Tom Caswell is associate dean for Public Services at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library. His academic field is Library and Information Science. He provides guest lectures on library research for classes in music, art, art history and design-related disciplines and in the past has taught honors courses on research methods. Caswell is currently doing research on immersive technologies (XR, VR, AR) in higher education and serves as a contributor to a national committee that investigates and publishes regularly on trends and issues impacting academic libraries.
Get to Know Tom Caswell
What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know?
Library and Information Science is not just a “study about books” ― it’s a dynamic and ever-changing field of study concerned with not only the creation, publishing, access and management of information but also about the intersection of teaching and learning and research across academic disciplines.
What’s the most rewarding academic experience you’ve had at UNF in or out of the classroom?
The ability to connect with a student one-on-one during our research consultations and to witness that very “aha” moment when they understand how to better navigate the library databases or construct their research query. I miss doing meetings in person, but I still get to witness that moment of clarity in our online research consultations.
What do you like most about UNF?
In addition to the extremely friendly and welcoming working environment, it’s just the most beautiful campus to be able to drive onto every morning ― and have you seen the library I work in? It is by far the most beautiful academic library I’ve ever visited, and I am fortunate enough to get to work here every day.
Describe your teaching style. Do you like to integrate tech, or are you more comfortable with a lecture-style classroom?
I am partial to in-person teaching, but the sudden infusion and integration of tech these last few months has been very exciting! The tech that ITS, CIRT and the Library are bringing into real and virtual spaces will definitely enhance teaching, learning and research at UNF.
Do you have a favorite spot on campus?
The bamboo garden. It’s peaceful and beautiful and a great place to escape to between meetings or to eat your lunch.
What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate?
Follow your passion and never stop learning. Stay curious!