Meet Todd Wallwork, M.L.I.S., a Birmingham, Alabama, native who joined NEOMED as its technology systems librarian in March. Previously, Wallwork served the University of Alabama Libraries, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Library in North Carolina, and Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Learn more about Wallwork – and about features in the library, like the Amazon Alexa that’s set up to answer questions in the Philip C. Stepaniak, M.D. (’83) Suite.
What drew you to a career in library science?
TW: I’ve always enjoyed school and learning. I spent my first two years of college working in my local public library as a page, shelving books and helping patrons find library materials. After college, I spent a few years working at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s health science library and that reengaged my interest in library science and entering librarianship as a professional librarian.
Also, libraries tend to be a very collegial environment – you’re constantly working with others, whether in the library or people throughout the University to make sure they’re getting what they need. I also have an appreciation for facilitating the transfer of knowledge.
What brought you to NEOMED’s Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic & Information Technology Center?
TW: Professionally, I’ve worked in a number of different types of libraries, and one of my favorite places was a medical and health sciences library. The subject matter is interesting, in the sense that you have people coming here for a number of different reasons — many because they want to help people. They’re getting into a field where they can directly impact people in a lot of important ways. It’s always rewarding to be able to help people who have a mission of their own.
Tell us about your role as NEOMED’s technology systems librarian.
TW: One of my primary roles is to support the technology that the library uses to serve the NEOMED community. That includes the library system that patrons use to look up materials. I also work to provide access to our electronic resources. A lot of that has to do with not only helping people finding resources, but also making sure the right people get to the resources. For instance, I have a lot to do with authentication, which means ensuring that our students, staff and faculty are able to gain access to those resources and the people who aren’t part of the NEOMED community cannot.
There’s also the emerging technology piece of my role. We have an Amazon Alexa set up so people can come in and ask questions. The Alexa is located in the Philip C. Stepaniak, M.D. (’83) Suite. When you enter the room, it’s just to the left. There’s a sign that gives some parameters and different types of questions you can ask and so on.
There’s a certain amount of knowledge that we’ve built into it that’s relevant to our students, staff and faculty. We’re always looking to emerging technology to make sure we’re serving our patrons the best we can.
What about your hobbies outside of the library and NEOMED?
TW: My wife and I have two young children, so I would say probably 90 percent of what we do revolves around them. They’re six and two. We have a lot of fun with them – they’re at such fun ages. Our son has just started riding his bike in the last year, so now we go on bike rides and all kinds of different things like that.