Please Welcome Our New TTW Contributors

I have long agreed with Jessamyn West’s take that we should use “our online powers for good.” One way I try to do this is by highlighting unique, original and not often heard voices here at TTW. I realized I hadn’t announced two new members to the TTW family of contributors: Ben Lainhart & Carrie Straka. Please welcome them and watch for their future posts. Here are their bios:

Ben Lainhart
Professional Interests:
Ben recently graduated with an MLIS from Drexel University’s iSchool where he spent a lot of time thinking about social media and digital libraries and how they could impact developing countries. He enjoys debates over the future of libraries and strongly advocates for more social spaces,more technology and more chances for patrons to learn through collaboration and play. Ben is also interested education reform and online learning and would like to see LIS education become a little more experimental and innovative. Ben is currently on the job hunt and is hoping for a position that will challenge him to be creative and to experiment with new ideas.
Ben graduated from Binghamton University in 2006 with a degree in Philosophy and Pre-Law. Since then he has worked in various jobs –ranging from digging ditches to doing pharmaceutical research to volunteering abroad –before deciding on the information profession. Though always a reader and book lover,Ben came to LIS because he found the conversations that were happening in the field surrounding topics like copyright and fair use,ebooks,self-publishing,DRM,free culture and social media were some of the most interesting and informed. Moreover,these conversations always seemed to contain a strong thread of social justice.
Personal Pursuits:
In his free time Ben enjoys running,walking with his two dogs,watching/debating movies,playing hockey,gardening and working through his ever-increasing pile of “to-read”books.
Contact Information:


-Carrie Straka

Professional Interests

Carrie is fascinated by social media and how it can be used in libraries. She’s interested in connections between people and the information they need. She is constantly working to foster those connections.

Background (Professional and Otherwise)

After graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 1999,Carrie worked in the publishing industry for several years. She then decided to brave the world of librarianship,so she found a part-time position at a public library in the Chicago suburbs and started the GSLIS program at Dominican University. She graduated from Dominican with an MLIS in May 2009 and worked simultaneously at Vernon Area Public Library and Barrington Area Library. She now works full-time at Bartlett Public Library in Bartlett,IL. She is a co-chair for the ILA Membership Committee.

Personal Pursuits

Carrie likes to travel and goes on frequent road trips with her husband. She also enjoys scrapbooking and is working hard to not feel guilty because she’s not “caught up.” Like fellow contributor Justin Hoenke,she likes tattoos,but in her case,some are not simple or little.

Contact Information