Sha Towers

Sha Towers
Associate Dean of Research and Engagement and Librarian
High Res Photo

BA (Music), Baylor University
MA (Music), Baylor University
MLIS (Academic Libraries), University of Texas at Austin


In his role as the Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, Sha provides administrative leadership across the University Libraries in the areas of public services, research, space planning and user engagement. He leads the division of Research & Engagement, comprised of the liaison librarian program, instruction and information literacy, data and digital scholarship, public services for Moody and Jones Libraries, and the Arts and Special Collections Research Center. He is the founder and curator of the Baylor Book Arts Collection and serves as the liaison librarian to the departments of Art & Art History and Theatre. Sha is a visual artist working in calligraphic and book arts. His artist's books appear in private and university special collections across the United States and have been featured in international juried and invitational exhibitions.

Sha began his librarianship journey as an undergraduate student worker in the Crouch Fine Arts Library and during grad school, began working full time there. He joined the Baylor faculty in 2003, serving as the head of the fine arts library for nine years before taking on a series of administrative leadership roles in the University Libraries.

Selected Publications and Scholarship

  • Towers, S. "Inspiring and supporting creators in and beyond the library." Book chapter in Creators in the Academic Library. Association of College and Research Libraries (forthcoming 2023).
  • Filgo, E.H. and Towers, S. Liaison Librarian Engagement: A Practical Guide for Librarians. Rowman and Littlefield, 2021.
  • Towers, S., et al. Festschrift for Bill: In Celebration of Book Arts (Honoring William R. Stewart, 1945-2019). Salt Lake City, UT: Book Arts Program, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, the University of Utah, 2020.
  • Filgo, E. H., & Towers, S. (2020). "An Analysis of Relationship-Building in Liaison Work: Defining the Importance of Hangout Activity." The Journal of Creative Library Practice.
  • Chan, C., Crenshaw, C., and Towers, S. (2020). "Identifying a Possible Suite of (alt)metrics for Creative and Performing Arts Faculty." Altmetric Annual Research Grant. ($2,000, funded).
  • Filgo, E. H., & Towers, S. (2019). "Embracing the Hangout Factor in Liaison Work." [Poster]. ACRL 2019, Cleveland, OH.
  • Burns, D., Filgo, E.H., James A., and Towers, S. (2019). "Active Learning Classroom Design to Support Innovative Information Literacy Instruction." Cross Timbers Library Collaborative Conference. Denton, Texas. 2 August 2019.
  • Towers, S. (2017). "Eye and Ear: A conversation with photographers represented in the Baylor Book Arts Collection." Society for Photographic Education. South Central Regional Conference. Waco, Texas. 14 October 2017.
  • Towers, S. (2018). "BaylorLights Profile: Sha Towers."
  • Jones, P., Lennertz, L., Steely S., and Towers, S. (2017). "How Many Hands Are Needed on Deck? Mooring Staffing to ACRL's Value of Academic Libraries (VAL)." Blind peer-reviewed presentation. Association of College and Research Libraries Conference. Baltimore, Maryland. 24 March 2017.
  • Filgo E.H. and Towers, S. (2016). "Library Hangout Factor." ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach Annual Forum, ALA Annual Conference. Orlando, Florida. 25 June 2016.
  • Towers, S. (2016). "Promoting Subject Specialists." American Library Association joint presentation of Reference User Services, Emerging Technologies Section, and Management of Electronic Resources & Services. Invited Panelist. 2016 ALA Annual Conference. 25 June 2016.
  • Green, V and Towers, S. (2016). "Building Natural Connections in the Book Arts with an Embedded Librarian." Art Libraries Society of North America Annual Conference. Seattle, Washington. 11 March 2016.
  • Towers. S. (2015). "Artists Books: Turning Collection Development Appointments into Transforming Encounters." ACRL Arts Virtual Midwinter Discussion Forum. 28 January 2015.
  • Towers, S. (2012). " (review)." Music Reference Services Quarterly 15/3 (2012): 206-2011.
  • Bolech, S. and Towers, S. (2012). "Variations Digital Music Library System and Variations Audio Timeliner." Notes: Journal of the Music Library Association 68/4 (2012): 851-63.
  • Towers, S. (2013). "Building Bridges through Artists Books." Art Libraries Society of North America Conference, Pasadena, California, 28 April 2013.
  • DuMont, M. and Towers, S. (2012). "Music Reference for the Non-Specialist." Music Library Association National Meeting Preconference, Dallas, Texas, 15 February 2012.
  • Bonjack, S. and Towers, S. (2011). "Music to Your Ears: Music Reference for the Non-Specialist." American Library Association Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 25 June 2011.
  • Towers, S. (2011). "Jazz Music Library (review)." Notes: Journal of the Music Library Association 67/4 (2011): 800-807.
  • Towers, S. (2011). "Naxos Music Library Jazz (review)." Notes: Journal of the Music Library Association 67/4 (2011): 807-814.
  • Towers, S. (2005). "Electronic Resources Column." Music Reference Services Quarterly 9/2 (2005): 61-64.
  • Towers, S. (2004). Electronic Resources Column. Music Reference Services Quarterly 9/1 (2004): 67-69.
  • Towers, S. (1997). "The Trombone as Signifier in Sacred Germanic Works of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries." Master's Thesis. Baylor University.

Selected Exhibitions

  • Art of the Book 2022. National Juried Book Arts Exhibition. Rochester Public Library, Rochester, New York. 27 June - 1 November 2022.
  • Puget Sound Book Artists Juried Member Show. Collins Library, University of Puget Sound. Tacoma, Washington. 6 June – 5 August 2022.
  • Flourish: An Exhibition of Literary Artists Books. Mountain Words Literary Festival. Gunnison and Crested Butte, Colorado. 25-29 May 2022.
  • Lettered & Bound: An International Juried Exhibition of Calligraphic Bookworks. Invited Juror and exhibitor. Regis University, Denver, Colorado, 1-28 February 2022 and Tallyn’s Reach Library, Aurora, Colorado, 1-31 March 2022.
  • College of Southern Idaho International Invitational Book Arts Exhibit. Jean B. King Gallery, Herrett Center for Arts and Science, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho. 12 October 2021 – 15 January 2022.
  • Looking Out/Looking In: A Philadelphia Center for the Book juried, hybrid, member exhibition in collaboration with Swarthmore College Libraries. 23 October – 5 December 2021.
  • UNSEEN: An International Juried Exhibition of Book Arts. 23 Sandy Gallery and form & concept, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 11 August – 20 November 2021.
  • Movable Medley: A National Juried Exhibition. Art Students League of Denver, Denver, Colorado, 30 September – 7 November 2021.
  • Opera Verbis. International juried art exhibition. Gates Reading Room, Denver Public Library, Central Branch. Denver, Colorado. July-December 2020.
  • Artists' Book Cornucopia X. 10th annual international juried art exhibition. Art Gym Gallery. Denver, Colorado. November 7-29, 2019.
  • Artists' Book Cornucopia IX. 9th annual international juried art exhibition (Juror and invited exhibitor). Art Students League of Denver. Denver, Colorado. 24 August-28 September 2018.
  • Sense of Place: Here. International juried art exhibition. Galaudet Gallery, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 1 June-25 September 2018.
  • Abstracts, The Language of Abstraction. Juried art exhibition. Cultivate7twelve Gallery: Waco, Texas. June 2018.
  • Bibliothecarii et Glutinatores. Invitational art exhibition. Denver Public Library Central Branch, Gates Exhibition Hall. January-April 2018.
  • ExPRESSions: The Art of the Book. Exhibition consultant and author for exhibition catalogue foreword. Martin Museum, Baylor University. 2017.
  • Ideation Experience. International juried art exhibition. Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, Colorado. 19 June-1 August 2015.
  • Blood Quantum. International juried art exhibition. 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon. 6 November-19 December 2015.
  • Words|Matter: A Library for Artist Books. Invitational national art exhibition. Chicago, Illinois. 3-29 October 2015.

Professional Organizations and Roles

  • Association of College and Research Libraries Arts Section, President (2019)
  • Art Libraries Society of North America, Book Art Special Interest Group Co-Coordinator (2016-present)
  • Peer Reviewer for Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America (2017-present)
  • Art Libraries Society of North America / Texas-Mexico Chapter, President (2015)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Site Evaluator
  • Fellow of the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (2011)

Please visit my ORCID profile

Research Guide Profile

University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702