TDL Award Winners

20172016 | 2014

Each year, the Texas Digital Library Awards honor individuals and groups that have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of digital libraries. Winners are selected by the TDL Awards Committee and are notified in early spring.

Award recipients receive one complimentary registration per group/awardee for the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries in Austin and are honored during a special awards session at the conference.

2018 TDL Award Winners

Excellence in Digital Libraries Award

Project Team: Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, Baylor University

(left to right) Billie Peterson-Lugo, Kara Long, Tim Logan, Darryl Stuhr, and Eric Ames of Baylor Libraries Photo credit: Kira Matica

Baylor Libraries Project Team Members:
Eric Ames, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
Stephen Bolech, Audiovisual Digitization Specialist
Kara Long, Metadata Librarian
Darryl Stuhr, Associate Director for Digital Projects
Travis Taylor, Digitization Assistant

The Black Gospel Music Restoration Project team at Baylor Libraries are being honored with the 2018 Excellence in Digital Libraries Award for their work in making accessible the creative output of hundreds of black gospel artists. The initiative is in its 11th year and has to date digitized and providing access to more than 2000 unique digital items in multiple formats, including more than 4400 songs, and posters and photographs. This is the only national project documenting the “Golden Age” of black gospel music (1945-1975), and it is used in research about musical styles, lyrical analysis, and performance practice, as well as being featured in the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The collection lends itself to awesome outreach opportunities, like concerts, art exhibits, and inclusion in symposia. Most notably, the libraries have produced 2-minute radio segments currently being broadcast on NPR affiliates, which can be found here.

Trailblazer Award

Winner: Bobby Marlin and the Keiller Drawings project at the Moody Medical Library of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

The Keiller Drawings Digitization project, and Bobby Marlin, archivist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, are selected for this year’s Trailblazer Award because of the immense coordination, project management, and staff collaboration required to make completely accessible over 2500 rare anatomical drawings produced from illustrations in anatomy textbooks, microscope slides, cadavers, and surgeries. These renderings give valuable insights into pedagogy surrounding anatomy in early Texas medical schools. The project required initial sorting, transport, metadata creation, file naming authorities, hiring a photographer, and determination of efficiencies to stay on budget. All in all, the photographed drawings were identified, photographed, and uploaded with description in a few months, and served as a demonstration project that led to Texas State Library and Archives Commission funding for future projects.

Innovative Outreach Award

Winner: Jessica Trelogan, for her work on Texas Data Repository outreach

Jessica Trelogan of UT Libraries Photo credit: Kira Matica

Numerous are the ways in which Jessica Trelogan has promoted and marketed the Texas Data Repository for UT Austin. The service itself began in early 2017, and so did Jessica’s promotions. After presenting on the repository at on-campus conferences, she used Open Access Week to distribute mugs to everyone who uploaded content. She also initiated “Cake-for-Data” – the first four people to deposit their data to the Texas Data Repository received a real cake (!!) with the repository logo, name of their ‘dataverse,’ and the DOI for their dataset printed on the top. This took off on Twitter. Carrying on the delectable food theme, Jessica also started a popular workshop series called “Data & Donuts” that includes sessions on managing, publishing, storing, and sharing research data. Jessica has received praise from across campus on her ambassadorship and expertise, from professors, students, IT administrators, and archivists alike.

Graduate Student Excellence Award in Digital Libraries

Winner: Alicia Niwagaba, for her work on the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America  

Alicia Niwagaba, Graduate Research Assistant for Archives of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America Photo credit: Kira Matica

Alicia Niwagaba is a recent graduate in the University of Texas at Austin School of Information and serves as a team member for the National Science Foundation grant-funded “Archives of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America” (AILLA) project. As a member of the project team, she has been working on curriculum for language documentation researchers that will help them deposit their work in digital repositories and has been helping to write a research paper on the curatorial instruction. Alicia produced and captioned high-quality videos using various packages to support the instruction. ( and  Alicia is also working on Spanish-language voiceover tracks for them. Her team members say Alicia has improved the level of service of the AILLA project.

TDL Service Award

The TDL Service Award is given at the discretion of the Texas Digital Library to an individual or group at a member institution who do exceptional work in the service of the Texas Digital Library consortium.

This year’s TDL Service Award recipient is Ryan Steans.

In October 2017, Ryan left Texas Digital Library after nine years of service. He is now the Community Manager of Avalon, an open source system for managing and providing access to large collections of digital audio and video and developed by the libraries of Indiana University Bloomington and Northwestern University.

All who worked with Ryan during his tenure at Texas Digital Library know the immense value that he brought to the consortium. He joined Texas Digital Library in 2008 and held several positions over the years, including Assistant Director starting in 2015. During his time at Texas Digital Library, he transformed the IT organization into a service-oriented team focused on member needs, built strong relationships with staff and faculty at member institutions, and represented the consortium internationally at conferences and on committees.

Additionally, Ryan managed Texas Digital Library through several leadership transitions, and, in his most recent roles overseeing technology and operations, he led the technology implementation of several new services, including the launch of the Texas Data Repository and new digital preservation storage options.

Ryan’s steadiness, practicality, and constant attention to the needs of members helped Texas Digital Library grow and thrive, and he leaves both TDL and the larger Texas library community better than when he found it.

The Texas Digital Library thanks the 2018 TDL Awards Committee for its efforts in selecting this year’s group of outstanding recipients:

  • Sian Brannon (Chair), University of North Texas
  • Sean Visintainer (Vice-Chair), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Kris Helge, Texas Woman’s University
  • Jonathan Helmke, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Derek Reece, University of Texas at Arlington

2017 TDL Award Winners

Excellence in Digital Libraries Award

Project Team: Vireo 4 Rewrite Development Team, Texas A&M University Libraries

Project Team Members:

  • James Silas Creel, Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Jeremy Huff, Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Jason Savell, Texas A&M University Libraries
  • William Welling, Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Simon Frazier, Texas A&M University Libraries
  • Ryan Laddusaw, Texas A&M University Libraries

The Vireo 4 Rewrite Development Team at Texas A&M University Libraries are being honored with the 2017 Excellence in Digital Libraries Award for their work rewriting Vireo for the version 4 release. In 2014, the TDL began working with Texas A&M to rewrite Vireo based on feature requests from the Vireo Users Group and the TDL ETD Metadata Working Group. With the rewrite of the software, teams were given flexibility to build customizable workflows and controlled vocabularies into the core application from the very start and bring the application up to speed with the current generation of web development frameworks. In Fall 2015, TDL lost its development staff and the capacity to contribute code to the project. The development team at Texas A&M stepped up and committed to ensure the viability and success of the project, and project demonstrations have continued. The innovations motivated by the Vireo Users Group and the TDL Metadata Working Group created technical challenges of unusual depth even in the domain of professional software development. The Texas A&M Libraries development team is successfully shepherding this project into a deliverable for the academic community.

Leadership in Digital Libraries

Mark Phillips, University of North Texas Libraries

Mark Phillips is the Associate Dean of Digital Libraries at the University of North Texas. His work helps define the boundaries of what digital library developers are doing with digital library collections and the metadata that describes them. Mark combines excellent technical knowledge and ability with the rare compulsion and talent to communicate it thoroughly and understandably to others. His blog reveals some of this cutting-edge work with interesting posts that take the reader not just through his thought process and the procedures he developed, but also revealing the underlying code and tools so that others can replicate his work. In addition to many ongoing projects, Mark takes the time to help inform and empower others about successful techniques in digital libraries. His innovative work behind the scenes provides cutting-edge digital library services to the State of Texas and well beyond. We are honored to present Mark Phillips with the 2017 Leadership in Digital Libraries Award.

TDL Service Award

Stephanie Larrison, Albert B. Alkek Libraries, Texas State University

Stephanie Larrison is the Electronic Resources Librarian at the Albert B. Alkek Libraries at Texas State University. She is being honored with the 2017 TDL Service Award for her dedicated service and leadership role in the Vireo Users Group (VUG) Steering Committee and leadership role in the implementation and successful adoption of Vireo as an ETD platform at Texas State University. Stephanie has been a member of TDL’s VUG since its inception and has served as co-chair of the VUG Steering Committee since 2011. Since 2012, she has participated in the sprint meetings and served as the product owner for the 2014 development cycle for Vireo version 3 and the 2015-2017 development cycle for Vireo version 4. Stephanie has led user group meetings and presented at state and national conferences, provided training to other libraries, and helped expand the use of the software at Texas State University, and throughout Texas and beyond.

Trailblazer Award

Project Team: S.A.V.E. Development Group, Texas Tech University Libraries

Project Team Members:

  • Le Yang, Texas Tech University Libraries
  • Kenny Ketner, former programmer, Texas Tech University Libraries
  • Scott Luker, Texas Tech University Libraries
  • Matthew Patterson, Texas Tech University Libraries
  • Christopher Starcher, Texas Tech University Libraries

While Texas Tech does have people dedicated to digital collections, there is no one dedicated to development of tools for digital collections. So, when a problem comes up that needs some work, it takes people going above and beyond in their work to get it done. The SAVE development group created a system where student recitals can be shared in a secure environment, allowing the university to make student’s graduate work available. This is the first time that Texas Tech University Library has developed a tool specifically for digital collections, and the team worked through a number of problems to successfully accomplish this. The group is currently developing an open source version of the software so that other ETD programs can use the tool to make music and video for ETDs available with authentication. The SAVE project includes the making of a new collection, innovative uses of technology, publicity outreach and promotion, a digitization project, effective working relationships between departments, metadata, and ETDs, all in one project.

Innovative Outreach Award

Digital Frontiers, Spencer D. C. Keralis, University of North Texas

Dr. Spencer Keralis is the Head for Digital Humanities and Collaborative Programs at the University of North Texas. As founding director and ongoing chair of Digital Frontiers, Dr. Keralis has created and continues to foster a space that blurs the often rigid line between the makers and users of digital resources utilized in humanities, research, teaching, and learning. Currently in its 6th year, Digital Frontiers is a project of the UNT Libraries that explores advances and research in humanities and cultural memory through the lenses of digital scholarship, technology, and multidisciplinary discourse. In praxis, DF is an annual conference, THATCamp, and a series of ongoing webinars, events, and conversations with national leaders in Digital Humanities. The program harnesses the power of social media during the conference to connect projects, ideas and people internally as well as throughout the larger community. Through its Twitter and Facebook pages, these conversations continue throughout the year, providing a valuable resource through which students and scholars can connect their interests with potential partners, tools, audiences, and communities. Under Dr. Keralis’ leadership and vision, the project’s impact has moved beyond reflection and placed itself at the forefront of the field’s future.

Graduate Student Excellence Award in Digital Libraries

Kathryn Van Winkle, University of Texas at Austin

Kathryn Van Winkle is a Graduate Student in the University of Texas at Austin Theatre and Dance Department. Over the last 3 years, Kathryn has worked with Dr. Yacov Sharir to sort through and fully document 40+ years of videos, in various formats, and add these to the Texas ScholarWorks institutional repository as the Sharir and Sharir/Bustamante Dance Collection. Dr. Sharir donated his videos to the Fine Arts Library, but had specifically requested they be digitized and placed where the world could see the work he and many Austin dancers, choreographers, and dance companies had created from 1972-2015. Kathryn meticulously recorded as much information as possible, viewing the material with Dr. Sharir, to provide the best and cleanest metadata possible. Her hard work and dedication to the subject and to Dr. Sharir has added tremendous value to the collection, and translates to thoughtful planning for and special consideration of the needs of future dance researchers.

2016 TDL Award Winners

Excellence in Digital Libraries Award

Project Team: LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections and the University of Texas at Austin Libraries

Core Project Team Members:

  • Theresa Polk, University of Texas Libraries
  • Melanie Cofield, University of Texas Libraries
  • Brandon Cornell, University of Texas Libraries
  • Jon Gibson, University of Texas Libraries
  • Jose Gonzalez Roa, University of Texas Libraries
  • Ethan Persoff, University of Texas Libraries

The LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections at the University of Texas at Austin Libraries are being honored with the 2016 Excellence in Digital Libraries Award for their work with the Latin American Digital Initiatives (LADI) repository. LLILAS Benson partnered with three archival institutions in Central America to digitally preserve and provide broad online access to collections that document human rights in the region, particularly from the perspective of race, ethnicity, or social exclusion.

Additional staff across Technology Innovation & Strategy; Digital Curation Services; Cataloging and Metadata Services; and LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections contributed essential work in support of the Latin American Digital Initiatives Project.

Leadership in Digital Libraries

Cathy Hartman, University of North Texas Libraries

Cathy Nelson Hartman is former Associate Dean of Libraries at the University of North Texas. We are honored to present Cathy Hartman with the 2016 Leadership in Digital Libraries Award. She embodies achievement and vision in every aspect of this award for her significant contributions in digital libraries. Cathy Hartman’s exemplary service as a leader and visionary have forever changed the information landscape, and brought positive recognition to UNT at the state, national, and international level.

TDL Service Award

Santi Thompson, University of Houston Libraries

Santi Thompson is Head of Digital Repository Services at the University of Houston. He is being honored with the 2016 TDL Service Award for his dedicated service to the TDL and leadership role as current chair of the TDL Dataverse Implementation Working Group and previous service on the TDL Awards Committee (2014), Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Metadata Working Group, and TDL Data Management Working Group.

Trailblazer Award

Project Team: University of North Texas Libraries’ Portal to Texas History and the San Antonio Central Public Library’s Texana/Genealogy Department

Project Team Members:

  • Jake Mangum, University of North Texas Libraries
  • Matt DeWaelsche, Texana/Genealogy Department, Central San Antonio Public Library

The University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries’ and the San Antonio Public Libraries Texana/Genealogy Department are being honored with the 2016 Trailblazer Award for their work in digitizing the African-American Funeral Program collection. Since 2012 the 3.906 items that have been digitized have been used 256,335 times; 14,723 of which were January 2016 alone.

Scholarly Communications Award

Sarah Potvin, Texas A&M University Libraries

Sarah Potvin is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at Texas A&M University. She is being honored with the 2016 TDL Service Award for her leadership and service on the Electronic Theses and Dissertation Metadata Working Group, which published the TDL Descriptive Metadata Guidelines for Electronic Theses and Dissertations, v.2., and the Dictionary of TDL Descriptive Metadata for Electronic Theses and Dissertations, v.2.

Innovative Outreach Award

Project Team: Baylor University Libraries Digital Projects Group

Project Team Members:

  • Eric Ames, Baylor University
  • Darryl Stuhr, Baylor University
  • Allyson Riley, Baylor University
  • Stephen Bolech, Baylor University

The Digital Projects Group at the Baylor University Libraries are being honored with the 2016 Innovative Outreach Award for their varied outreach and social media presence. The team uses numerous social media outlets that function together to promote more than 70 publicly accessible collections to disparate and wide-ranging audiences of users.

2014 TDL Award Winners

Excellence in Digital Libraries Award

Project Team: Texas A&M Libraries and AgriLife Extension

  • Dr. Robert McGeachin
  • Michael Bolton
  • Violeta Ilik
  • Sarah Potvin
  • Jeannette Ho
  • Lisa Furubotten
  • Stephanie Elmquist
  • Dr. Bruce Herbert
  • Dr. Holly Jarvis

The Texas A&M Libraries and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension are being honored with the 2014 Excellence in Digital Libraries Award for their work to develop a novel workflow to prepare and ingest the Bulletin of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station into the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Texas Digital Library Service Award

Dr. Christine Shupala

Dr. Christine Shupala is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She is being honored with the 2014 TDL Service Award for her dedicated service to the TDL Governing Board and her effective promotion of the TDL and its services on her own campus and at other institutions across the state of Texas.

Trailblazer Award

Project Team: UT Medical Branch Galveston

  • Robert Marlin
  • Mira Greene
  • Lisa Reyna-Guerrero
  • Kelly Caldwell

The team behind the Truman G. Blocker, Jr. History of Medicine Collections in the Moody Medical Library at the University of Texas (UT) Medical Branch, Galveston are being recognized with the 2014 Trailblazer Award for their outstanding work to increase accessibility to their previously underutilized Louis Pasteur Collection, which contains original handwritten letters from Pasteur in addition to other unique and rare items.

Scholarly Communications Award

Dr. Martin Halbert

Dr. Martin Halbert is Dean of the University of North Texas Libraries. He is being honored with the 2014 Scholarly Communications Award for his significant and far-reaching contributions to the landscape of scholarly communication and open access publishing, both in Texas and beyond its borders.