New Staff Profile: Timothy Valente

Tim Valente
Tim Valente–Scholarly Communications Librarian at Midtown

Where were you born? 

I was born in Rahway, New Jersey.

Where else have you lived?
I was raised and lived in Central New Jersey, including Woodbridge Township and New Brunswick. Currently, I live in Woodside, New York.
What languages do you speak?
English, although I’ve studied Italian and still am conversational (need much more practice).
What fields have you studied and/or degrees have you earned?
Master of Information (Library and Information Science), BA in History. I’m interested in social history, history from below, and history of the book.
What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?
I enjoy promoting open access; to research, to education, to textbooks and other materials. Library instruction is also very rewarding in that I can see an immediate tangible impact of my work.
What do you think will be the most challenging part of your job?
The perception that open access material is inherently lower quality than traditionally published material. It’s natural to be suspicious of something that is free. However, despite some bad actors (e.g. predatory journals), open-access materials have an immensely positive impact, allowing for greater readership and more citations.
I’m inspired by the work of libraries and non-profits to make knowledge freely and universally available; Wikipedia, Internet Archive, Directory of Open Access Journals, and HathiTrust are some of my favorites.
Your ideal vacation?  
Cabin, lake, canoe, fishing rod.
Any hobbies?  
I love to cook and also play the drums.
Favorite food?
Soup. Chicken to lentil to Tom Yum and everything in between.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably don’t know.

For a time I wanted to become a chef. Perhaps that will still happen in the future.

New Staff Profile: Georgia Westbrook

photo of librarian
Georgia Westbrook, OER and Instruction Librarian

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in the Southern Tier region of New York, which is about three hours from New York City by car.

Where else have you lived?

I haven’t lived anywhere else, so I am very excited to move to the city and to try someplace new!

What languages do you speak?

I am only fluent in English, but I dabbled in French and Latin during high school and undergrad, and I hope to pick up French again soon.

What fields have you studied and/or degrees have you earned?

I have a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master’s degree in library and information science.

 What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?

I most enjoy helping faculty and students find and use free and affordable course resources because it means that students are more engaged and more likely to stay in, and succeed in their classes. Knowing that the work I do can have such a significant impact is so rewarding.

What do you think will be the most challenging part of your job?

I think the most challenging part of the job will be getting in the classroom and teaching whole classes about library resources. I have worked with students one-on-one at the reference desk during graduate school, so I am excited to translate that experience — plus what I learn as I work more in this role — to this new responsibility.

Your ideal vacation?

My ideal vacation is a week on the beach with lots of sleeping, swimming, and reading books.  

Any hobbies?  

Like most other librarians, I love to read, and I enjoy cooking and baking, too.

Favorite food?

This changes all the time, but right now, my favorite food is key lime pie.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably don’t know.

I can drive a stick shift.


Dear Veterans: We thank you for your Service

Since the dawn of humanity in all parts of the world soldiers have been continuously  serving their country. The reasons for their service vary across the lands around the world.

Plenty of veterans gave their lives in battle throughout time. And it is known there will be lives lost on both sides of any battle. Most of them were young and had not lived out a full life.  The impact was devastating for their families. It comes back to had they lived, what would have been?

At the Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Touro Bay Shore, a veteran once said there is not a book, movie or picture that could convey the experience of the battlefield. That alone is reason to give thanks. For the veterans to live through and walk away from this experience is not easy.  We are thankful!

If you follow a family line, how many veterans are there?  If the line starts with a veteran that lived, what would their story be?  Here is a picture of my husband’s great grandfather, Ernst Wagner. He was a civil war veteran. Following are all the battles he was part of and survived. Continue reading

New Library Staff Profile: Michael Kahn

Michael Kahn–Librarian at BP 53

Where were you born? I was born in Brooklyn, New York and have lived there most of my life there.

Where else have you lived? As part of my yeshiva studies, I lived in Jerusalem, Israel and Lakewood, New Jersey.

What languages do you speak? While I am a native English speaker I also can converse in Yiddish and can read and understand Hebrew. Continue reading

Happy Labor Day

Or Happy Phenomenal Labor Day!

I recently listened to several audiobooks in the car during my travels to work. Their theme was New York History. With the upcoming Labor Day, I have to say that New York has a very long history of “Labor.” In every book I listened to, I couldn’t get over the creative forward-thinking. All carried out with labor. Continue reading

Instructional Support Checklist

Photo by Glenn-Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

Do you have readings you’d like to make available to all your students online?

  • E-Reserves – Post electronic copies of course readings for your students. We’ll take care of securing the copyright clearance and uploading the documents. Contact your chief librarian or fill out the e-reserves submission form to get started.
  • E-books and Databases – If you’re looking for easily accessible and low-cost materials for your classes, our ebook collections, and electronic databases are a great resource. Link directly to most books and articles from BlackBoard, Canvas or email.
  • Open Educational Resources – You can use many free resources in your class, including high-quality peer-reviewed textbooks with instructor material. Tell us which commercial textbook you would like to replace, and we will show you what’s available for your discipline. Contact

Continue reading

New Library Staff Profile


Where were you born?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in Williamsburg for the first 16 years of my life.

Where else have you lived?

Besides Brooklyn, I have lived on Long Island. I currently reside in a village home to a (moderately famous) prognosticating groundhog and one of the last cooperative farms on Nassau County.

Continue reading

The Road to Machu Picchu

My love for hiking was instilled in me as a child in the Austrian woods where I hiked with my parents on the weekends, searching for mushrooms which we then prepared with eggs for dinner.  Nowadays, I do go hiking whenever possible and if it’s not possible then I “hike” the streets of New York City over the weekend–covering sometimes 10 miles or more. This means also taking advantage of the city parks.

Alpacas are bred for their fiber; they also make adorable pets

But this time was different. I planned to trek the Inca trail that ends up directly to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel built in the 15th century by the Incas and discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911 with the help of a local boy.  See for more history here.   Continue reading

Library tip of the week becomes contagious at Touro Libraries

During this year’s annual Touro College Library Staff Meeting, Brandon Harrington, the Library Assistant from Starrett City, presented to the group a new initiative being done at their library, a Library Tip of the Week. During Brandon’s discussion and presentation of this to all of the Touro College Library staff in attendance, something caught hold with the Librarians (Joan Wagner, Annette Carr & Heather Hilton) and Library Assistant (Kelly Tenny) over at the Touro School of Health Sciences Library. Soon after that, it was decided that the initiative would be continued at the Bay Shore campus. Continue reading