Tom Tews Announces Retirement

August 17, 2021

Tom Tews, the university’s Geography Librarian (in addition to his work as in public services at College Library), has announced that he will be retiring in early September.

Tom began his career at the UW-Madison Libraries in 1983. His first position was in the Periodical Room at Memorial Library and from there he moved to Memorial’s Circulation Department. This position included an early morning security/staff ID check and he once had to stop the new library director for lack of an ID!

In 1984 Tom transferred to the Geography Library in Science Hall, where he spent most of his career. From 1984 to 1999 he served as the Assistant Librarian and 1999 to 2021 as the Geography Librarian. Tom really enjoyed being the Geography Librarian and is sad that he will be the last person in that role. He goes away with fond memories of the collegiality he has enjoyed with faculty, staff, and students, and the rich experience of supporting the UW-Madison community.

Some of Tom’s accomplishments include:

  • Member/branch library activities
  • Various forms of library instruction – both general and Geography-specific
  • Transitioning between all the various computer systems
  • Supervising many wonderful student assistants, including a multiple-generations pair
  • Working closely with Geography faculty and staff
  • Helping Science Hall residents by being the (volunteer) building manager for that building
  • Building Geography-specific collections.

After the Geography Library closed due to consolidation in 2017, Tom joined the staff at College Library where he contributed to various public services while continuing his role as Geography Librarian. Carrie Kruse, director of College Library, shared that, “Tom was a valuable addition to the provision of undergraduate library services and brought a strong service ethic to his role at College these past several years. We will miss him!” More recently, Tom has helped staff the Business Library during the pandemic and contributed to supporting prioritized services accordingly. Tom has stated that he has been “enjoying the heck out of being a chat operator” during the pandemic.

Everyone as College Library has appreciated Tom’s reference, instruction, and collection development expertise and wishes him all the best in retirement.

Tom Tews and Carrie Kruse
Tom accepting his 5-year certificate from Carrie Kruse, Director of College Library