Meet the 2021 TDL Awards Committee

Recognizing that the community benefits from the work of many, the TDL Awards seek to acknowledge, support, and celebrate work done in this area. Each year, the TDL Awards honor Texas-based individuals and groups that have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of digital libraries.

Take a moment to meet some of this year’s committee members!

CYNTHIA | ELIZABETH | JAIMI | ESTEBAN | ERIN | MORGAN | LAUREN | DENYSE | KIM | ANNE

MEET CYNTHIA

Cynthia Henry, College of Human Sciences Librarian, Texas Tech University

Where do you work?

Texas Tech University

What do you do there?

College of Human Sciences Librarian

Where did you go to school?

Texas Woman’s University

Where is your hometown?

I claim Ft. Worth as a graduated high school there.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I have lived overseas in Iran and Costa Rica. Iran when I was little, Costa Rica a couple of years ago. I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is to be engaged in other cultures, it helps you learn more about your own culture. In a world where it is so easy to separate ourselves from each other, it is the common things that brings us together: food, music, art.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

Lea DeForest asked me to be on the committee after I had been joining the TDL hangouts during 2020.

The interest in the TDL Awards seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

As TDL has been around awhile now I believe people are talking more and more about it, seeing the good TDL is doing by making a collaborative effort across the state is commendable.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

Do it! My philosophy in life is you will never hear a yes if you don’t ask in the first place! Make sure you fill in all the parts and the contact information is correct. Good Luck!

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MEET ELIZABETH

Elizabeth D. Headrick MLS, Digital Services GRA, TWU Blagg-Huey Library

Where do you work?

Texas Woman’s University Blagg-Huey Library

What do you do there?

Graduate Research Assistant, Digital Service

Where did you go to school?

I received my MLS from TWU in 2018 and I am now pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric.

Where is your hometown?

Denton.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I’m the steampunk librarian! I’ve spent the last few years releasing a podcast that does critical analysis of steampunk literature. My dissertation will focus on knowledge-controlling institutions in steampunk literature (like libraries!) and how they parallel and intersect with debates about Open Access in academic libraries.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I met Lea DeForest at CTLC 2019 where I was moderating and presenting. She (strongly) suggested that I might benefit from serving on the awards committee and working with TDL. This is now my second year to serve on the committee and I’m very proud to do so.

What has surprised you most about working with Texas Digital Library?

I was most surprised by how warm and welcoming everyone was. I’m in a bit of a liminal space in that I have my MLS but I’m still employed by TWU as a GRA so I don’t always feel like a “real” librarian but TDL has been very encouraging and supportive of my efforts.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with the Texas Digital Library.

Lea DeForest was certainly a big part of why I chose to work with TDL. She is a champion of TDL and her enthusiasm was very exciting.

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MEET JAIMI

Jaimi Parker

Where do you work?

University of North Texas Special Collections.

What do you do there?

My title is Exhibits Coordinator, but I also do general outreach.

Where did you go to school?

University of Texas at Arlington and Johns Hopkins University.

Where is your hometown?

Grand Prairie, TX.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I was accepted into a very exclusive watchmaking school before pursuing my Master’s degree.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I have worked for a TDL member institution since 2016, but only connected with the Awards when I was nominated for the 2020 Excellence Award for my work on the UNT LGBTQ Archive. It was a surprise to be nominated, and an honor to win!

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

A number of people at my institution have been working with TDL on various committees, and have always expressed how much they enjoy the organization and the community, so I have always had a positive outlook on TDL. Getting to know more members and seeing more of the amazing work that TDL is doing and supporting through various initiatives, including Awards, has only made me appreciate the organization more.

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on the TDL Awards Committee?

I have not been on the Awards Committee for long, but this committee has such a positive atmosphere! It’s wonderful to be part of a group that gets to recognize people’s efforts, and every member of the committee seems to embrace that positive nature, and finds joy in doing the work to make the committee successful in its mission.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

Go for it! The Awards Committee appreciates seeing an array of nominations, and the work you’re doing deserves recognition!

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MEET ESTEBAN

Esteban Cantu

Where do you work?

University of Texas at San Antonio.

What do you do there?

Information Technology Librarian.

Where did you go to school?

University of North Texas.

Where is your hometown?

Kingsville Tx.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I drove tanks in the Army.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I had a strong interest in digital repositories.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

I loved the community! Members are very willing to share their knowledge.

What has surprised you most about working with Texas Digital Library?

What surprised me the most about TDL was how knowledgeable it’s members are. I enjoy seeing what professionals are doing in other libraries and how they are engaging with their patrons.

What do you wish other people knew about the Texas Digital Library and/or the TDL Awards?

I wish I knew about the past TDL winners page. It would have been nice to browse those pages in the past.

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

There is a strong sense of diversity and inclusion within the organization and its members. It is very refreshing.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with the Texas Digital Library.

DeeAnn Ivie is a coworker who works with OER books and TDL. Her passion is what first interested me to be more socially involved. Before, I was just a lurker.

The interest in the TDL Awards seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

I believe the pandemic has somehow forced people to become social in a more virtual way. I think the increase in “virtual” meetings has made the state just a little smaller.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

DO IT!

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MEET ERIN

Erin Owens

Where do you work?

Sam Houston State University.

What do you do there?

Professor / Access Services Coordinator & Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Where did you go to school?

University of North Texas (Masters), University of Houston (Bachelors).

Where is your hometown?

Houston.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

Theatre and musical theatre were my hobbies in my youth.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I’m always interested in new opportunities for professional service, and I especially love serving on committees that recognize outstanding people doing incredible work. So when I received an invitation to join this TDL Awards Committee, I jumped at the chance.

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

I think TDL is a critical resource to support Texas institutions in efficiently and effectively building and sharing digital collections for the benefit of all.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

Please don’t hesitate! If you know someone doing amazing work, we want to know about it. Everyone deserves a chance for their accomplishments to be celebrated and to serve as an example to other libraries.

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MEET MORGAN

Morgan Briles

Where do you work?

Stephen F. Austin State University.

What do you do there?

Digital Repository Librarian.

Where did you go to school?

Undergraduate: Agnes Scott College; Graduate: Syracuse University.

Where is your hometown?

Lawrenceville, GA.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I’m a karaoke queen!

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I’m new to Texas and Texas libraries, so my colleagues at SFA recommended that I attend TCDL in the spring and get involved in the organization. It’s smaller than TLA and focused on my career interests.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

Coming from out of state, I thought that TDL was just the DSpace repository, and the organization was members who all use that infrastructure. Though that’s part of it, there is much more to the organization.

What do you wish other people knew about the Texas Digital Library and/or the TDL Awards?

You don’t have to be part of a member institution to be nominated or to nominate others.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

You should because I know that I want to read about all the cool things that people are working on in the state!

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MEET LAUREN

Lauren Goodley, zoom photo, 2020.

Where do you work?

The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University.

What do you do there?

Archivist.

Where did you go to school?

UT-Austin School of Information.

Where is your hometown?

Georgetown, Texas.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I don’t remember, but awards committees are definitely the best way to join an organization. I love learning about the wide variety of amazing work being done in Texas digital libraries.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

TDL is the best of regional and digital organizations. It’s small enough to recognize people, and the community is welcoming. Since everyone brings a different set of experiences and expertise that contribute to the field, there is a sense of valuing everyone’s participation.

What has surprised you most about working with Texas Digital Library?

The staff! Lea Deforest, Courtney Mumma, Alex Suarez, and Kristi Park are all whip smart, excellent at their jobs, and so supportive of me (!). They listen and share knowledge very generously.

What do you wish other people knew about the Texas Digital Library and/or the TDL Awards?

Get to know the awardees! Reach out – these are leaders in the field and the awards are a great way to learn, and a great resource to add to your reading and research.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

Please do! Take an hour or so to think about people you know and work that you value. Share this via a nomination. It’s important to celebrate ourselves and each other, and promote good work.

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MEET DENYSE

Denyse Rodgers

Where do you work?

Baylor University.

What do you do there?

Director, Library Systems.

Where did you go to school?

B.A.; Austin College M.S.; North Texas State University (now University of North Texas).

Where is your hometown?

Odessa, Texas.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I love to watch college men’s basketball.

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

I was asked to serve by Lea DeForest.

What do you wish other people knew about the Texas Digital Library and/or the TDL Awards?

How many services that TDL offers and how helpful the staff are!

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

Texas has so many interesting projects and resources that deserve to be showcased. A nomination for a TDL award is one way to recognize the hard work of our Texas librarians and library staff.

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MEET KIM

Headshot by Edgar DeLaGarza, TAMU-CC Marketing and Communications

Where do you work?

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

What do you do there?

I am the Processing and Digital Archivist. I handle processing born-digital archival materials, digitization, and digital preservation in Special Collections and Archives at Bell Library.

Where did you go to school?

I have a B.A. in English and French from Amherst College and an M.S. in Information Studies from the University at Albany.

Where is your hometown?

Dover Plains, NY.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I took tap, jazz, and ballet classes for many years as a kid. You would definitely be surprised by that fact if you saw me on a dance floor today!

Tell me how you first got involved with the Texas Digital Library Awards?

Lea asked me to join the committee and I said yes! I get so much out of TDL, it’s nice to have the opportunity to give back a little bit.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

When I moved to Texas in January 2019, I was so happy to find such a strong professional community of digital library workers. I’m pretty much the only one at TAMU-CC who does most of what I do, so it’s been essential to connect with my peers at other institutions through TDL to share experiences, perspectives, and best practices.

What do you wish other people knew about the Texas Digital Library and/or the TDL Awards?

I wish people knew that there’s something at TDL for everyone. Even people who aren’t “digital” librarians (or aren’t librarians at all!) can find webinars or discussion groups that apply to their work or research.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague for a TDL Award?

I, personally, am super excited to see what my Texas library colleagues have been working on, so you should definitely submit lots of nominations!

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MEET ANNE

Anne in Washington, DC

Where do you work?

University of Houston Libraries.

What do you do there?

Metadata Services Coordinator.

Where did you go to school?

Anne received a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Where is your hometown?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — “Where’s the bubbler?”

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Texas Digital Library is grateful to the members who serve on the TDL Awards 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!

TDL 2021 AWARDS COMMITTEE

  • Morgan Briles, Stephen F. Austin University 
  • Esteban Cantu, University of Texas San Antonio
  • Elle Covington, University of Texas at Austin
  • Lea DeForest, Texas Digital Library (non-voting)
  • Alan Garcia, ATX Barrio Archive*
  • Kim Gianfresco, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
  • Lauren Goodley (chair), Texas State University
  • Elizabeth Headrick, Texas Woman’s University
  • Cynthia Henry, Texas Tech University
  • Deborah Omowale Jarmon, San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum*
  • Julie Judkins, University of North Texas
  • Erin Owens, Sam Houston State University
  • Jaimi Parker, University of North Texas*
  • Denyse Rodgers, Baylor University
  • Alex Suarez, Texas Digital Library (non-voting)
  • Anne Washington, University of Houston*
  • Jingshan Xiao, University of Houston – Clear Lake

*Previous TDL Award Winner

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