Profile a Roundtable Member: Tess Goldwasser

By Tess Goldwasser

Meet Tess Goldwasser! [Ed. Note: I talked Tess into writing her own profile. She is the amazing person who writes the people profiles!—Nel Ward]

What is your role within the GLBTRT?

I’m currently on the News committee. I compile all these lovely People Profiles! I recently shared chairing duties with KT Horning on an ad hoc committee charged with making recommendations about the organization of the Stonewall Book Awards committee. I also had the esteemed honor of serving on the Stonewall Book Awards committee from 2011-2013. And I’m just an all-around supporter of the RT! It’s my favorite part of ALA, and all its members are my favorite people in ALA!

Tess Goldwasser

What professional work do you perform?
I’m a youth services librarian for St. Mary’s County Library in southern Maryland. My professional focus is providing quality library services to kids 0-18. My time is usually split between working at an information desk, answering reference and readers advisory questions, and planning and executing programs for youngsters and their families. I am also our library’s Early Childhood Community Liaison (say that five times fast!) so I perform many outreach duties to maintain the healthy partnerships our library has with community organizations like the Judy Center, Head Start, Infants & Toddlers, Fleet & Family, and DSS.

What do you want to tell us about your personal life?

My partner Brett and I have been together for 9 years which is very exciting for us! We have no children, unless you count our dog, Rosie, who we spoil absolutely rotten! I love music and spend a lot of time playing ukulele and accordion and attending (mostly heavy metal) concerts. I volunteer every week at our local animal shelter. I enjoy beer and like to visit breweries and festivals where I can taste new ones. I’m a bit of a fashionista and spend a lot of time hunting down good deals on unique dresses, skirts, blouses, and shoes. And I’m a pretty big nerd, regularly obsessing over comic books and several British television shows.

What is your passion?

I am passionate about my belief that every living being should be treated with dignity. The LGBT community should be treated with dignity. People with mental illnesses should be treated with dignity. Elephants should be treated with dignity. Wetlands should be treated with dignity. It makes me sad when I witness people on a global scale, and people in my own life, treating other people, animals, or the planet we live on coldly and disrespectfully. We can choose to be kind. We can choose to have empathy. We can choose to strive for understanding and acceptance. Ignorance and hate based injustice disturbs me greatly. I am also passionate about deep thought. I highly value curiosity and introspection. Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living,” and I whole heartedly agree. Intellectual pursuits should be nurtured and encouraged. I suppose that’s why it’s no surprise I work in a public library!

 What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?

A little girl once told me she wants to be “Ms. Tess” (that’s me) when she grows up. To be someone that another aspires to be like is pretty special. I’m proud to be a positive role model.

 What are your personal and professional goals?

I want to live as presently as I can, be less afraid of things that make me uncomfortable, and wear trousers as little as possible.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be, and why?

A sloth. They don’t do much more that eat, sleep, and contemplate all day. Plus they’re adorable!

If you could have a dinner party with five culturally and/or historically significant figures, living or dead, who would you choose to invite?

I would prefer to have brunch. Brunch is the happiest meal of the day. And I would invite Tim Gunn, George Takei, RuPaul, Neil Patrick Harris, and Sir Ian McKellan. I imagine the majority of our conversation would consist of us complimenting each other on how fabulous we all are.


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