New Digital Scholarship Coordinator at UH Libraries

Taylor Davis-Van Atta is the new digital scholarship coordinator at UH Libraries.

Taylor Davis-Van Atta is the new digital scholarship coordinator at UH Libraries.

The University of Houston Libraries welcomes Taylor Davis-Van Atta, the new digital scholarship coordinator in Digital Research Services.

Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals and/or research areas.

I’m very excited to be joining UH Libraries! Being a newly created position, my role will evolve over time, and one of the exciting opportunities during these early days is getting to know my colleagues, their areas of expertise, and the activities that are taking place in and through the Libraries so I can discover where my experience and skills might be most effectively applied. As the job title suggests, I’ll be collaborating widely with colleagues internally to organize and advance current research services while building and marketing new services, particularly around publishing, archiving, and making accessible research and scholarship created at UH. This will involve partnering with other offices and schools across campus as well as with the Texas Digital Library. Ultimately, I hope to serve as a resource for Libraries staff engaged with digital scholarship and, in turn, help promote the expertise and resources in the Libraries out to the broader UH community.

Naturally, these duties fall in line with many of my primary interests as a librarian. With new forms of research and scholarship gaining legitimacy and the potential existing for the acceleration of new research using digital platforms and tools, it’s a very exciting time to be in a position to help facilitate the global dissemination and open use of existing works. And for me, it’s equally as energizing to help establish good practices among everyone involved with the production of new work. While a graduate assistant in Syracuse University Libraries, I enjoyed working with researchers, particularly graduate students and early-career faculty, on issues relating to creator/author rights, open access and licenses, ORCID adoption, the discovery and vetting process of potential publication outlets, tracking and maximizing the impact of their work, and other aspects of scholarly communication. I enjoy playing around with the latest research tools as they pop up in DiRT Directory or the POWRR Tool Grid. I also have a secret fascination with persistent identifiers (maybe not so secret now) and have been closely following the early success stories and practices of those on the leading edge of open educational resource creation and adoption.

Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?

My first career was in independent publishing. I worked for Graywolf Press and Dalkey Archive Press, two houses whose mission it is to make modern literary masterpieces from around the world available in English. Out of that experience, as well as my education in world literature and classical music, I developed Music & Literature, a small literary and educational nonprofit that I’ve directed for the past five years. The project is a complete labor of love, and is made possible by the passion of our staff, who are based in New York City, New Haven, Montreal, London, Paris, and Berlin. We all work together almost daily (after work is over, the papers are graded, the kids are asleep, etc.) to build our online publishing platform, curate annual print volumes, and partner with other organizations and institutions to organize events celebrating the work of our featured artists and scholars.

My experience as an editor and publisher absolutely inspires and informs my approach as a librarian. In fact, I see nonprofit publishing and librarianship as two expressions of the same set of impulses, since they both share many of the same values and core missions, and they address common needs in terms of bridging all kinds of global divides. In a practical sense, too, there are many activities that are foundational to the daily operation of both professions (grant writing, database and web platform administration, etc.) as well as core aspects of copyright law that are integral to publishers and librarians alike. It makes all the sense in the world that these two pursuits would intersect and inform one another, and indications are that they will only become more entwined over the coming years.

Please describe your first impressions of the University of Houston.

I first came to campus in mid-March of this year and was immediately taken with the spacious campus, the magnolia trees, the insanely self-confident squirrels–and of course the gorgeous main library and its friendly and supportive staff. There was a warmth here, both inside and out (I was coming from Syracuse, New York, which was experiencing a blizzard that week!), that was unique in my job search.

What are some of your hobbies?

My partner, Rachel, and I are amateur mycologists. We’re more into the classification and description of mushrooms than we are into eating them, and it’s kind of fun being part of mycological clubs where we’re the youngest members by forty years. Anyway, it’ll be fun to explore totally new ecosystems in and around Houston. We also have twin 4-year-old boys, so I’m getting back into Lego building and learning about dinosaurs, at least when my kids deem me cool enough to let me play with them.

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | No Comments »

New Article: “The User Experience of Libraries: Serving The Common Good”

User Experience Magazine

User Experience Magazine

Daniel Pshock, user experience and web content strategy coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries, wrote an article titled “The User Experience of Libraries: Serving The Common Good” which appeared in the April 2017 issue of User Experience Magazine.

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | No Comments »

UH Special Collections at Houston Pride Festival

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections will again be a part of the Houston Pride Festival.

A sample of the LGBT Research Collection materials that will be on display at the Houston Pride Festival. Photo courtesy of Whitney Cox.

A sample of the LGBT Research Collection materials that will be on display at the Houston Pride Festival. Photo courtesy of Whitney Cox.

At this year’s event, Special Collections will be featuring material selections from the LGBT History Research Collection, including the Aids Foundation of Houston Records, The Botts Collection of LGBT History, and the Edward Lukasek Gay Studies Book Collection.

Users will have the opportunity to interact with iPad listening stations in the History Zone Tent from 12 noon – 7:00 p.m. that will feature the LGBT Research Collection portal, oral histories, and  musical performance clips from the Krewe of Olympus.

Posted on June 21st, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | No Comments »

Promotions to Librarian

The University of Houston Libraries congratulates three UH librarians who have recently achieved promotion in rank to full librarian.

Chris Dykes, currently the interim associate director for research at the University of Houston’s O’Quinn Law Library, has been employed with UH since 2006. He earned his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law and both his B.A. in Political Science and M.S. in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from Villanova University. Chris has published and presented on federal tax law, international law, and environmental law research. He currently teaches tax research at the University of Houston Law Center, teaches on legal research at the People’s Law School, and participates in the UHLC’s pipeline program. He is currently the President of the Houston Area Law Librarians (HALL) and is active with both the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries (SWALL) and the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL).

Richard Guajardo is head of Resource Discovery Systems. In this position he provides oversight for electronic resources management, resource discovery tools, and the library services platform. He also works with his colleagues at UH, UHCL, UHD, & Law Library participants in the management of the UH shared catalog. Richard’s research interests include topics such as systems migration, resource description and access, vendor sourced cataloging, and resource discovery systems. He has presented at many regional and national conferences including the American Library Association, Texas Library Association, Electronic Resources & Libraries, North American Serials Interest Group, Charleston Library Conference, Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, and the Innovative Users Group. He currently serves as webmaster for ALA’s Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA), and is past-chair of ALCTS’s Collection Management & Electronic Resources Interest Group. He previously served as chair of ALA’s GODORT Cataloging Committee and the ALCTS Cataloging Form and Function Interest Group. Richard earned his Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a native Texan who grew up in Corpus Christi where he received both a Masters in Educational Mid-Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Annie Wu is the head of Metadata and Digitization Services at University of Houston Libraries. She joined University of Houston in 2008. Prior to UH, Annie was the Operations Manager at the Technical Information Center at Corning Inc. She also worked at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as Cataloging Supervisor. Annie earned her Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Annie has rich experience leading digital and metadata initiatives. She has published and presented on various topics relating to information organization and discovery, digital systems, linked data, digital preservation policies and programs, metadata practices and standards, and staff competences, training and orientation. Annie is currently Councilor-at-Large of American Library Association and has served on multiple local, state and national level library association committees and task forces. Annie is also a fellow of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership Fellows Program and ARL Leadership and Career Development Program.

Posted on June 19th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | No Comments »

Summer Book Club 2017

Summer Book Club at University of Houston

Summer Book Club at University of Houston

University of Houston Libraries and the UH Women and Gender Resource Center will co-sponsor the 2017 summer book club, which is open to all UH students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

Readers are invited to gather at the Resource Center, located in the Student Center North Room 201, on August 17 at noon, for a literary conversation on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Lunch will be provided. An official invitation with RSVP details will be available later in the summer.

Posted on June 19th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | No Comments »

The Handmaid’s Tale Book Club

University of Houston students, staff, faculty and friends are invited to join UH Libraries for a discussion of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Join us on August 10 for a discussion of "The Handmaid's Tale."

Join us on August 10 for a discussion of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Readers will gather on Thursday, August 10 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. in the Special Collections Evans Room at the MD Anderson Library. Lunch will be provided but registration is required.

For more information, contact Lisa Cruces.

Posted on June 13th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on The Handmaid’s Tale Book Club

Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries – Summer Edition

The summer 2017 semester is upon us, and the University of Houston Libraries has the resources and services you need for success in academics and research. Our Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries – Summer Edition is a quick guide to get you started on a great semester.

10. Get research help.
Stuck on a research project? Need writing or presentation advice? Contact your friendly and knowledgeable subject librarian for personalized research help. Subject librarians are the ultimate search engine!

BONUS: Research Guides are your online source for all things research-related. Each guide gives you subject-specific research tools and methods to help you ace your assignment.

9. Study and collaborate.
We have over 117,000 square feet of study space. You’ll find a variety of environments to suit your needs, from study hives to silent zones to tech-ready group work areas.

Newly revamped group study rooms are now open.

Newly revamped group study rooms are now open.

BONUS: Need to practice a presentation with your team? Reserve a group study room online, or request a key in person at the MD Anderson Library Service Desk.

8. Power up your productivity.
The MD Anderson Library is home to two large computing facilities located on the first floor, with Windows workstations for research and study needs, and specialized multimedia and data analysis resources on both PC and Mac. Print, copy and scan services are also available.

BONUS: Left your laptop at home? Check out a laptop from the Service Desk.

7. Take a break.
In addition to workspace, the Libraries has areas for you to recharge between classes. Visit the Leisure Reading collection, located on the first floor of MD Anderson Library, and relax with a variety of newer titles in fiction and nonfiction, audiobooks, magazines, and more. Browse the collection online.

Leisure Reading, MD Anderson Library First Floor

Leisure Reading, MD Anderson Library First Floor

6. Create a media masterpiece.
The Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, located in the Learning Commons, features audio recording booths and professional-grade equipment to help you create high-quality productions.

Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, MD Anderson Library Learning Commons

Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, MD Anderson Library Learning Commons

BONUS: Check out DSLRs, GoPros, mics, tripods, and more from the Learning Commons.

DOUBLE BONUS: UH students may take photos or record video in the MD Anderson Library for course assignments (individuals cannot be photographed without their permission). Prior approval is required.

5. Dive into a database (or two).
Did you know that UH Libraries provides access to over 600 research databases, including Open Textbook Library? These databases are available for free to all UH students, staff and faculty. Use of databases can improve the quality of your papers and save you time.

BONUS: Off-campus access to this and other electronic resources, including e-books, journal articles, and audio files, is available with your CougarNet log-in.

4. Search and discover.
Looking for a journal, book, image, report or dissertation? Start with OneSearch, accessible from the Libraries’ home page, and find targeted results from a wide variety of sources.

BONUS: If we don’t have it, Interlibrary Loan lets you borrow materials from another library.

3. Branch out.
UH Libraries comprises not only the MD Anderson Library, but also three branch libraries: the Architecture and Art Library, the Music Library and the Optometry Library. You’ll find more subject experts and specialized collections at these locations.

2. Visit Special Collections.
Open to all, Special Collections organizes, preserves and promotes rare archival items, including books, manuscripts, photographs and other ephemera. Find unique materials in the Hispanic Research Collection, Houston & Texas History Research Collection, Energy & Sustainability Research Collection, and more, made available for access in the Special Collections Reading Room.

BONUS: Special Collections hosts curated exhibits in the MD Anderson Library, featuring a variety of engaging and enriching subjects.

DOUBLE BONUS: Browse the UH Digital Library for access to rare historical and contemporary items in digital format.

1. Attend tech training.
We offer free technology training to all UH students, staff and faculty. Beginning, intermediate and advanced sessions in popular programs, like Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, InDesign, and many more, are held morning, afternoon and evening to fit your busy schedule. Sessions are instructor-led, with practical, personalized lessons.

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries – Summer Edition

DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning

DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning is designed to raise awareness of zine collections available at UH Special Collections, the zine culture in Houston, and to empower students with skills on how to find credible consumer health information and share it through self-published magazines (“zines”).

DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning

DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning

DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning will include a panel presentation and discussion followed by a light breakfast and a zine-making workshop facilitated by UH librarians and Zine Fest Houston.

The panel discussion will take place on Saturday, September 16 from 10 am – 11 am in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library at the University of Houston, followed by a zine workshop in room 10-G also in MD Anderson Library and facilitated by Zine Fest Houston, from 11 am – 1 pm. A light breakfast will be served for registered attendees of the workshop. Door prizes will also be awarded to student attendees.

Register for workshop and breakfast

For questions, contact Lisa Cruces at 713-743-9903.

DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning is scheduled to coincide with National Health Observances and Zine Fest Houston (November 11 at Lawndale Art Center).

Posted on June 8th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on DIY Health Zine Saturday Morning

New Book: “Managing the Digital You”

Melody Condron, resource description and management coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries, recently published a book, “Managing the Digital You: Where and How to Keep and Organize Your Digital Life.”

"Managing the Digital You: Where and How to Keep and Organize Your Digital Life"

“Managing the Digital You: Where and How to Keep and Organize Your Digital Life”

It’s available for check-out at the MD Anderson Library. Read the Booklist review (subscription only).

Posted on June 6th, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on New Book: “Managing the Digital You”

New Digital Collection: Daily Cougar

The Daily Cougar digital collection provides a glimpse into the history of student publications at the University of Houston. The first iteration of the student newspaper was Houston Junior College’s The Cougar, which released its first issue on April 6, 1928, and ran through 1934. With the founding of the University of Houston in 1934, The Cougar moved to a weekly publication schedule which continued through 1965. From 1965 to 2014, the publication was named the Daily Cougar and was published on a daily schedule, with approximately 120 issues per academic year.

The Daily Cougar collection is now available in the UH Digital Library.

The Daily Cougar collection is now available in the UH Digital Library.

This collection contains issues from the first six volumes of The Cougar, dated 1928 – 1933. The contents of The Cougar reveal issues of concern to student and community life during the time when the Houston Junior College and later the University of Houston were founded. The original materials, and later volumes of The Cougar and Daily Cougar, are available in UH Libraries Special Collections.

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on New Digital Collection: Daily Cougar