Miriam Early: Bowden Capstone Scholar

This year as the Bowden Professor I funded 5 Bowden Capstone Scholars. These students are working on their final projects in the University of Texas at Austin’s Masters of Information. These posts describe the projects they are working on.

For my capstone project, I am working 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 using the Omeka S platform, while leaving site-level control to the libraries to curate their content. I am working with three cohort sites across Georgia to assist the libraries in mounting one exhibit each, for public launch by June 1st, 2022. I am also assisting cohort members with conducting historical and copyright research, fact-checking, and editing interpretive content for the exhibits.

Part of the project will involve loading digital objects through the Digital Library of Georgia’s API into Omeka S using Python script and providing item-level metadata remediation as needed. I will also be developing additional curriculum and interactive tools as necessary to each exhibit, as well as attending review sessions with the cohort members and GPLS advisory team and providing feedback on exhibit progress and site improvements. In the final stages of the project, I will be updating the cohort user guide for future use and creating short Omeka S, KnightLab, and other integration video tutorials for contribution to the DigEx program and user community.


Miriam Early is a graduate student in the School of Information at the University of Texas. Her studies in the program have been focused on metadata theory and practice, physical and digital materials management and preservation, and exhibit development.

Libraries Lead in the New Normal Listener’s Guide

For those of you who don’t know, I’m part of a regular podcast on libraries and society in and (hopefully) post COVID. It’ a great time with my partners Beth Patin, and Mike Eisenberg. A great graduate assistant at Syracuse, Jeanne Kambara, put together a listeners guide to all the episodes so far. So, first a blurb on the podcast, and then the guide below. Check out the podcast home here: https://www.acechicagoevents.com/libraries-lead

Libraries Lead the New Normal is a provocative podcast hosted by Beth Patin (Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, Syracuse U), Dave Lankes (Professor, iSchool, U of Texas), and Mike Eisenberg (Dean/Professor Emeritus, iSchool, U of Washington) &

There’s an emerging new normal. 2020 was brutal and has affected all aspects of our lives. As we come out of the pandemic in 2021 and beyond, we must ask, “Are these changes temporary and short-lived or are more fundamental and long-term?” It seems like this is a good time for re-examination and possibly reset of home-life and work-life, education, commerce, social life, politics, and even recreation. We think that this can be a valuable time for life-altering, ground breaking, and transformative change.

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Help: Connecting Great Students to Great Libraries

The Too Long; Didn’t Read version of this message is that as part of my work as the Bowden Professor I would like to connect library science students to the real work of great libraries. To that end I am looking for projects that teams can work on in a Community Engagement course and more in-depth capstone projects that I will fund. Interested? fill out the form below.

In August of this year, I started as the Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the past two months I’ve been developing a plan to strengthen the ties between Austin’s iSchool and the library community. I’m writing you today about two of those efforts. Two efforts that will give our library students opportunities to get real experience in libraries.

Continue reading “Help: Connecting Great Students to Great Libraries”

Lankes to join Texas iSchool as Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship

I am very pleased to announce that I will be joining The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin as Full Professor and Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship. My appointment starts in August.

Click here for the announcement including the appointment of some great new colleagues: https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/news/texas-ischool-welcomes-new-faculty-members

Here is more information on the Bowdens and the Professorship they created: https://giving.utexas.edu/bridging-the-past-and-the-future/

The following is an email I sent out to the alumni:

Greetings Alumni of the School of Information Science,

I am writing you today to let you know about changes in administration of the school. I will be stepping down as director of the school at the end of July. I have accepted the position of Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship in the iSchool at University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Karen Gavigan will be interim director for the 2021-2022 academic year. There will also be a national search for a new director.

There is simply no better choice to shepherd the school through this transition than Dr. Gavigan. She has been an integral part of the school as a faculty member since 2010 and has the support of the staff, faculty, alumni, and administration.

I want to be very clear that the school is in excellent shape. Enrollment in all of our degree programs is up. We have a strong financial position and an amazing faculty devoted to students and excellence. The school’s portfolio in research, diversity initiatives, accreditation status, and international reputation are very strong and show an upward arc.

Let me say that I have loved my time as director. Certainly, there have been challenges, a global pandemic for example, but the school’s community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners has always demonstrated resilience and actually grown through these challenges. One may rightly ask why then am I leaving for Texas?

There are two parts to that answer: the Texas position is my dream job, and the school is ready for a change in leadership. Many don’t know, but the director position is a 5 year appointment, and I have just finished my 5th year at the school. While I am eligible for reappointment, I sincerely feel the school is ready for someone to take the achievements of the past 5 years and push even further.

My job over the past years was to create a strong faculty and shared governance. I was tasked with increasing the reputation of the school, ensuring continued accreditation, and growing the undergraduate program. We have gone up in the national rankings, we received a flawless reaccreditation, and our undergraduate program enrollment has more than doubled. I am not taking credit for these achievements. My job was simply to coordinate the work of our community.

It is time for a new leader to create stronger bonds with alumni and partners while connecting directly with students. I have little doubt that Karen, and her successor will continue the growth of our strong school; growth in numbers, but more importantly in reputation, quality, and impact.

In closing, let me thank you all for your support, your thoughtful challenges, and your excellence. I will always value our time together.