I receive inquiries about working with me on doctoral studies. I would love to work with folks on their doctorates. I am writing this to let you know the kind of work I can support, and some logistics of how that might work. First, let me talk about my areas of research and the areas I would be able to advise. Then I’ll talk about the ways in which we can work on these areas.
What do you study and support?
My primary research agenda focuses on community-based librarianship. This works involves seeing the role librarians have in building knowledge in a community and help community members find meaning in their lives. I situate my methodology in Participatory Action Research, where I am part of building systems or working with librarians and community members to better understand systems. This work is international.
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.
Biography: Melissa developed her passion for information science while volunteering with the Thomas G. Carpenter Library Special Collections as an undergraduate student at the University of North Florida. While attending graduate school at the University of Texas’ School of Information, she is focusing on academic librarianship, particularly with small-medium universities and community colleges. After obtaining her MSIS, she will start her career as a Reference Librarian for the University of Louisiana Monroe’s College of Pharmacy. She hopes to develop skills in STEM librarianship while creating positive relationships with students and faculty in the College of Pharmacy on behalf of the University Library.
Project: Austin Community College Libraries provide resources for over 70,000 annually enrolled students and over 100 programs of study. To support teaching and learning at ACC, the Libraries need more data on software usage in university coursework to educate future budget requests. For my capstone project, I am designing a survey that will be distributed to ACC students that evaluates their access to technology as well as which software they are most interested in using on library computers. After the survey is disseminated among students, I will analyze the results via data visualization and a report that outlines the study’s findings. This project will help librarians at ACC determine which materials are most beneficial to student success.
Biography: Emma Bekele is an MSIS student in the School of Information at the University of Texas. Her focus is on public librarianship and she is passionate about anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in the library, classroom, and beyond.
Project: To serve their entire community, libraries must be able to reach all members of a diverse population. The Pottsboro Library in rural northern Texas strives to expand their services throughout Grayson County to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). To support this DEI initiative, I will create fliers to advertise library books and services throughout the community and produce a DEI training guide for the library board based on research and best practices.
Biography: Parker Zimmerman is a graduate student in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. During his time at the iSchool, his studies have focused on both libraries and archives. He is most interested in how libraries and archives can use the digital space to increase the accessibility of collections for their users.
Project: For my capstone project, I am working with the New Jersey State Library to research state-wide econtent purchasing models, with a focus towards ebook purchasing. Specifically, I am surveying the current state of consortial/cooperative ebook purchasing models through the distribution of surveys, by consulting existing literature on consortial ebook purchasing, and by meeting with library staff across various states. The culmination of my project will be a white paper in which I will provide an overview of state-wide ebook purchasing models, present three case studies of specific purchasing models, and provide recommendations for how the state of New Jersey can provide equity of access to ebooks for all state residents through cooperative purchasing.
Biography: Tyler Roberge is a Master’s Student in the School of Information at the University of Texas studying library sciences and administration. With an interest in open accessibility and preservation, Tyler is looking to take his work into the academic or federal sectors to pursue public access, academic or government research, and/or library administration.
Project: My capstone project involves working with the Library Development and Networking Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to collect and create the content and guidelines for their upcoming Texas Workforce Development webpage to be publicly accessible from the Commission’s website. Working alongside Maria Freed, TSLAC’s Workforce Development Consultant, I’m conducting research and interviews with various individuals from state workforce agencies and library leaders to curate a holistic understanding of workforce development so the individual organizations may come together to better bolster the economic stability of communities across the state with libraries as a medium to accomplish this task. After this research is complete, we will turn to developing the content guidelines and preparing the Workforce Development webpage for launch, which will include our research and interviews, discuss how best we may go forward as a collective for the sake of Workforce Development, and serve as a hub for separate organizations to communicate their visions and opportunities for citizens across Texas both inside the library and in other like-minded organizations.
Biography: Rachel Poppen is a 2nd year MSIS candidate specializing in Collections Management and Preservation and Leadership, Management, and Governance. She is interested in leveraging modern technologies to ethically increase access to and preservation of special and rare collections, especially in rural communities.
Project: For her capstone project, Rachel will provide basic research on rural librarianship for the creation of an academic center for rural librarianship. The work includes research and literature reviews around rural librarianship, support for studies on rural librarians, credentialing, and finding models for this type of work/center at other institutions.
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.