Member of the Month

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Mr. TJohn Trischitti III (Mr. T)
Director, Midland County Public Libraries

Professional experience
I was toiling away my life in retail when Rebecca Sullivan, Director of the Hulsey Public Library in Terrell, plucked me from obscurity, convinced me to go back to school for my MLS, and come work for her. She changed my life. Her outside the box thinking changed my life. I started as a youth services librarian and moved up to assistant library director upon completion of my MLS. I’ve been Director of the Midland County Public Libraries since 2011.

Innovative library practices
I see my role in librarianship is changing the definition and stereotypes of our profession.  I would like to think that what we do, right here, in Midland is innovative. Working to redefine what the library experience is for our users and changing the perception of what a library can provide and also what we should expect from our libraries.

Favorite book
Jeez. Brutal hard question for a librarian. Favorite characters are Hercule Poriot and Hank the Cowdog. Growing up in West Texas, Hank the Cowdog will always have a singular place in my heart. To be grown now with kids of my own and a background as a youth services librarian, it is staggering to think about how many students have been impacted by the Hank series over the years. I am a huge fan of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here series. A child’s ability to have that of engagement with a book is really distinctive. The Polar Express is extraordinary. Anything by Molly Idle, David Wiesner, Jarrett Krosoczka, Kathi Appelt, Berkeley Breathed, Lizi Boyd, Sophie Blackall. I love Garrison Keillor. He is known more for his radio show but his fiction is really good. The first chapter of Keillor’s Pontoon I think is the only book at which I laughed out loud. Hysterical. Thomas Mallon is great when I’m on a historical fiction kick. David McCullough when I need non-fiction. I could go on and on. Impossible to answer.

Most memorable TLA experience
TLA has done so much for me professionally and personally that it is difficult to measure all its impacts. I had the pleasure to co-host the first ever Kidlit vs. YALit Lip Sync Battle at #TXLA16 in Houston with the incomparable Nancy Jo Lambert, and it is something I won’t soon forget. Feeding off the energy of the packed crowd, it was a great environment and wonderful event. Many of my experiences as part of the Texas Bluebonnet Award Selection Committee come to mind. Lifelong relationships are forged when arguing over books! Being named Librarian of the Year at TLA in 2014 was definitely memorable and life-altering. It was such a career defining honor and a huge thrill! I also had the joy of emceeing the first two years of the Illustrators Sketch-Off, and that was a blast.  It is a unique program. TLA is so important for the relationships built, the networking. Jill Bellomy, Dr. Yvonne Chandler, Debbie Garza, Sharon Lawler, Mary Jo Humphries, Maribel Castro, Eddy Smith, Nancy Jo Lambert, Karen Kessel, Kristen Fournier, Emily Kupersztoch and others, are all librarians I look to for wise council and advice. All of which were relationships built through TLA.

Created on May 31, 2016 | Last updated December 01, 2016