TDL Leadership Academy 2021

Build Leadership Skills with Texas Digital Library

TCDL’s Leadership Academy started in 2019 with the goals of building the skills necessary for leading at all levels of the library and to cultivate a cohort of learners who seek a professional community for growth. The positive feedback from the first year’s day-long intensive compelled the TCDL Planning Committee to keep this opportunity viable during this unusual time.

This year we are striving for these goals once more through a free webinar series that will run from February through June 2021. By bringing multiple voices to speak on leadership topics such as supporting inclusivity in the library, leading people and projects and interrogating structures that contribute to a lack of diversity in libraries, curating a reading list, and providing a forum for asynchronous discussion among all participants, we hope to cultivate this professional community.

The Texas Digital Library Leadership Academy will help you build the skills necessary for leading at all levels of the library and cultivate a cohort of learners who seek a professional community for growth.

This year’s Leadership Academy will be a series of virtual and free webinars. Please see more information about each webinar below along with registration.

IMPORTANT: The Leadership Academy planning committee aims to provide a safe, brave space conducive to open dialog among presenters and attendees. Therefore, the Leadership Academy webinars will NOT be recorded.


Navigating the Field of Academic Libraries

March 25, 2021
1-2PM CST | Register here

Please join Texas Digital Library in welcoming our presenters:

Phyllis Earles, University Archivist for Prairie View A&M University

Phyllis Earles’ tenure in the library and information sciences started in January 1979 at Prairie View A&M University as Assistant Acquisitions Librarian through August 1981, after completing her undergraduate studies in Art Education minor Library Science from Grambling State University, December 1978. In 1981 she attended the University of Michigan on a Minority Fellowship and completed an AMLS degree in 1982. After graduate school, she returned to Prairie View A&M in August 1982 as an Assistant Serials Librarian with reassignment to the Reference Department as a Reference Librarian (Documents and Archives) from October 1985 until June 2000. In July 2000, she started a new chapter in her career as University Archivist, Head of Special Collections/Archives Department (SCAD).




Peace Ossom-Williamson, Director of Research Data Services and a health sciences liaison at the University of Texas at Arlington

Peace Ossom-Williamson, MLS, MS, AHIP, is the Director of Research Data Services at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and a Public Health Informatics Analyst & Researcher for COVID Black. She is on the executive board of the Texas Library Association and the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association. Peace is an active researcher and innovator with 15 years of experience in libraries. As an informationist and health educator, she has expertise in the provision of services crossing between libraries and public health. In her current role, she leads the department providing services around use of research data, including data management, data visualization, and use of data analysis tools. She also teaches courses in the undergraduate public health program at UTA.







Catherine Rudowsky, PhD, Dean of Libraries at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Cate Rudowsky has over 20 years of experience in libraries, with more than 16 of those years being in public academia. She currently serves as the Dean of Libraries at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), where she has worked since August of 2014. Under her leadership, the library has undergone several organizational shifts and has added services to meet the needs of a growing campus with an aggressive research agenda. Prior to TAMU-CC, Dr. Rudowsky worked for 10 years at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (SRU) in various roles with progressive responsibility, including serving as Chair of the Library Faculty. While at SRU, Dr. Rudowsky was promoted through academic rank twice and achieved tenure.

Throughout her academic studies, work and varied responsibilities, Dr. Rudowsky has always believe that leadership is about taking action not achieving a certain position. Leadership involves lifting those around you, providing a responsible and safe environment in which others can succeed, and fostering a shared vision that unites and excites those served. Leadership provides clarity and direction, while challenging everyone involved to be their best and to push to new heights. There is no greater accomplishment in life than creating a space where others thrive.

Presenters will share their experience interrogating the hierarchy, politics, and bureaucracy attendant to working in academic libraries and higher education.


Registration for this event is required. Please register here. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom that will include a link to join as well as a calendar invitation for download.

NEW DATE: Inclusivity in the Library

April 5th, 2021 | 1-2PM CST

Please register here. 

Please join Texas Digital Library in welcoming our presenters: 


Madelyn Shackelford Washington, Coordinator of the Music Library at the University of Houston

Musician. Librarian. Cis-female. Able-bodied. Ms. Washington has a voracious appetite for music, leadership and politics. Coming to librarianship after 13 years as a performing flutist, vocalist and choreographer, Madelyn’s experience as an Obama-era academic librarian of color in south central Indiana, sparked a passion for information management in digital environments for poverty eradication. Madelyn’s research interests continue to take influence from her professional life as a librarian and performing artist. While working in the Stan Getz Library at Berklee College of Music, she noticed an upsurge in the production of protest music. Understanding that today’s activists believe that the political is social and cultural, Madelyn intends to make this principle count by encouraging her patrons to become multi-literate citizens. It is her hope that they may effectively engage each other, in high-quality, equitable, and effective participation in digital-age civics, activism, and politics.






Assistant Vice President for Library Services at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Kelly R. Gonzalez, MSIS, MBA, is the Assistant Vice President for Library Services at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center in Dallas, Texas. Serving in this role since 2014, nurturing a flexible, collaborative, and performance-oriented staff team. She represents the Library to campus committees, state governmental bodies, accrediting agencies, and academic, regional and national organizations and consortia. Monitoring and evaluating the strategic plan and supporting the Library activities on an ongoing basis. Kelly coaches the staff in developing and monitoring strategies to support the Library’s strategic initiatives. Her tenure at UT Southwestern began in 2005 as the Manager of Digital Infrastructure Research & Development and then promoted to Deputy Director in 2008.

Prior to working at UT Southwestern, Kelly worked at Rush University as the Associate Director for Library Public Services. Responsible for providing leadership in developing strategies for effective delivery of library services in a changing environment for reference including education and outreach; circulation and stack management. From 1997 to 2003, Kelly held key roles in testing and development of products at Ovid Technologies, Inc. These positions were critical to quality, testing, development, and production of all databases and full text content at Ovid.



Topics include:

  • Tips on having difficult conversations
  • Addressing microaggressions
  • Hiring practices

Registration for this event is required. Please register hereOnce you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom that will include a link to join as well as a calendar invitation for download.

Leading Remotely

April 29, 2021
1-2PM CST | Register here.

Please join Texas Digital Library in welcoming our presenters:

Michele Gorman, Assistant Director of Public Services, Fort Worth Public Library

Michele Gorman is the Assistant Director of Public Services for the Fort Worth Public Library. Prior to this role, she served as the Associate Director of Lifelong Learning for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina, Deputy Director of Customer Experience for Houston Public Library, and Chief Organizational Development Officer for the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City.






Mark Phillips, Associate Dean for Digital Libraries, University of North Texas

Mark Phillips, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean for Digital Libraries at the University of North Texas Libraries in Denton, Texas. His areas of interest include workflows for digitized and born-digital content, digital preservation systems, Web archives, and metadata quality.








Kimberly Vardeman, User Experience Librarian, Texas Tech University

Kimberly Vardeman is User Experience Librarian at Texas Tech University Libraries. She leads a small but mighty UX department that researches faculty and students’ needs and preferences to recommend changes to Library services and spaces. She co-chairs a cross-departmental UX/Website team and is also faculty chair of the Library Student Advisory Board. Kimberly strives to incorporate design thinking principles into her leadership, to lead with empathy, and to create a safe space for everyone to question assumptions.

Prior to her current appointment, she served as a reference librarian and subject liaison to several academic areas and as an instructor for the Essentials of Scholarly Research course for many years. Her research interests include usability, library instruction, and the imposter phenomenon.


Registration for this event is required. Please register hereOnce you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom that will include a link to join as well as a calendar invitation for download.

Diversity and Inclusion @ the Leadership Academy

The Texas Conference on Digital Libraries (TCDL) invites information professionals  working in higher education, public and private libraries, and cultural heritage institutions from all backgrounds and at all stages in their careers. The TCDL program covers topics relevant to the creation, promotion, and preservation of research, scholarship, and cultural heritage digital materials.

The goal of the TCDL is to bring together those working on digital projects — including outreach librarians, repository managers, catalogers, faculty members, technical staff, students, and others — in order to build a practical, usable, and sustainable model for digital libraries.

The TCDL Planning Committee and the Texas Digital Library are committed to the presence and contributions of all persons regardless of age, culture, abilities, bodies, ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. We believe that digital libraries are stewarded and utilized by diverse participants, and that supporting the visibility of such diversity enhances the experiences of all digital library community members. As such, this conference values inclusiveness and the maintenance of a safe and accountable space for all participants.

Texas Digital Library is dedicated to providing collaborative and conference experiences that are free from all forms of harassment, and inclusive of all people. We know that the best problem-solving and critical thinking happens when people with a wide array of experiences and perspectives come together to work in comfort and safety as peers. We therefore expect participants in the Texas Digital Library community to help create thoughtful and respectful environments where that interaction can take place.

The above statement was crafted from examples set forth by the Different Games Conference and the Digital Library Federation Code of Conduct.

Please email if you have questions about the Leadership Academy.