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Director of Communications
Around The Library
Kelsey Brett, discovery systems librarian at the University of Houston Libraries, has been chosen as the Texas Library Association (TLA) District 8 chair-elect. The unit provides training, advocacy, and networking opportunities for members from 28 counties in southeast Texas.
Brett has also been selected to participate in the TLA Texas Accelerated Library Leaders program, commonly known as the TALL Texans Leadership Institute. TALL Texans is a transformational program designed to provide advanced leadership and management development for attendees, who become better equipped to take new initiative for the benefit of their institutions and stakeholders.
“I have been a member of TLA since I was in library school, and I love the community that is shared among its members,” Brett said. “It is a great opportunity to connect with other types of librarians like school and public librarians, and learn from each other’s similarities and differences. I value TLA for the professional development opportunities, and also for the opportunities it opens for me to help shape the future of Texas libraries.”
Brett came to UH in 2012 as a resource discovery systems fellow. She was then promoted to her current role, in which she works to enhance and promote discovery systems. She also focuses on licensing and management of electronic resources. Brett has published and presented in the areas of usability studies, user-centered discovery system redesign, electronic resource management, and student-centered services. She was influential in starting a twice-yearly therapy dog program at UH, and is a strong advocate for student success. Brett holds a master of science in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
Lisa Martin, business, economics and hospitality librarian, and Josh Been, social science data librarian, were able to facilitate the research process for two economics faculty members. Andrea Szabo and Gergely Ujhelyi needed normalized India elections data for their project. They asked the library to acquire this very expensive data from a company in India.
Martin and Been decided to come at the problem from a different angle. Previously, Been had worked with a political science faculty member, Ryan Kennedy, on a similar project. In fact, Kennedy had normalized the needed data already.
The data that Been already had located for Szabo’s and Ujhelyi’s project needed to be reformatted to work with the additional data from Kennedy’s research. He was able to accomplish this using ArcGIS, a geographic information system for working with maps and geographic information. Been then connected the two economics faculty members with Kennedy so they could access his data for their project.
Librarians help faculty with their research by making connections between people and information. Sometimes they save time and money as well.
Wenli Gao, liaison librarian for communication, sociology and anthropology at the University of Houston Libraries, has been accepted to the well-regarded Data and Visualization Institute for Librarians. This is a week-long program that will be held at North Carolina State University this coming May.
The Institute will allow participants to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to communicate effectively with faculty and student researchers about their data and to be able to provide useful consultations on course topics. Led by expert instructors, sessions will be interactive and will focus on core concepts, with hands-on exposure to select open source and highly used commercial tools.
According to Gao, “Participation in this program will benefit my own research by enhancing my statistical and textual analysis skills. I currently am working on collection assessment projects and a semantic network analysis project. The training provided by the Institute will assist with the exploration and analysis of these data. Topic modeling and network analysis as outlined in the program will offer new ideas and guidance on my research.”
Additionally, Gao says “Learning how to gather and analyze textual data, as well as visualizing data will help support faculty research and teaching. There is an increasing demand for social media analysis in both the Communication and Anthropology departments. I have been working with advertising classes to visualize social media data to understand consumer sentiment. Knowing how to work with APIs to gather social media data and understanding the capabilities of qualitative data analysis programs will prepare me to better help researchers and students.”
The University of Houston celebrated the accomplishments of promoted and tenured faculty and librarians at a reception held last month.
The UH Promotion and Tenure Recognition Program was created to honor faculty and librarians who have recently been promoted or achieved tenure. In the program’s inaugural year, 2015 honorees were invited to select a book that has offered inspiration or encouragement in their professional journey. Book selections were added to the Libraries catalog and book-plated, serving as an enduring tribute to the pursuit of excellence in service, scholarship and learning.
The University of Houston Libraries welcomes Anne Gaynor, the new metadata librarian in the Metadata and Digitization department.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals and/or research areas.
My primary role is to manage metadata creation and maintenance for the UH Digital Library. I’ll also be working with the Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) Implementation Team on the development and deployment of the new digital repository. I also would like to become involved with outward facing work, consulting with students and faculty on how to use metadata for their projects and research data. My overall goal as a metadata librarian is to increase visibility, discoverability, and accessibility for information through quality metadata. To that end, I am especially interested in emerging technologies, such as linked data, that have the potential to more broadly expose and connect resources. I also seek to take a user-centered approach to developing digital library metadata and repository services.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I studied anthropology as an undergraduate and received a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies and my MLIS with a concentration in information organization from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I focused on metadata, the semantic web, and linked data; and these areas are where my interests remain today. I worked as a digital collection project coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries and a metadata librarian at the University of Virginia Library where I gained experience in metadata creation and strategy. In these positions I learned the value of thinking about metadata strategically and holistically across collections and systems, which is key to information access and sharing. I also was able to explore my interests in linked data. One benefit of linked data technologies is that they allow you to combine data across libraries, archives, museums, and other knowledge bases to create new discovery experiences for users. I hope to help guide metadata strategies at UH Libraries to adhere to standards that will allow us to share our content more broadly and leverage emerging technologies.
Please describe your first impressions of the University of Houston.
The University and the UH Libraries have an energy about them that’s very motivating. The library is a supportive environment that values and supports both student and employee success. It’s also clear that UH and the Libraries value diversity and that is very important to me. I appreciate the collaborative environment and look forward to working with my new colleagues on projects and committees.
What are some of your other interests?
I love the arts! I’m really looking forward to visiting the art museums on campus and in Houston, and attending various live performances.
The University of Houston Libraries Learning Commons team will be hosting a Technology Showcase on April 5 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Everyone is invited to stop by for a demonstration of the technology and equipment that is available for check-out at the Libraries Service Desk.
The Learning Commons is an academic computing facility located on the first floor of the MD Anderson Library, meeting the high-end multimedia and collaborative needs of students, staff, and faculty of the University of Houston. It not only provides a wide array of digital media creation resources, but also gives its users opportunities to learn about new technology, receive assistance with specialized research software, and collaborate on projects with one another in a space designed for group work. Learning Commons staff are trained in the many software titles and equipment resources offered and are available to help with any questions.
University of Houston Libraries invites faculty and staff, students, researchers, and anyone interested in discovering unique materials to attend a brown bag presentation on Tuesday, April 12 in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion at the MD Anderson Library.
Modern and classical languages, and ethnic studies librarian Andrea Malone, English and linguistics librarian Jesse Sharpe, and library specialist Kristine Greive will present “Once Upon a Time,” a discussion of the evolution of fairy tales, featuring rare books housed in UH Special Collections.
The April 12 talk is part of Unique Holdings, a presentation series that highlights the rare archival items held by Special Collections and available for use by faculty, students and researchers.
Future Unique Holdings talks will feature liaison librarians discussing other books and manuscripts of Special Collections that can inform and shape scholarly endeavors in any discipline.
Bring your lunch and enjoy an enlightening discussion.
What: “Once Upon a Time” brown bag presentation
When: Tuesday, April 12 at noon
Where: Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library
The University of Houston was established in 1927 as the Houston Junior College. It grew and prospered to become the University of Houston in 1934. In 1939, the institution acquired land for a permanent campus and opened its first building. The university became a state institution in 1963 and joined the newly created University of Houston System in 1977.
The Board of Regents Records include the minutes from the meetings of the Board of Trustees between 1939 and 1944, and later, the Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of Houston system. The meeting minutes provide insights into the evolution and governance of the University. Digitization of these records is ongoing, and subsequent volumes will be added to the UH Digital Library as they become available.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries Special Collections.
The Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL), part of the Center for Research Libraries Global Resources Network, is an open access archive of digitized federal government technical reports. Since its establishment in 2006, this library-led effort has digitized millions of pages primarily from pre-1976 publications. To date, the collection comprises digitized series from eight agencies, including those from the Atomic Energy Commission, National Bureau of Standards, and US Bureau of Mines.
The University of Houston Libraries is one of 40 institutional members of TRAIL. As a member, UH Libraries has a voice in the direction and plans for TRAIL and can participate by providing technical expertise as well as material to be digitized. Researchers benefit with access to materials that were previously not accessible online. Older government publications are often difficult to locate, yet provide critical scientific information for current research.
TRAIL partners with University of Arizona, the central processing site; University of Michigan, which routes TRAIL documents to Google for digitizing; University of North Texas, which digitizes those materials in need of special processing; and University of Washington, which developed the search interface. Through these partnerships, the documents are discoverable through search engines and HathiTrust.
The following databases are now available from the University of Houston Libraries:
Family Studies Abstracts
Family Studies Abstracts includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to family studies, including marriage, divorce, family therapy, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. Records are selected from many of the top titles within the discipline, including Journal of Family Studies, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Family Relations.
Fuente Academica Premier
Fuente Academica Premier is a rapidly growing collection of scholarly journals from Latin America, Portugal and Spain. It is designed to make academic research readily accessible in PDF format. All major subject areas are covered with particular emphasis on agriculture, biological sciences, economics, history, law, literature, philosophy, psychology, public administration, religion and sociology.
Race Relations Abstracts
Race Relations Abstracts includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. Records are selected from many of the top titles within the discipline, including Race, Ethnicity and Education and Ethnic and Racial Studies.