Christopher Starcher (he/him) joined TDL in October 2023 as the Vireo Product Manager, a consulting role. Christopher is Associate Librarian, Digital Resources, faculty at Texas Tech University. In his 2-year term, he will assist with coordination and growth of the Vireo Open Source Community (OSS) and software development.
Where did you go to school?
Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas
Where is your hometown?
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I am a musician at heart, and I had the wonderful opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall with the Robert Shaw Choral Institute Singers under the baton of Charles Dutoit.
What was your first impression of Texas Digital Library?
I’ve been involved with TDL from its early stages. I thought it was a great idea, and I was excited about the collaborative possibilities.
What has surprised you most about working with Texas Digital Library?
It has been wonderful to see how the organization has matured over the years. I’m not sure I realized early on that it would become as influential and essential as it is now.
What do you find most challenging about working in digital libraries / digital collections?
There is a high cost to avoid technical obsolescence and an even higher cost for technical innovation. I think this is a great challenge for my work, for TDL, and the work of all libraries and archives.
What do you wish other people knew about the Texas Digital Library?
TDL has a great staff. Many of them work in the background. You will rarely see or hear from them, but they are very good at what they do.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with Texas Digital Library?
I don’t even know where to start. I have met so many wonderful people through my work with TDL that have become colleagues and even friends. Many of them have been influential in my professional growth, and I am fortunate to have met them. There is no way I can name them all here, but hopefully I have adequately expressed my gratitude to each of them over the years, and they know who they are.
What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the Texas Digital Library?
TDL makes each of its members stronger. Very few, if any, of the members of TDL could sustain the same level of services for their institutions that they receive from TDL. We all benefit from the consortium.
The interest in digital libraries / digital archives seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?
The electronic transfer of information is the most efficient and effective means that humans have devised. Digital libraries and archives are an important piece of that.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting involved with TDL?
Do it. You will benefit as will TDL. There is so much going on at TDL that there is a place for everyone involved with libraries and archives.
What do you think will change in digital libraries / digital collections in five years?
I think we will see much more innovation and collaboration in digital libraries. While the collaboration may be born of necessity, it will be beneficial and will produce further innovation.
What’s your personal philosophy on digital collections?
Information is foundational to human progress. It has no value if it is not shared. I believe that digital libraries occupy an important space in that domain.