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Carissa Tomlinson

April 13, 2011

Carissa Tomlinson

Libraries have become places where people go to access new technologies, and a whole new breed of librarian with mad tech skills have arisen to meet those needs for the public and the academy. At Towson University’s Albert S. Cook Library, Carissa Tomlinson is an Emerging Technologies Librarian and liaison to Nursing, Health Science, Gerontology, Women’s Studies, and Cultural Studies.

Carissa’s academic background is diverse, with an undergraduate major in Women’s Studies and a minor in Global Studies from the University of Minnesota. She completed her Masters in Library and Information Science degree from Dominican University in 2007 and followed her studies with a post-graduate internship at Vanderbilt University’s Biomedical Library in Nashville. Her areas of interest include academic librarianship, emerging technologies, instructional design, and information literacy for millennials. Outside of librarian-ing, she enjoys exploring Baltimore with her husband Darren and their greyhounds Olive and Oscar.

1. What is your hometown?

Minneapolis, MN

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

When I was a kid it would have been the Claire Danes character on My So Called Life. The other day I tried to watch a few episodes of the show and turns out I grew up and now identify much more with her parents than with her.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

People have said I look a bit like Maggie Gyllenhaal and she’s pretty hot, so I’m good with that.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

I grew up going to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and I’ve always loved this painting. [Portrait of Clémentine Karr, by Henri Lehmann (1845)] Even at 10 years old or so, I bought a post card of this painting to hang in my room. Something about her eyes and her expression really draws me in. To me, she’s much more mysterious than the Mona Lisa.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I just finished Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Hennrietta Lacks. A facinating, non-fiction book about about poverty and medical ethics. It’s also set in Baltimore, where I currently live. Even if you have no interest in health or medicine, this book is very important because everyone has been touched by Hennrietta’s HeLa cells.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I’ve been on quite the Bluegrass/ Americana kick, since I (ironically) left Nashville almost three years ago. I really enjoy Old Crow Medicine Show, especially their James River Blues song. Neko Case has been on heavy rotation for the last 5 years, she never gets old.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Hmm, the last movie was probably something silly like 8 Mile. I cry easily when watching movies, so crying doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good movie (although I secretly love 8 Mile).

8. Cat person or dog person?

This is a difficult question. I have two of each so picking is like choosing a favorite child. Dogs are a lot of work, but cats (or my cats) are super annoying, so maybe just like real children I equally love (and hate) them.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Truth for sure! Who wants to be lied to in a nice way? Truth will always prevail!

10. How do you define sin?

You know it’s weird, I wasn’t raised religious by any means, so I don’t really use the word “sin” to refer to anything. I do however, know what makes you a “good” and decent human being. In general, follow the golden rule and you won’t be a “bad” person.

11. How do you define virtue?

Well, virtues are the rules you live by I suppose. Like I said above, follow the golden rule and your virtures will be defined.

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I plan on donating my body to science, so I don’t really need a headstone to mark my body. I think I’d still like something small somewhere for my family and friends to remember me. Maybe something about loving animals, academia, travel, and beer. That pretty much sums it up.


Albert S. Cook Library, Towson University

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