Meet the TCDL 2023 Planning Committee

Collage of photos of the TCDL 2023 planning committee overlayed on a dark teal background.

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 #TCDL2023.

CHRISTINA | DIANE | LISA | SUSAN | CYNTHIA | GABBY | COLLEEN | IMA | ADRIAN | ELLIOT | HEIDI

MEET CHRISTINA

I love plants.

Where do you work?

University of North Texas Digital Libraries

What do you do there? 

Assistant Librarian, Digital Projects Unit Lab Manager

Where did you go to school? 

BFA 2013 from Texas State University, MFA 2017 from UNT, and currently working on a MSIS in Archiving and Imaging from UNT 

Where is your hometown? 

San Antonio, Texas

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

I am a part of a not-so-secret community called YNAB, short for You Need A Budget. Just look it up and it will change your relationship with your budget and with money.

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

My first conference was in 2019 and it was the first time I presented on my work for the Kempner project. My colleague was very involved with the event so I experienced the conference’s inner workings (which I secretly enjoy). Since then, I’ve been excited to play a role in this conference and building professional relationships. Now as chair, I’m so proud of what the committee has transformed into and what it will be in the future.

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

How amazing everyone is and how well we all listen to each other. I’m always surprised every time I sit down to help with the conference and share my ideas how well everyone interacts and encourages each other. 

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

Making sure to have inclusive and accessible session and events that are true to my heart. I want a conference that celebrates everyone that doesn’t feel like a check box or is any way forced. 

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

That it is for everyone wanting to learn about the backbone of libraries from the programmers, catalog maintenance, and handling digital challenges in the field. Also, the leadership academy is worth everything and pretty much sets you up for success during and after the conference.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

That it is the best type of resource for Digital libraries out there. No question is too big or too small. They offer targeted discussion and space to get to know others in hangouts through zoom. 

The interest in the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries seems to be growing. Why do you think that is? 

Because the service is constantly being improved to compliment advancements in technology and digital libraries. 

What do you think will change about digital librarianship in five years? 

I think digital libraries will stop being contained to brick and mortar buildings, that outreach to smaller institutions will be easier to achieve through larger institution support. Copyright and ownership issues will still be a large conversation but easier to handle. File Management has the possibility of being even more scary without proper tools so I see that service increasing as well. 

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

Well, I just started a new role as lab manager at UNT Digital Libraries so I have made it to my five year goal! So for the next five years…  I would like be a part of some library boards (making big decisions) and creating more automatic systems in the digitization workflows within the lab.

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MEET DIANE

At a 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup match: Honduras Vs Panama. !futbol is life! Vamos Honduras <3

Where do you work?

The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries

What do you do there? 

Digital Humanities & User Engagement / Liaison for Architecture & Planning, Construction Science, Demography, Social Work, and Public Administration

Where did you go to school? 

Undergrad: San Antonio Colleges & Texas A&M University- San Antonio; Grad School: University of Washington

Where is your hometown? 

Brownsville, TX

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

My family roots are in Honduras & Mexico.

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

I was introduced to TDL and TCDL through a GIS interest group during my first year of librarianship (2020). 

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

My first impression after attending a TDL GIS meeting was there are A LOT of passionate and knowledgeable librarians/information professionals across Texas colleges and universities! 

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

The welcoming environment to be one’s authentic self. 

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

It is a fantastic community of information professionals, librarians, and literacy advocates.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

Yes, do it! 

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

To lead digital humanities projects about the Rio Grande Valley/South Texas and the Northern Triangle of Central America.

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?
Alternate: Why do you enjoy what you do?

I care about access to information that can support someone’s journey.

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MEET LISA

Texas State University, University Libraries, First Year Experience, and Transfer Initiatives Librarian

Where do you work?

Texas State University, University Libraries,  Technology, and Engagement Division, Teaching and Learning Department 

What do you do there? 

In my role at Texas State’s University Libraries as a First Year Experience and Transfer Initiatives Librarian. Along with providing in-person information and digital literacy instruction, lead the instructional design, and assessment grounded in critical librarianship and social justice practice.

Where did you go to school? 

I completed my master’s in Information Studies at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, focusing on Archives and Academic Libraries. Currently, I am pursuing my MBA in Human Resources at my undergrad alma mater, Texas State University. 

Where is your hometown? 

Kerrville, Texas, but Houston is home. 😉

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

Before becoming an academic archivist and librarian, I was a social worker. 

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

How much of TDL’s work impacts learners, specifically undergraduates! 

I’m thrilled to participate in the year’s conference planning to help increase awareness across the profession on Open Access, specifically Open Education Resources, and their role in advancing equity in higher education.

The interest in the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries seems to be growing. Why do you think that is? 

The increase in interest and curiosity in TCDL’s programming and scope 100% makes sense. Increases in the use of digital content are on the mind of information professionals across institution types, and TCDL creates a space for dialogue and knowledge exchange. 

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

I hope to have completed my Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources and be in a professional leadership role at the organizational level that allows me to empower peer academic librarians and campus users with digital literacy and equitable access to information. I’m not sure what that job title looks like, but it’s my goal!

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MEET SUSAN

Susan Elkins on Sam Houston State University campus

Where do you work?

Sam Houston State University

What do you do there? 

Head of Digital Initiatives

Where did you go to school? 

Graduate School – University of South Carolina

Where is your hometown? 

Columbia, South Carolina

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

I am the middle of 5 children.

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

Dspace beginners class in Waco.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

Everyone seemed very knowledgeable.

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

Everyone is so willing to help.

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

The great service that is provided to small and medium sized library by the Texas Digital Library.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

That making research available in open access libraries can increase the reach of collections.

The interest in the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries seems to be growing. Why do you think that is? 

Organizations want the services that TDL is offering.

What do you think will change about digital librarianship in five years? 

I hope there will be fewer silos and more open access collections.

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

Convince faculty to submit to the IR.

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?
Alternate: Why do you enjoy what you do?

Research should be open-access and freely available to all.

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MEET CYNTHIA

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

Where do you work?

Texas Tech University

What do you do there? 

I am the subject librarian to the College of Human Sciences. 

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.

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

The fact that there are so many moving parts and as part of the Planning Committee you want everyone to have the best experience they can be that presenting, attending, hanging out. 

The interest in the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries 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. People can see the good TDL is making as a collaborative effort across the state. It is very commendable.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

I would say do it! TCDL takes their budget and seems to be able to double the impact. The activities that are happening in digital libraries across the state due to the support of TCDL and it’s sponsors and donors greatly impacts my life and so many around me! Thank you TCDL!

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MEET GABBY

Enjoying life and the scenery at Monument Valley.

Where do you work?

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

What do you do there? 

As the Open Education Librarian I coordinate the Textbook Affordability Project which supports the advocacy and implementation of open educational practices at UTRGV.

Where did you go to school? 

I received my early education teaching degree at Texas State University and completed my Masters in Library Science at Texas Woman’s University.

Where is your hometown? 

I was born and raised in the Houston area. I am currently living in McAllen Tx.

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

I spent one year volunteering and traveling my way through Europe and Northern Africa. I lived with different families and helped them with whatever they needed in exchange for food and shelter. I did everything from being a hostess at a sailing club in Ireland to cleaning date fields in Morocco.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

My first and forever impression of Texas Digital Library is amazement! Every event I have attended, from the hangout sessions to the conferences, I am amazed at the strength of the programming and community engagement. TDL has their finger on the pulse of our community and continues to amaze me with their passion and knowledge of digital libraries and scholarship.

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

I am always so surprised at how TDL is able to support so many different people, but always make us feel like a close knit family. There are so many different areas of digital librarianship and scholarship, but TDL is able to bring us all together in an inclusive environment that allows everyone to bring their knowledge and experiences to the table.

The interest in the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries seems to be growing. Why do you think that is? 

I believe the interest in TCDL is growing because there is an ever growing need for more information about digital librarianship. There are so many wonderful projects that are being completed across Texas that people want to share, and there are just as many people who are looking for new ideas and projects they can implement in their library. TCDL allows for a perfect harmony of these two needs. It also provides a great opportunity for people to feel a sense of community and connect with people who are interested in or working on similar topics.

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

My professional goals for the next five years would be to continue working in the field of open education and educating the Texas community about the importance of open educational practices. I would also like to work on bridging the gap of OER creation and open pedagogical practice implementation between K-12 schools and higher education institutions within Texas.

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?
Alternate: Why do you enjoy what you do?

I love working in the Open Education field of digital librarianship because it perfectly harmonizes my experience teaching and librarianship. I have taught diverse populations of students without the resources necessary to teach quality curriculum with with a social justice framework. I want to do everything within my power to help faculty members and teachers have the resources they need to create a positive and diverse learning environment in their class. I also want to ensure students at every age can see themselves, their culture, history, and their experiences reflected in their learning resources. Open education has the ability to greatly impact teaching and learning in Texas and beyond.

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MEET COLLEEN

In a room designed to remove color at a museum

Where do you work?

University of Texas at Austin

What do you do there? 

Head of Scholarly Communications (OA, repositories, OER, copyright)

Where did you go to school? 

Undergrad – Michigan State University, Grad – SUNY Buffalo

Where is your hometown? 

Frankenmuth & Traverse City, MI

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

I love winter sports (skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing). I’m not very good, but I love them.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

I did DSpace training at Baylor shortly after I started at UT. The training was organized by TDL and I remember thinking how great it was that they were creating a community of repository managers through the training options available.

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

Choosing between competing sessions! There are always so many interesting presentations happening that I can’t see them all.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

Community! I love that this conference gives me an opportunity to connect with colleagues across the state (and even beyond). TDL has managed to create a close knit community even when working across large geographic distances.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

One of the great things about TCDL is that it’s affordable. With travel budgets smaller at many institutions, TCDL is still in reach for a lot of folks and makes it possible for us all to work together on digital libraries.

What’s your personal philosophy on digital libraries / digital scholarship?
Alternate: Why do you enjoy what you do?

I love my job because it’s different every day and I get to work with awesome people!

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MEET IMA

medium sized dog looking to the left of the image. A brown femme person sits to the right of the dog, facing the camera

Ima taking a stealthy selfie with her dog, Oliver

Where do you work?

Texas Digital Library

What do you do there? 

Digital Librarian

Where did you go to school? 

Trinity University in San Antonio for undergrad, UNT for MLS

Where is your hometown? 

Houston, TX

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

I’m a slow reader.

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

I just started working for TDL this fall and volunteered to help with the conference planning.

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

I’ve never been on a conference planning committee before so I’m learning as I go.

The interest in the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries seems to be growing. Why do you think that is? 

Digital resources are important for allowing broader access to materials and the pandemic really shined a light on that fact. Now, I think there’s an understanding that digital collections need more thought and care than simply uploading files to a repository. TCDL allows information professionals to meet, discuss, and learn about issues affecting their digital collections and scholarly communications. 

What do you think will change about digital librarianship in five years? 

Technology is a major aspect of digital libraries and it’s always changing. I can’t predict specific changes that might affect the field, but I suspect we’ll look back to how we work now and say, “look how far we’ve come!”

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MEET ADRIAN

Where do you work?

Texas Woman’s University

What do you do there? 

Digital Projects Librarian

Where did you go to school? 

Undergraduate- University of Texas at Arlington  Masters- Texas Woman’s University

Where is your hometown? 

Grapevine, TX

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

Well, I am a ruthless darts player.  That’s the best I can think of!

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

I have attended and presented a poster at TCDL and I’m so happy to be a part of the planning committee!

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

The absolute best thing about TDL is the people behind it and they were the biggest part of my first impression.  It’s an extremely professional organization run by the most down to earth, intelligent, and charming people.  

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

I love that TDL brings together library professionals from multiple institutions across the state. Through user groups, webinars, and meetings from the most casual to the most professional, I have made real connections and developed genuine relationships with individuals I may never have met otherwise.  These groups have helped me to learn and solve problems and they have brought inspiration as well!

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MEET ELLIOT

Where do you work?

Texas Digital Library

What do you do there? 

DPLA Metadata Aggregation Service Coordinator

Where did you go to school? 

BA from Willamette University, MA from University of Miami, MSIS from UT Austin

Where is your hometown? 

Austin, TX, currently

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

I first attended TCDL in 2019. At the time, I was living in Austin but working remotely for a library in another state, and TCDL was a wonderful way to meet colleagues in Texas. Now that I work at Texas Digital Library, I’m excited to be able to help others have a great conference experience.

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

Like many conferences, TCDL is trying to reimagine what an in-person conference looks like after several years of virtual events. What was good about virtual conferences, and how do we keep that? What did we miss about in-person conferences, and what can be better? How do we think about inclusivity and environmental sustainability as we go back to meeting in-person? These are big challenges, but exciting ones.

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

TCDL is for everyone! No matter if you work at a TDL member library or another institution, or if you’re not working in the field of digital libraries right now, or you’re a grad student – we want you to be part of TCDL.

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with Texas Digital Library?
These could be fellow committee members and/or conference attendees / presenters.

The folks on the TCDL planning committee this year are not only super smart, talented librarians; they’re also genuinely thoughtful, kind people who care about their colleagues not just as library workers, but also as people. I feel so lucky to be able to work with and learn from this awesome group!

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MEET HEIDI

Heidi Winkler, Digital Services Librarian, who you know is cool because she wears a choker necklace

Where do you work?

Texas Tech University Libraries

What do you do there? 

Digital Services Librarian – I upload faculty works to the IR and manage the Pressbooks and OJS platforms

Where did you go to school? 

The University of Texas – B.A. English, 2010 and M.S. Information Studies, 2012

Where is your hometown? 

Quincy, IL, and San Antonio, TX

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

I perform in outdoor community musical theater! (Definitely more of a dancer than a singer, lol.) The next time you’re in Lubbock in the summer, check out what Moonlight Musicals has to offer!

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

I attended my first TCDL in 2013 and was instantly hooked on both the content and the camaraderie of the Texas digital library community.

What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?

I started working with Texas Digital Library when I started with Texas Tech and was brand new to the field. TDL instantly affirmed me as a professional when I was feeling unsure of myself and gave me a network to lean on. I’ve always been grateful.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries?

TCDL is a practical, affordable conference that celebrates and provides critical feedback to digital library work at all stages. It’s small enough that it always feels like a family reunion but big enough that you know your presentation will make an impact on the field. I’ve never not left TCDL feeling inspired.

What do you think will change about digital librarianship in five years? 

With the latest federal open access policies, I think we will see a renewed focus on institutional repositories and, I hope, green open access publishing models. I look forward to working on that together as a Texas community!

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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 in person in May 2023. 

TCDL 2023 Planning Committee

Chair: Christina Kellum, University of North Texas
Vice-Chair: Diane Lopez, University of Texas at San Antonio
Ammi Bui, University of Texas at San Antonio
Adrienne Cain, Baylor University
Mingyu Chen, University of Texas at Dallas
Aaron Choate, University of Texas at Austin
Lisa Cruces, Texas State University
Lea DeForest, Texas Digital Library
Susan Elkins, Sam Houston State University
Cynthia Henry, Texas Tech University
Gabrielle Hernandez, University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley
Meagan Hernandez, Texas Digital Library
Sylvia Jones, Southern Methodist University
Colleen Lyon, University of Texas at Austin
Ima Oduok, Texas Digital Library
Phebe Raglin, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Adrian Shapiro, Texas Woman’s University
Elliot Williams, Texas Digital Library
Heidi Winkler, Texas Tech University

 

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