Reference Librarian, Information Services
Tom Shreves is part of the GCI's Information Center staff, where he provides specialized research support to Getty staff and professional conservators from around the world. He conducts research and analysis using a wide variety of scientific and technical resources and also works with Getty Research Library staff to coordinate the acquisition of conservation-related materials for the Getty's collections.
Born into a large family in Clarksburg, West Virginia—he and his twin sister were the youngest of seven—Tom grew up with parents who were avid readers and avid gardeners. As a child, Tom spent many hours in the family's garden. Books, too, were a great attraction, and beginning at the age of eight, he would walk to the local library two or three times a week. Around the same time, he took up the cornet, and by high school he was a member of the concert and marching bands.
At Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, he majored in geography, as well as found time to build his own loom and study tapestry weaving with a well-known local artist. After graduating, he worked for several years as a library clerk in a local public library. Then, in 1983, he attended graduate school in library science at the University of Tennessee.
At the end of 1984, he was hired as a coordinator for the West Virginia State Library Commission, managing the Huntington State Hospital library and coordinating services for 11 other libraries in hospitals, prisons, and juvenile detention centers. He found it particularly gratifying to help patients find materials that could assist them in developing needed skills. Four years later, he took a job at a rural county library in Ohio, ultimately becoming head of information services. In 1990 he was hired as an information specialist and archivist with the American Ceramic Society, also in Ohio. Over the next seven years, he managed the society's library, which included developing an online database and organizing and maintaining the society's archives and photographs.
In 1997 he moved to Los Angeles and joined the GCI. Among his responsibilities, he especially enjoys working with scientific and field project staff to provide them with information resources needed for particular projects.
He is currently finishing his graduate degree in library and information science. While life in a Los Angeles townhouse doesn't leave much room for gardening or weaving, Tom does do needlepoint and grows miniature orchids in container gardens on his terrace.