I was quoted several times in a good piece on academic libraries and AI
“This does change things, but in a very good way,” said R. David Lankes, the Virginia and Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin. “Librarians, every decade or so, are getting good at dealing with an existential crisis of ‘Do we need librarians?’ But with this one they’ve been very open to embrace, discuss and analyze this.”
I’m proud to be part of this new program at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of the UT Research Leaders Academy! 15 researchers from 10 colleges were selected to participate.
The academy is a partnership between OVPR and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (EVPP) to support UT researchers who aspire to lead, or are already leading, large-scale research initiatives. Participants will work closely with OVPR staff to learn how to scope a large-scale, shared scholarly vision with colleagues, how to secure external support to realize that shared vision, and how to successfully implement and manage their vision.
We’re excited to partner with the Provost’s Office to help researchers develop their leadership skills! “
Jeff Penka, President/CEO, LittleSeed, Inc. (https://littleseed.io) has been named as an advisor to the Bowden Professor joining Roosevelt Weeks, Angela Craig, Lorraine J. Haricombe, and Jim Neal. The informal advisory board gives the Bowden Professor advice, keeps him apprised of opportunities, and helps connect the work of the professorship to the greater library community.
Penka brings a background in library services, and extensive experience in entrepreneurship. His bio:
ENTREPRENEURIAL TECHNOLOGY LEADER Strong innovative, executive leader and senior product management professional with over 20 years proven experience in:
characterizing market needs across a variety of industries and the consumer web
defining product vision, portfolio and product roadmaps, market introduction and launch plans
creating and managing web-based, multisided businesses
leading product development efforts and organizational process transformations
deploying and supporting information services globally
Offers a unique blend of exceptional communications, project and business management, product development, and technology expertise. Skilled in developing technology-based services, managing geographically distributed and matrixed teams, and leading organizational, cultural, process, and business transformations.
Specializing in lean business and product practices; utilizing outcomes-focused processes to rapidly validate and evolve market appropriate solutions.
Veteran public speaker, recognized author, trainer, and facilitator.
Margo Gustina is a researcher. An outspoken believer in the power of community to lead libraries toward more meaningful practice, Margo works with libraries, facilitating planning, funding, and governance conversations and processes. In addition, Margo is the Principal Investigator on the federally-funded Libraries In Community Systems project.
They will be working with the Bowden Professor on projects from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission around rural librarian certification, credentialing, and other related rural library projects.
I’m happy to announce the 2023 cohort of Bowden Capstone Scholars. Bowden Capstone Scholars receive a stipend for their capstone projects, connection to real projects in great libraries, and group mentoring on they field.
Here are the scholars and the organization they’re working with:
Tyler Roberge, Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Sarah James, Bowden Professor Rural Library Initiative
Parker Zimmerman, New Jersey State Library
Emma Bekele, Pottsboro Public Library
Melissa Deuber, Austin Community College Libraries
Rachel Poppen, Bowden Professor Rural Library Initiative
I’ll be posting more information on each scholar in other posts. As always, a big thank you to the family of Virginia and Charles Bowden for their generosity. The gift from Virginia and Charles is helping create strong connections between library science students and the profession.
As the new year starts, so does a new program – Bowden Fellows. These are folks from practice and academia working closely with the Bowden Professor to push forward an agenda of improving libraries and library science education.
Kimberly Silk, Principal Consultant for Brightsail Research and Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto. Kim works with GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector organizations to help them adopt evaluation practices, develop metrics, and use data analysis to measure progress toward strategic goals, improve operations and demonstrate outcomes. Kim’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Library Science from the University of Toronto. In 2020 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation from the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria.
This spring Kim will be working with the Texas State Library and Archives around the use of data for assessment and ongoing services, and teaching a course in library evaluation for the University of Texas at Austin’s iSchool.
Susan Gregurek, Library Director Jarrell Community Library and Resource Center. Susan is the Library Director for Jarrell Community Library and Resource Center in Jarrell, Texas. The library is a new small rural non-profit library in a community experiencing exponential growth. Her past experiences as a retired K-8 educator, staff development trainer, Board of Director of an educational non-profit, and worked for a major textbook company has helped to prepare her for her new challenges expanding library resources, programs and activities for the diverse community of Jarrell.
This spring Susan will be working with students in building and managing the Jarrell Community Library.
Great news! I am part of a team headed by Dr. Soo Young Rieh and including Dr. Ken Fleischmann that just got funded by IMLS. The main goal of the project is to create future iSchool faculty highly skilled in data science and AI with a strong connection to the library field.
One of the complaints I often here from librarians and library science students is that technically-oriented faculty don’t understand or have experience in librarianship. In this project, rather than “skilling up” library-oriented doc students, we’ll be “contexting-up” data folks with the context, values, and core strengths of librarianship. This is actually how I became attracted to libraries in my doctoral work.
The grant is also a response to the concerns of library directors that faculty and students don’t get first hand learning in libraries.
Nine iSchool doctoral students will be selected as LADDER Fellows over three years and will be funded by the IMLS. Each year, the three PIs and three doctoral students will collaborate with librarians, rotating across three library contexts: Austin Public Library, Navarro High School Library, and UT libraries. Another aspect of this grant is that LADDER Fellows will be asked to form a doctoral committee like other doctoral students will do. What’s unique here is that each committee member takes a specific mentoring role: a research mentor, a professional engagement mentor, and a teaching mentor. The collaborative mentoring is designed to provide a triangulated educational experience for doctoral students so they will grow to be strong researchers and capable educators who understand the importance of applying their knowledge to authentic library contexts.
Publisher’s Weekly just hosted another great Book SHow. As part of it Andrew Albanese organizes a track around libraries, and this year was a great set of panels and speakers. I was part of a panel on Library Leadership below (as well as an interview on my book Forged in War).
Angela Craig will speak about her work at the Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina with a focus on community engagement
About this event
Angela Craig has been Executive Director of the Charleston County Public Library since April 2019. Angela started with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in 2005. In her 15 years with public libraries, she has spent time cultivating creativity, collaborating with staff, and developing a patron-focused experience by removing barriers to library services. While adept at working with all populations, Angela has specialized in increasing library access to vulnerable populations and underserved communities. In 2013, she published Serving At-Risk Teens: Proven Strategies and Programs for Bridging the Gap, culminating in a visit to South Korea as their keynote speaker for the International Youth Symposium in 2015.
Active in national and regional professional library groups, Angela holds a master’s degree of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University. Angela believes in the transformative power of reading and literacy, and that strong public libraries are a platform to meet the needs of their community. A mother of two, she is a huge fan of reading to her children, is an avid reader of all genres and loves to talk to people about their favorite books.
This event is supported by the Virginia and Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin. Angela Craig is also an advisor the the Bowden Professor.