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.
The following are some of the highlights of my work as the Bowden Professor.
Invited Speakers with Students:
Angela Craig, Director Charleston County Public Library
Roosevelt Weeks, Director Austin Public Library
Dianne Connery, Pottsboro Public Library
John Chrastka, EveryLibrary
Bowden Capstone Scholars:
Chloe Santiago – framework for a grant-fundable program to train library leaders on power building and political and financial literacy specifically geared towards libraries who struggle to receive adequate funding, particularly those in low-income areas and historically BIPOC communities
Sarah Varenhorst – With San Diego State University’s health science librarian developed resources related to health science information, with a focus on vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jessica Gonzales – Worked with the Chattanooga Public Library in looking at ways to enhance its Summer Reading Programs and transform them into true early literacy efforts.
Emma Hetrick – Worked with the U.S. Embassy in Rome on the American Corner YouLab in Pistoia and the American Corner in Trieste. The goal of the project was to enhance the reading collections of both Corners, as well as create a better understanding of studying in the U.S.
Miriam Early – Worked with the Georgia Public Library Service to provide management, training, and support for GPLS’s DigEx program, which offers administrative support for public library-created digital exhibits.
Libraries Lead the New Normal:
Podcast hosted by Beth Patin (Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University), David Lankes (Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor, iSchool, University of Texas at Austin), and Mike Eisenberg (Dean/Professor Emeritus, iSchool, University of Washington); 19 Episodes and Counting
Assessing the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC):
Contracted with TSLAC to evaluate effectiveness of federal library funds. Helped to set the next five-year plan for supporting Texas libraries. Developing capacity within TSLAC to use data on library impact and advocacy for the state’s rural libraries. Developing voluntary certification for rural library staff to provide better service, and to defend the free expression of ideas.
Rural Library Development:
Working with rural libraries, such as Jarrell and Pottsboro, to improve library service to rural populations, and the nearly 2 million Texans with no library service.
Externally Funded Projects:
New Librarianship Symposia, IMLS and Others. Organizer. Convened an international series of symposia on the issues of post-neutrality librarianship; diversity, equity, and inclusion; cross-border connections; and a post-COVID new normal agenda. The New Librarianship Symposium Series was sponsored by the University of South Carolina, MIT Press, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the U.S. Library of Congress, the British Library, KB National Library of the Netherlands, OCLC, URFIST de Bordeaux, Enssib, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the University of Texas at Austin Bowden Folio, and Gigabit Libraries Network. $35,000
NEWCOMER Building a Network Community Centered Librarianship, Erasmus+ European Union. Project Consultant. Build a network of librarians from Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands to exchange best practice in community librarianship focused on inclusion and adult education. $137,798 (€117,250)
LADDERAn IMLS funded project to prepare technically oriented future-faculty to teach library science students topics such as AI and data science. Partners include Austin Public Library, University of Texas Libraries, and Navarro High School. Co-PIS, Soo Young Rieh, Ken Fleischmann, David Lankes. $623,501
“Less; Better.” State Librarian’s Program, New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference 2022. Atlantic City, NJ.
“Relationships Instead of Transaction.” X Congreso Nacional de Bibliotecas Públicas. Online.
“New Librarianship and Defining the Role of Librarians in Today’s Communities.” National Library of Peru. Online
“Challenges of Academic Libraries in the Digital Landscape: Retaining Value by Retaining the Human Connection” National Library Day Keynote. Sharda University, Greater Noida, India.
“Come together: Librarians across borders for better communities.” Next Library Festival 2021. Online.
“New Librarianship and Our Better Angels.” #vBIB as an independent, digital conference – organized by the Professional Association Information Library (BIB) and TIB – Leibniz Information Center Technology and Natural Sciences and University Library. Online.
“A New Normal – Renaissance of the public Library.” Stelline Conference, Milan, Italy. Online.
“Libraries Leading the New Normal.” Computers in Libraries 2021. Online.
“Librarians Building the New Normal.” Brazilian Federation of Associations of Librarians, Information Scientists and Institutions Keynote. Via Video.
Looking to get some projects done and help students at the same time?
Library students in the Texas program are required to complete a Capstone project. These projects are 125 hours that constitute:
“a fieldwork-based project under the guidance of a field supervisor from the organization or department sponsoring the project. Students must produce a deliverable and undertake a single, large project (not several small ones) as one of the aims of a PEP is for students to learn how to manage a considerable piece of work and deal with obstacles and challenges that arise in long projects.”
I am funding students to work with libraries on projects. These could be anything from planning a new type of service, examining the effectiveness of programs, or developing professional development. The only constraints are that unlike internships, this about one big project, students must be able to do the work remotely, and the results must be shared.
I will be meeting with these students on a regular basis to provide support and mentoring. This should minimize the amount of time you or your staff need to supervise the students. If you are interested in capstone projects, I will need an abstract of the project and a point person. Also, beyond the paid scholars, I will happily connect students to interesting projects.
If you are interested in supporting Capstone projects, please let me know ([email protected]). As this work evolves, I would be very interested in your ideas on improving it for future years. Also, please feel to share this with colleagues that might be interested.
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…
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.…
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…
I am building a framework for a grant-fundable program to train library leaders on power building and political and financial literacy. This program will be specifically geared towards libraries who struggle to receive adequate funding, particularly those in low-income areas and historically BIPOC communities, in order for those library leaders to have the knowledge and tools necessary to lobby for increased funding from their local governments.
Bio: Chloe Santiago is pursuing an MSIS at the UT Austin School of Information. She is interested in the potential to improve social, racial, and economic justice outcomes through advocacy for and through public libraries.
For my capstone project, I am working with San Diego State University’s health science librarian on a LibGuide related to health science information, with a focus on vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic. For this project, I am starting by researching information standards relevant to health science information and then using these standards to find information to add to the LibGuide. This is part of a project encapsulating libraries across San Diego County, including academic, hospital, and public libraries. I am excited to use this opportunity to grow as a future librarian and learn more about how to handle information related to sensitive topics such as health science.
Bio: I am from Mustang, Oklahoma and I attended Pomona College in California for my BA in psychological science. I plan to pursue a career in education and outreach librarianship.