Hi, everyone! My name is Tess Wilson, and I am thrilled to join the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region team as the Community Engagement Coordinator, serving NY, NJ, DE, and PA. I work with NNLM MAR Health Programming Coordinator Michael Balkenhol to support public libraries through training and funding. I also support hospitals, nonprofits, and other organizations that partner with public libraries and spread awareness of the All of Us Research Program throughout our region. In addition, I look forward to pursuing citizen science and digital literacy initiatives through an NLM lens!
While I currently live in the hills of Pittsburgh, PA, I’m originally from the Kansas prairie! During my undergraduate studies, I worked in the Mabee Library at Washburn University. I had several jobs in the library, beginning at the circulation desk and ending with an archival internship. After graduating, I moved to Pittsburgh to attend Chatham University’s Master of Fine Arts program. My focus was in poetry and publication, and I had the extraordinary opportunity to teach writing classes in underserved populations, including those at the Allegheny County Jail. After I finished this program, I served a year at Reading is Fundamental through AmeriCorps, and worked as a trainer with the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA.
The library roots had taken hold early, however, and I eventually returned to the profession when I earned my MLIS at the University of Pittsburgh. While there, I was a research assistant for the Youth Data Literacy Project, an ALA Emerging Leader, and served as a Civic Information Services intern at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP). My most recent position was that of an Outreach Librarian at the CLP Office of Programs and Partnerships. I remain passionate about supporting underserved communities, addressing issues of privacy/surveillance, and advocating for intellectual freedom.
Outside my work in libraries, I stay active in the outdoor adventure community. I have a small dog that loves to join me on hikes and camping trips, and I’m getting back into the swing of kayaking after a long break! Pittsburgh is rich with environmental conservation efforts, so I lend a hand with as many tree plantings and stream sweeps as I can, and volunteer as an Urban Eco-Steward for Frick Park.
My reading interests vary widely, but I’m currently reading a fascinating book about linguistics in the digital age! I’m always in the middle of at least one vintage sci-fi trade paperback, and I can’t seem to go anywhere without a podcast queued up.
Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or ideas via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator, for the Fall 2019 edition of The MAReport quarterly newsletter.