Greetings from Palmer Assoc. Dean/Director Dr. Tom Walker

Greetings and welcome (or for students and alumni, welcome again) to the Palmer School!  In the last few months as the new Associate Dean and Director, I have explored the environment and have a sense of the rhythm of the academic terms. The three campuses and several cohort groups are all united by a common mission: to empower information professionals through education, research and achievement. Finding ways to merge that task with the developing lives of our students, staff, and faculty — all within the tumultuous information world in which we find ourselves — is not always easy. But it is vastly rewarding. 

I have worked in library or information-related settings for many years, although not in the New York City area or East Coast. I have no single favorite setting for information work because the ones I have experienced each have their own rewards. Besides about 25 years as a library/information science educator and administrator (at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Illinois), I have also worked in public library, academic library, and corporate library environments. It is a varied professional world in which we operate and one that offers endless positive surprises and constant change. 

I would like to announce an outstanding development here at Palmer that directly affects students and demonstrates how there are connections between traditional activities of professionals and the developing technologies we use to solve problems. Over the next two years, we will receive $500,000 from the Gardiner Foundation of Long Island to support students and faculty involved with the digitization of select materials from historical societies on Long Island (see the press release). The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation supports a thorough understanding of the history of New York and this grant will help local historical societies, students, and researchers by making valuable and unique materials more accessible and better known. This means that both MSLIS and PhD students will benefit from scholarship support for the project, which will not only make it more affordable to get the degrees, but also will provide them with extensive practical experience that will help them in their careers. Several Palmer School staff and faculty will be involved, but Prof. Greg Hunter is the Director of the digitization initiative and can inform interested students about the opportunity. Please contact him soon (Greg.Hunter@liu.edu) for details! 

The Palmer School is thriving and I am very excited to be joining its community. Students and faculty here already recognize what opportunities exist at the Brentwood, LIU Post and Bobst/NYU sites and value the internship and career options; but, there are many more ways to explore the information worlds in this geographic area and I look forward to them all. Best wishes in your academic careers and in your ensuing professional paths! 

Tom Walker (Thomas.Walker@liu.edu)