me where I find it as long as I find it. The way we find information and how it’s presented expands, but the basic principles of using information remain the same and will continue to do so.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.