Meet the TCDL 2020 Planning Committee

The goal of the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries is to bring together those working on digital projects in order to build a practical, usable, and sustainable model for digital libraries. 

Our planning committee defines the conference each year by developing a theme, identifying a keynote speaker, and crafting a call for proposals to invite colleagues from our community to come together for the conference. 

Take a moment to meet some of this year’s committee members, and be sure to thank them when you see them at #TCDL2020.

MARCIA | SHELLEY | RAMONA | JON | TAYLOR DVA | JERRELL | TAYLOR F | RACHEL | LINSEY

MEET MARCIA

Marcia McIntosh is the chair of the 2020 TCDL Planning Committee.

Where do you work? 

University of North Texas

What do you do there? 

I am a Digital Production Librarian. I help facilitate the digitization of historical materials for the digital libraries, The Portal to Texas History and the UNT Digital Library.

Where did you go to school? 

I studied English Literature, African and African American studies, and business at Washington University in St. Louis and attended the University of Texas at Austin for a degree in Information Studies with the goal of becoming a digital librarian.

Where is your hometown? 

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I can recite all 50 states alphabetically.

How did you first get involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I attended my first TCDL conference in 2013 as a graduate student in Austin. I was impressed by the gathering of digital library professionals– those who had accomplished the dream of working in some capacity within digital libraries. I was thrilled to see the work they were doing. After joining the University of North Texas Libraries, and thanks to its support for professional development, I was able to attend  every year since that first. I was invited to join the planning committee in 2017 for the 2018 conference. I served as vice-chair during the 2019 conference and am chairing the 2020 planning committee.

What do you find most challenging about coordinating the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

Last year’s [2019], pool of session proposals was large. I found rating, deciding among, and organizing them a struggle because of how many I was interested in hearing and not wanting too similar sessions to conflict. It’s a good challenge to have.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about Texas Digital Library?

That TDL is a gem! I really like that Texas has TDL as a central organization who can help link all the different digital library programs within and in the Texas region. As easy as it is to become siloed, TDL fills a needed space in which to bring us all together and help us stay connected and aware of each other’s work. And that’s alongside the services and professional development opportunities they provide, of course.

The interest in TCDL seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

It’s a great conference! Word-of-mouth has spread. And I believe many will continue to sing the praises of this event for years to come.

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MEET SHELLEY 

Shelley Barba is the vice-chair of the 2020 TCDL Planning Committee and chairs the poster session sub-committee.

Where do you work? 

Texas Tech University

What do you do there? 

I’m the Digital Scholarship Librarian helping faculty and students in issues that come about in creating scholarship in a digital format. My main responsibilities lie with our theses and dissertations. 

Where did you go to school? 

I earned my Masters of Library and Information Sciences from the University of North Texas.

Where is your hometown?

Lubbock, Texas

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I publish multiple Romance novels a year under a nom de plum.

How did you first get involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I first attended TCDL in 2009 when it was still held on the UT Campus. I was hooked by the helpful knowledgeable people I met, and I have attended ever since. 

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

That this was a way to connect with others in my specialization (digital libraries/metadata) when I did not have that at my home institution.

What has surprised you most about working with TDL?

The sheer volume of members willing to help with whatever needs attention.

What do you find most challenging about coordinating the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

Trying to put together a conference for a very diverse group of people — from big schools, small schools, institutions not even schools; big metropolises to small rural towns; librarians, programmers, administrators, graduate school staff members, students — that still has things that are applicable to their interests and needs.

What do you wish other people knew about Texas Digital Library and/or Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

You get out of it what you put in.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about Texas Digital Library?

You get out of it what you put in.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Texas Conference on Digital Libraries.

Clarke Iakovakis, last year’s Chair of the TCDL Planning Committee, is the main reason I agreed to work on the committee last year. He is one of the smartest, kindest, and hard-working people I’ve ever met. He embodies a lot of principles I associate with TCDL. Last year was such a success, I wanted to be apart of it again. 

The interest in TCDL seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

The quality workshops, presentations, keynotes, and opportunities to network.

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

¯\_(_)_/¯ I’m letting the professional river take me where I need to go.

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?

We are living in an information age, but it is only a utopia if we leverage it to enable the technology to provide better access to all.

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MEET RAMONA

Ramona Holmes has previously served as TCDL conference chair and serves as chair of the Leadership Academy sub-committee.

Where do you work? 

University of North Texas Health Science Center

What do you do there? 

Associate Director, Gibson D. Lewis Library

Where did you go to school? 

English, B.A. U of Texas @ Arlington; Information Science, M.S. U of North Texas

Where is your hometown? Ada, OK

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I am an active gamer, both console and MMORPG.

How did you first get involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

My previous institution joined TDL in 2007 when I was tasked to implement an institutional repository at the University of Texas at Arlington. I attended my first TCDL the following year,  and have served as a member and past chair of the Conference Planning Committee.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

The spirit of the Texas Digital Library is collaboration and connections! TDL, as well as the annual TCDL, provided many opportunities to meet colleagues across Texas, and beyond. TDL works alongside libraries to expose our shared collections. It is not just a single entity collating data, it is 20+ libraries who strongly believe information should be open to all.

What has surprised you most about working with TDL?

The people are amazing and helpful. TDL staff are always willing to answer a question or troubleshoot a problem. If they cannot answer it in the moment, they will get the information for you. I have never had an issue that sat unresolved.

What do you find most challenging about coordinating the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

Committee members come from all over Texas, so we meet virtually and have a lot of tasks to complete before the conference. Communication is key to finishing all that work. However, the final committee meeting takes place on the eve of TCDL, when we all gather face-to-face (in a bar) after 95% of the hard work is finished. That final meeting, seeing my colleagues, and feeling that energy is amazing!! It makes it all worthwhile.

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on TCDL?

I remember meeting Kristi Park when she was planning her first TCDL. She and Ryan Steans were always my go-to people and they are/were the backbone of TDL.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Texas Conference on Digital Libraries.

I heard the first “pitch” for TDL from John Leggett and Mark McFarlane, in 2007 and was sold. Libraries are stronger when we work together and  TDL is an organization of collaboration.

The interest in TCDL seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

An intimate conference like TCDL allows you to interact with peers on a personal level. You watch a presentation and have questions about that project, it’s easy enough to find the presenter and kick ideas around. You lose those opportunities at big conferences, where there are thousands of people and everyone is just running to the next meeting/panel/whatever.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to TCDL?

Good choice! It’s wise to invest in something that has impact.

What do you think will change about digital libraries / digital scholarship in five years?

More and more faculty need librarians to solve data structure issues and provide some pocket tech. We are research partners in a way I have not witnessed in the past. They need us and they realize it!

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?

Creating access to things that anyone can see anytime, anywhere. It’s why I became a librarian.

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MEET JON

Jon Crossno joined the TCDL planning committee for a second year and chairs our conference proceedings sub-committee.

Where do you work? 

Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

What do you do there? 

As the Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, I am responsible for adding, updating, and maintaining MARC records in the Library’s online catalog (Koha), as well as adding and maintaining similar or related metadata in the Library’s institutional repository (DSpace) and image repository (CONTENTdm). This also means that I’m the primary local administrator/contact for these systems.

Where did you go to school? 

I received my bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Texas at Austin and my master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas.

Where is your hometown? 

Fairfield, Texas (a small town – population 3,500 – between Dallas and Houston on Interstate 45); if you travel between the 2 cities often and you’ve stopped at Sam’s Restaurant for BBQ or their delicious homemade pies, then you’ve been to Fairfield!

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Growing up as the son of a small-town doctor, I did everything I could to stay away from medicine. So the fact that I’ve been a medical librarian for 20+ years is still somewhat startling. In a similar vein, I had always said that I never wanted to be a cataloger, but I’ve now been doing this job for 5 years, and I find that I’m perfectly suited for it. So the moral of the story is, “Never say never!”

How did you first get involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I had heard a lot about TCDL from one of my former supervisors, Cameron Kainerstorfer, but I never had the chance to attend since it frequently conflicted with the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting. However, I was offered the chance to serve on the 2019 Planning Committee, which would coincidentally be the first time the 2 conferences didn’t conflict with each other. And I found it incredibly rewarding to help plan last year’s conference as well as attend it.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

Having collaborated with the Texas Digital Library for many years, it’s really hard to remember what my first impressions were. But I am frequently impressed by TDL’s dedication to serve its member libraries and help further their mission to preserve and provide access to digital collections.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to TCDL?

The TCDL Planning Committee – and the Texas Digital Library – work extremely hard at finding engaging speakers and organizing meeting content that will be of wide interest to all meeting attendees, and the meeting’s various social events offer many opportunities for networking and sharing with meeting attendees. Any sponsorships or donations that can support any aspect of the meeting would be greatly appreciated and would go a long way to help provide an engaging, informative, and enjoyable learning opportunity for everyone.

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MEET TAYLOR DVA

Taylor Davis-Van Atta is working with the TCDL planning committee for a second year and chairs our call for proposals sub-committee.

Where do you work? 

University of Houston Libraries

What do you do there? 

I’m the Digital Scholarship Coordinator.

Where did you go to school? 

Syracuse University iSchool

Where is your hometown? 

Northfield, Minnesota

 What might someone be surprised to know about you?

 I’m slowly becoming a dog person.

 What has surprised you most about working with TDL?

 Working with TDL is my first professional experience with a consortium. I couldn’t have expected the degree of generosity of spirit my colleagues across the state and TDL staff show. TDL does a lot of things well, but above all they’re really good at bringing people together and fostering meaningful relationships that have a material and positive effect on my daily work.

 What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about Texas Digital Library?

 I’m increasingly convinced of TDL’s ability to become a national force and model for other consortial / community-based efforts in modern librarianship and related fields. It’s exciting to be contributing to such an effort.

 The interest in TCDL seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

 I think that as TDL’s national profile grows, increased interest in TCDL has and will continue to follow, both within the state of Texas and beyond. Librarians and other practitioners are seeing TCDL as a desirable place to share their work and debut new scholarship.

 What do you think will change about digital libraries / digital scholarship in five years?

 I think that the workflows and competencies that build digital libraries and facilitate new works of digital scholarship will become more integrated and seamless aspects of researcher practices and the practice of librarianship. I think new opportunities will continue to emerge for professionals with skills sets and backgrounds that are not library-based (or academy-based) to become key partners in the process of creating and sharing new knowledge.

 What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?

 Make more things possible for more people!

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MEET JERRELL

Jerrell Jones joined the TCDL committee for the first time this year and chairs our student scholarship sub-committee.

Where do you work? 

University of Houston Libraries

What do you do there? 

I manage the Digitization Lab at UH Libraries. My work entails managing all aspects of digitization from student training and project planning to image quality control and preparing projects for digital library ingest.

Where did you go to school? 

University of North Texas, BFA

Where is your hometown? 

Houston, Texas

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I am a salsa dancer, commercial aviation nerd, and very amateur sheep shearer.

How did you first get involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I first got involved with this conference when I gave a presentation at TCDL 2012. TCDL was my first conference and it was through my experience there that I quickly understood why having a conference, unique to digital library professionals working in Texas, was imperative.

The interest in TCDL seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

I think that the interest is growing because conference attendees are presenting material that’s relevant to what’s going on in the digital library world and making an impact. Because so many innovative ideas are born during conference networking and so many people that attend the conference are excellent communicators, those ideas don’t die on the vine, they are carried through and supported. I believe that’s where the change happens and it points back to TCDL.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to TCDL?

I would tell a potential sponsor or donor that resources given to TCDL strengthen the ability of the conference to flourish in ways that are noticeable. The Leadership Academy, scholarships provided to students and the valuable conversations between library professionals that turn into library improvements around the state are all meaningful reasons to provide support. Additionally, the conference makes it possible for a large group of people that have dedicated their lives to the responsible stewardship of information to have a local conference to rely on; I think that’s a great cause.

What do you think will change about digital libraries / digital scholarship in five years?

I think libraries will take a front seat on tackling challenging issues that may stand in the way of someone taking full advantage of what libraries have to offer. Issues like social justice, diversity in the workplace, hate, mental health, and addiction are being addressed in libraries because they are uniquely positioned to do so. Additionally, I think that library collections will continue to include more works from underrepresented groups. The seeds for these changes are currently being planted in Texas academic libraries.

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MEET TAYLOR F

Taylor Fairweather is serving her second year with the TCDL planning committee.

Where do you work? 

West Texas A&M University

What do you do there? 

Scholarly Communications Librarian

Where did you go to school? 

West Texas A&M University – Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies | Texas Woman’s University – Master of Library Science

Where is your hometown? 

Plainview, Texas

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Well, usually my fun fact is that I am a librarian but I figure not everyone here will be shocked by that!

How did you first get involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I was first asked to serve on the Planning Committee last year, which also happened to be my first ever attendance at TCDL. It. Was. Amazing.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

I loved them and everything that they were working for and representing. Still do. I was fascinated and intrigued at their level of commitment to their clients, the wealth of knowledge and expertise of the digital world, and how approachable they were to those who are just getting started.

What has surprised you most about working with TDL?

The amount of knowledge, networking, and confidence I have gained throughout meeting and working with all of these wonderful people!

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Texas Conference on Digital Libraries.

Lea DeForest has not only been a huge influence in my decision in working with TCDL, but she has also encouraged and assisted me within my own work and I could not be more grateful for her.

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

I hope to expand our scholarly communications and create a successful program throughout the WT campus.

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MEET RACHEL 

Rachel E. Winston joins the planning committee for the first time this year.

Where do you work? 

Benson Latin American Collection at UT Austin

What do you do there? 

Black Diaspora Archivist

Where did you go to school? 

B.A. from Davidson College, MSIS from UT Austin

Where is your hometown? 

St. Louis, MO

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I speak French/Je parle français.

Tell me how you first got involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I first became familiar with TDL out of proximity, being that I work on campus at UT. The presentations, trainings, and events (like TCDL) that TDL offers provide an important way for institutions and professionals from across the state to network and grow our collective practice.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Texas Conference on Digital Libraries.

My good friend Jes Neal served on TCDL’s planning committee in 2019. Having heard about Jes’ positive experience with the conference and the planning committee, when the opportunity to join came around I said yes!

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?

As digital libraries become more integral to archival practice, it’s important to remain mindful of the people and communities that are represented on digital platforms. This will require thoughtful, informed description and language practice, and ensuring the creation of inclusive, equitable methods of access.

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MEET LINSEY

Linsey Ford is serving her first year with the TCDL planning committee.

Where do you work? 

University of Houston-Clear Lake

What do you do there? 

Research and Instruction Librarian

Where did you go to school? University of North Texas (MS), University of Houston-Clear Lake (MA)

Where is your hometown? 

Texas

Tell me how you first got involved in with the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I first attended the conference last year and enjoyed it, so when I was offered the chance to be a part of the planning committee I was happy to participate.

The interest in TCDL seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

I think part of the reason interest in TCDL seems to be growing is that the sessions cover such a wide range of topics in a variety of formats. There is something useful and interesting for most anyone with interest in digital scholarship.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to TCDL?

TCDL provides a valuable opportunity for digital library and information professionals to get together to share experiences and ideas. I feel like this year’s focus on lessons learned, challenges faced, and strategies for moving forward will be quite useful to anyone working on digital projects. 

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Texas Digital Library is grateful to the members who serve on the TCDL Planning Committee. Each year, our members make the conference more vibrant and more inclusive, and we could not host such a successful regional conference without your help. Thank you, TCDL Planning Committee!

The Texas Conference on Digital Libraries will take place on May 18 – 21, 2020 in Austin, Texas.

Visit www.tdl.org/2020-tcdl to learn more.

TCDL 2020 Planning Committee

Shelley Barba (vice-chair), Digital Scholarship Librarian, Texas Tech University
Jon Crossno, Cataloging & Metadata Librarian, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Digital Scholarship Coordinator, University of Houston
Lea DeForest, Communications Manager, Texas Digital Library
Taylor Fairweather, Scholarly Communication Librarian, West Texas A&M University
Linsey Ford, Research and Instruction Librarian, University of Houston – Clear Lake
Ramona Holmes, Associate Director, University of North Texas Health Science Center
Jerrell Jones, Digitization Lab Manager, University of Houston
Marcia McIntosh (chair), Digital Production Librarian, University of North Texas
Mark Phillips, Associate Dean for Digital Libraries, University of North Texas
Alex Suarez, Administrative Associate, Texas Digital Library
Rachel Winston, Black Diaspora Archivist, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin
Amanda Zerangue, Manager of Digital Services & Scholarly Communication Librarian, Texas Woman’s University

Posted in Member Story, TCDL

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