by | Feb 28, 2020 | 0 comments

The first batch of people profiles in this issue recognizes ATG Media’s 2019 Up and Comers.  Who exactly is an “Up and Comer,” you ask?  They are librarians, library staff, vendors, publishers, MLIS students, instructors, consultants, and researchers who are new to their field or are in the early years of the profession.  Up and Comers are passionate about the future of libraries – they innovate, inspire, collaborate, and take risks. They are future library leaders and change makers, and they all have one thing in common – they deserve to be celebrated. 

In addition to having their profiles appear in this issue, they will be featured in a series of scheduled podcast interviews that will be posted on the ATGthePodcast.com website as well.  The award winners were also recognized at the 2019 Charleston Conference First Time Attendee Reception in November.

ATG Media would like to thank Erin Gallagher (Electronic Resources Librarian, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida) for all her work with organizing the nominations and gathering the profiles from the 2019 Up and Comers.  Congratulations to all who were nominated.

Nageen Aghassibake

Negeen Aghassibake

Data Visualization Librarian
University of Washington Libraries

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  Throughout my undergraduate years, I had a difficult time settling on a focus or single career path.  When I discovered librarianship, I was thrilled to find a way to keep learning about different subjects while also supporting students, faculty, and staff. 

Family/Pets:  I have a wonderful family and I am so grateful to them for being so supportive and loving.  My mom has taught me that we never stop learning, my dad has taught me that there’s always time to laugh, and my sister is the best friend anyone could ever have.  

Favorite books:  I recently finished Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which was so wonderful and empowering.  Another book I love is Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan, which feels like home. 

The change I hope to make in the profession:  I would like to create more equitable and inclusive spaces in libraries, particularly for library staff.  I’m still learning what this means and how change happens, and I suspect I’ll never stop learning, but I’m hopeful that this work will continue to grow. 

Lindsay Barnett

Lindsay Barnett

Collection Development & Scholarly Communication Librarian
Yale University, Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  The ability to connect researchers, faculty and students to the resources they need to create new scholarship;  helping authors make their research more visible and discoverable.

Proudest moment of your career so far:  My work on Yale University Library’s License Review Team which gives me the opportunity to advocate for libraries and their users when negotiating vendor contracts.  

Family/Pets:  Charlie the shih tzu!

Mentors/People who inspire me:  All of my colleagues in the Medical Library and the profession at large, who creatively and intelligently respond to the evolving needs of our patrons every day!

The change I hope to make in the profession:  Empower authors to take more ownership over their scholarship; expand the definition of what collections and services libraries are able to provide to our users.  

Where do I see the industry in five years:  Library collections will continue to expand to include non-traditional materials such as software and analysis tools, librarians will increasingly become the experts in training users on these resources.

Meghan Cook

Meghan Cook

Coordinator of Library Operations and subject expert on the Research Platform Team for the University of South Florida School of Geosciences. 

I am not currently enrolled in the MLIS degree program, but taking one course at a time as I complete my Ph.D. in Geology. Once my Ph.D. is completed, I will enroll in the MLIS program. 

University of South Florida Libraries

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  Not necessarily to be or become a librarian, but to create a bridge between my discipline of interest (geosciences) and the world of information available to students and educators. 

Proudest moment of your career so far:  Winning this award!  Also, anytime I am able to facilitate a service or product the library offers to my fellow graduate students that make their life easier. 

Family/Pets:  My husband and I have 2 children (with one on the way), 2 cats and a fish.

In my spare time:  I go to Disney World with my family and work in my garden.  I am a big fan of Florida native plants so I work on trying to keep my garden as native as possible. 

Favorite books:  Any Clive Cussler books and books/journal articles that help me complete my Ph.D.!

Mentors/People who inspire me:  Matt Torrence who is the other half of the Geosciences Research Platform Team, Drew Smith who is a librarian at the USF Libraries and gives great advice and strategies on how a non-librarian can navigate the library world, Jeff Ryan, my Ph.D. advisor, and my Mom who is always there for me and keeps me grounded.

The change I hope to make in the profession:  I hope to blend my expertise in the geoscience world with the information science world to create a hybrid liaison model of sorts to support the needs of both the geosciences and the library.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Cope

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Cope

Assistant Librarian, Electronic Resources
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Proudest moment of your career so far:  I made the transition from being an elementary school librarian to managing electronic resources at an academic institution.  It was a steep learning curve, but I worked incredibly hard to get up to speed. I was surprised at how much elementary education prepared me for working in higher education!  Not as many shoes to tie, but a need to be flexible and patient. I now know that I am capable of changing and growing to meet the demands that come with electronic resources.

Family/Pets:  My husband and I love taking care of our three cats Leia, Han, and Pony.  We also have a sweet rabbit named Mort who thinks he is a cat. 

In my spare time:  I enjoy gardening, cooking, and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

Favorite books:  I’ll read anything by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and Brandon Sanderson.  I also love The Adventure Zone (because podcasts are like audiobooks, right?).

The change I hope to make in the profession:  My department works “behind-the-scenes” in the library, but I don’t want to be thought of as “behind-the-scenes”!  We may not see patrons in the conventional sense and you may not even see our work, but we are incredibly important advocates for our patrons needs. I hope to be louder!

Where do I see the industry in five years:  I see more opportunities for transformative agreements and all-around new flavors of agreements with publishers.  I also see new processes for acquiring streaming media and data sets, a continued focus on accessibility, and (fingers crossed) more streamlined patron authentication and access.

Moon Kim

Moon Kim

Acquisitions Librarian
Ohio State University

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  Without much long-term thought, I applied for a shelving position in the library when I was in college and that was my gateway job into libraries.  But the reason why I stayed is because of the positive impact libraries have in our communities and the profession’s strong commitment to social justice.

Family/Pets:  Please see my picture!

In my spare time:  I enjoy exploring different parks with my dog, travelling, bicycling, trying new restaurants, going to concerts, binge-watching tv shows and movies, and sleeping.

Favorite books:  I like catalogs: exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs, and antiquarian/rare book dealer catalogs.

Mentors/People who inspire me:  I have been very fortunate to have a supportive network of mentors and peer mentors who continuously inspire me:  Luiz Mendes and Murtha Baca who were both my professors in library school and leading practitioners in cataloging and metadata;  Rick Burke who taught me about the value of consortia; and my peer mentors, Andrew Carlos and Ray Pun, for being my sounding boards and collaborators.

The change I hope to make in the profession:  Building collections that not only support and respond to the communities we serve but also reflect who they are.

Where do I see the industry in five years:  Five years is a long time where a lot can happen but short for transformative changes to take effect.  The progress I would like to see in five years are:

•  more diversity of content, which includes the whole lifecycle of
    information resources from creation to the shelf/screen

•  less concentration of vendors and publishers

•  more transparency and ethical practices in negotiations

•  less stratification in libraries

•  more advocacy for making invisible labor visible (e.g., technical
    services work).

Jocelyn Lewis

Head, Resource Acquisition
George Mason University

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  I’m someone that seeks out a lot of information and realized that I like helping others connect to that information and find answers.  Librianship offered an opportunity to do that while also surrounding myself with people that are lifelong learners looking for ways to serve others.

Family/Pets:  Daschund/beagle mix named Otis.

In my spare time:  Love being outdoors, hiking, biking and fishing, exploring local breweries and wineries, rooting on my favorite sports teams (Go Nats & Chelsea!), and seeing live music whenever I can.

Favorite books:  Brideshead Revisited, Little Women.

Mentors/People who inspire me:  My colleagues.  I’m lucky to work at an institution where I’m continually amazed at all the creative and useful ideas and projects being pursued around me. 

The change I hope to make in the profession:  To help make the profession appealing to a wide, diverse population of people who are given many opportunities for creativity, growth, leadership, and flexibility. 

Where do I see the industry in five years:  Academic Librarianship is continually expanding in terms of the skills required as well as professional opportunities.  It has moved and will continue to move far beyond providing resources and reference services. I think we will see the continued expansion of transformative publishing models, the librarian as data expert and curator, and libraries not as a place but as a service and/or partner.  Even though it’s been discussed at length before, libraries are going to continue dealing with budget and staff constraints that will make consortial/group purchasing, lending, and publishing agreements even more important. “Big deal” break-ups and new or more-widely adopted acquisitions and collection models will continue to happen, while the acceptance of a variety of open access models will be more established rather than “initiatives” and pilots.  All of this will lead to new norms and workflows regarding open access and holdings management relating to acquisitions, licensing, troubleshooting, assessment, etc. As libraries continue to change and adapt, communication and improving user/student experiences will be key to keeping libraries relevant and integral to university life.

Colin Nickels

Colin Nickels

Experiential Learning Services Librarian
NC State University Libraries

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  The focus on patrons and their needs.  Being in an industry where money-making isn’t the goal and instead helping students and faculty achieve theirs is very fulfilling.

Proudest moment of your career so far:  Being accepted to and completing the NCSU Libraries Fellows Program

Family/Pets:  I have a wife who I met while working for the Libraries at NC State.  We have two children, Milo who’s five years old, and Clementine, who’s one and a half.

In my spare time:  I play with my kids and work on house projects like remodeling our kitchen!

Favorite books:  The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch.

Where do I see the industry in five years:  I think the industry will continue to focus on patron’s needs as determined through more and more sophisticated data collection and analysis.  These needs might guide some libraries deeper into non-traditional collections and services like Makerspaces and VR, but others may have a focus on student success driven through analytics.  Ultimately, libraries will continue to emphasize our user focus.

Ariana E. Santiago

Ariana E. Santiago

Open Educational Resources Coordinator
University of Houston Libraries

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  I love the collaborative nature of libraries – I get to work with amazing people, and we work together every day to reach our goals in supporting the campus community.  There are endless opportunities to learn new things, solve problems, and help people. 

Proudest moment of your career so far:  A highlight of my career was participating in the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians from Traditionally Underrepresented Groups in 2014.  I spent a week engaging with leadership, emotional intelligence, and program development skills along with a cohort of early-career POC librarians. I was proud to be selected for this program and continually apply what I learned there.  More recently, being selected as a curriculum designer and presenter for the forthcoming ACRL Roadshow on Open Educational Resources and Affordability. 

Family/Pets:  Two cats, Knightro and Boggle. 

In my spare time:  I enjoy watching television and going to yoga. 

Favorite books:  A few that I have recently read and enjoyed are Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero, and We’re All in This Together by Amy Jones.  To be honest, I don’t read books very often, but I’ve been trying to change that this year. 

Mentors/People who inspire me:  I’m inspired by people who practice empathy and compassion, and by those who think differently than I do.  Some people who have been mentors to me at one point or another include: Camille Thomas, Kerry Creelman, Mark Puente, Michele Santamaria, Alexis Logsdon, Valeria Molteni, Kelly McElroy, and Kristine Shrauger.  

The change I hope to make in the profession:  I hope to help make the profession a more inclusive and equitable space.  I work towards this by aiming to be inclusive in my leadership and collaborative roles and making space for underrepresented voices.

Where do I see the industry in five years:  With the growing interest in open educational resources (OER) and need for OER support, I see academic libraries having an even more established leadership role in Open Education through advocacy, service development, outreach, and OER production.

Victoria Seng

Victoria Seng

Graduate Research Assistant and 2nd Year MSLS Student
University of Kentucky

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  I’m a details gal who enjoys organizing, gathering information, books, and serving others.  Librarianship encompasses all these things and is the perfect service oriented career I have been searching for. 

Proudest moment of your career so far:  Completed inputting license terms for all electronic resources at UK Libraries.  (I read hundreds of license agreements and amendments, so it was a monumental task!)

Family/Pets:  I have a younger sister who is my ultimate BFF and travel companion.  I don’t own any pets at the moment, but would love to have a golden retriever and a cat.

In my spare time:  Reading, writing, Irish dancing, traveling, and trying out new restaurants.  

Favorite books:  All-time favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird, Persuasion, and Where the Crawdads Sing.  Also love mysteries from authors like Jane Harper, Louise Penny, and Ruth Ware.

Mentors/People who inspire me:  Mentors within the library field include the librarians at the Obion River Regional Library, the Obion County Public Library, the Gibson County Public Library, and W.T. Young Library.  The ladies at the first three helped me start my career in the public library sector. They are incredibly compassionate and hard working. I met the ERM librarians at W.T. Young Library when I started library school at UK.  I cannot thank Jennifer Montavon-Green and the rest of the ERM team enough for their help and direction with my foray into academic librarianship. They are rock stars in the field! Honestly, I’ve been incredibly blessed to be surrounded by innovative and talented people at each of the libraries I’ve worked at.  So many people have patiently provided invaluable guidance and advice. One day, I hope I can repay their kindness by offering the same support to others.

Outside of the industry, my grandmother and mom inspire me.  They instilled a strong work ethic and proved anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard to achieve it.

The change I hope to make in the profession:  Working in ERM at UK, I’ve been fortunate to learn all about Acquisitions.  I find the licensing electronic resources component within that process fascinating!  With the tides of change on the horizon, I look forward to helping shape future licensing and purchasing models within the industry.  

Where do I see the industry in five years:  I would hazard to say that in most if not all communities, libraries are lifelines.  Libraries are essential in both the public and academic sector in terms of providing an even playing field for access to technology and information.  Librarians also advocate for the needs of its users. So I see the role of advocacy greatly increasing within the industry.

Phil Willke

Phil Willke

Electronic Resources Librarian
State Library of Ohio

What attracts you to a career in libraries:  Helping people get the information they need, whether that’s a research article or a leisure read.  Everyone needs something, and the vast majority of librarians are so eager and willing to help. I love being surrounded by colleagues who are committed and invested in their work to help others.

Proudest moment of your career so far:  Winning a 2019 Charleston Conference Up and Comer Award!  But also participating in Ohio’s ILEAD USA program in 2017 and being part of the selection committee for Library’s Connect Ohio, a five-year collaboration between public, academic, and school libraries to provide all Ohioans with free access to dozens of online resources.

Family/Pets:  Two nieces and one nephew – Hayden, Adi, and Landon.  One cat – Rhaegar “Ray.”

In my spare time:  Like many librarians, reading and Netflixing.  I also enjoy spending lots of time outdoors hiking, biking, running, and just generally being active.  My favorite place to read is outside on a hot day with a cool drink.

Favorite books:  The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham.  I read Of Human Bondage in high school and didn’t get it, but several years later I read much of Maugham’s short stories and fell in love with his writing style.  I then read The Razor’s Edge, coinciding with at a transitional time in my life, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since.

Mentors/People who inspire me:  Two managers I had early in my library career, Stevo Roksandic at Mount Carmel Health Science Library and Loren Scully at the Dublin Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  Both were understanding of my early career goals, as well as incredibly empowering and supportive in helping me work towards those goals. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those two.

The change I hope to make in the profession:  To continue the path towards more easily accessible information.  From limiting paywalls to easier usability for all library services, I feel this is the way we’re going and I’m excited to be a part of it.  I also just want to make people more excited about libraries in general.

Where do I see the industry in five years:  I don’t know if we’ll be in a more Internet-friendly, post-MARC world in just five years, but we can certainly hope to have a better system for linked data than we do now, BIBFRAME or otherwise.  I also hope to see a better collaboration between libraries and publishers, especially regarding OA. The current environment doesn’t seem sustainable, and less contention would be great for users, who seem to not know or care how money and availability are linked.


Benjamin Bradley

Benjamin Bradley

Discovery Librarian
University of Maryland Libraries
McKeldin Library, Room 2200
7649 Library Lane
College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  (301) 405-9323

Born and lived:  I was born in North Carolina, and I’ve also lived in Alaska, Wisconsin, and Connecticut.  I now live in Maryland where I’ve lived for 7 years.

In my spare time:  I like to go to local board game meet-ups;  they’re often at my local libraries!

Favorite books:  Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea Cycle.

Catherine Eilers

Catherine Eilers

Information and Reader Services Librarian
Highland Park Public Library
494 Laurel, Highland Park, IL  60035

Born and lived:  I’ve lived in Illinois my entire life except for four years in Kansas City, Missouri.  I currently live in Chicago.

Professional career and activities:  I began my career as a technical services librarian in an academic library and now work in reference and readers’ advisory in a public library.

Favorite books:  I can never answer this question!  Some of my favorites from 2019 are Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, Soon by Lois Murphy, Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg, and Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk.

Philosophy:  Meeting the basic needs of all should remain the primary goal of human endeavors.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  I would hope to see ever-increasing cooperation between academic and public libraries.  Collaboration can support lifelong learning and ensure that the shift toward digital materials does not erase the kind of resource sharing currently available through interlibrary loan.

Emily Alinder Flynn

Emily Alinder Flynn

Metadata and ETD Coordinator
1224 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH
Phone:  (614) 485-6730

In my spare time:  I enjoy Columbus’ festivals, international restaurants and markets, libraries, and parks with my family.

Favorite books:  Some of my favorite authors include Aravind Adiga, Alyson Hagy, Haruki Murakami, Sue Grafton, Kevin Kwan, Ha Jin, and Jonathan Franzen.

Philosophy:  Metadata runs the world.  It’s mostly invisibile though, which is why it doesn’t get as much care and attention as it should, in libraries and society more generally.

Beth Guay

Beth Guay

Continuing Resources Librarian
University of Maryland Libraries
McKeldin Library, Room 2200
7649 Library Lane
College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  (301) 405-9339

Professional career and activities:  Librarian.

In my spare time:  Gardening, biking.

Most memorable career achievement:  Becoming a contributing member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  I see library linked data catalogs as a reality, publishers and content providers supporting linked data, and a subsequent paradigm change for discovery service providers.  Open source tools will play a larger role in the field.

Moriah Guy

Moriah Guy

New Business Development Manager in Library Technical Services
GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO
999 Maple Street
Hopkinton, NH  03229
Phone:  800-258-3774

Born and lived:  I was born in Campbelltown, Australia.  I’ve lived in: Sydney, Australia; Kent, WA;  Keensburgh, CO; Jefferson County, WI; Cedar City, UT;  and the Greater San Diego, CA area. 

Early life:  Throughout childhood, you could find me either training horses or training dogs.  I was an active 4-H member that lived to work with animals.

Family:  My immediate family consists of three Chihuahuas (Genevieve, Dobby, and Tolkein), 4 koi fish, and a software developer. 

In my spare time:  I enjoyed reading books as well as attempting to write them.  I also enjoy puzzles, DnD, and baking. Most nights of the week, you can find me at the Karate Dojo were I work on learning traditional karate style known as Shito Ryu. 

Favorite books:  This is a hard one, I’m a big fantasy buff, so of course I love all the major series, but I think all fantasy buffs have a special shelf set aside for JRR Tolkein’s works.  My mother is also an author with over 30 books published. She has a shelf to herself, as well.

Pet peeves:  Starting a new puzzle or book on a Sunday night and not finishing it! 

Philosophy:  Make it count!  Whatever you do in life, do it to the best of your ability.  Sure, bad days happen, but the vast majority of days I should go to bed knowing I did something that helps me work towards creating a greater tomorrow. 

Most memorable career achievement:  Winning the New Leader Award for Technical Services from the Claifornia Library Association’s Technical services group was up there. I would also say getting my MMLIS degree. 

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  A personal goal I have, I would like to finish writing my book, not necessarly publish it, but just finish writing it. 

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  So much change is occurring in technical services.  Today it was announced that ExLibris is acquiring Innovative.  With LSP migrations being one of the biggest tools for change in librarinship, these large scale movements will have far reaching reactions.

Charles Hillen

Director of Library Technical Services
GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO
999 Maple Street
Contoocook, NH  03229
Phone:  (603) 746-8938

Born and lived:  Born in Seymour, IN, but grew up in North Vernon just 16 miles east.  Lived in Cincinnati, OH, Norfolk, VA, Los Angeles, CA, and Contoocook, NH.

Early life:  I was outdoors at every possible moment.  I loved growing plants and biking, hiking, fishing, basketball, volleyball – you name it.  If I had to be inside, I loved practicing piano or was always drawing, painting, coloring, or working on some sort of craft project.  I loved making things and taking things apart to see how they worked, much to my father’s dismay.

Professional career and activities:  I had planned to be a musician and music teacher, but after college discovered that teaching was not for me.  I had worked at the Burnam Classical Library as a graduate student at U. Cincinnati, so decided to try for my full-time library position outside of college at Old Dominion.  That’s where I became seriously interested in librarianship. In the past, I’ve served on some ALCTS-AS committees have presented a few times at conferences. At present, I’m on the Instructor roster for the ALCTS Fundamentals of Acquisitions course.

Family:  I’m the youngest of nine children (5 girls, 4 boys), with 20 years between the oldest and myself.  My parents both grew up in the county where we lived, so I had fairly deep roots there – with cousins, aunts, uncles, and many family friends around.  My parents were married for 64 years and seemed to know everybody wherever we went, so there was always a feeling of coziness within daily life – a memory that I will always treasure.

In my spare time:  Practicing flute, cooking, gardening, genealogy, hiking, biking, the usual stuff.

Favorite books:  It changes all the time.  Today, I’ll say it’s Maybe The Moon by Armistead Maupin.

Pet peeves:  When people try to go into the elevator before letting those who are inside get out.

Philosophy:  The Golden Rule.

Most memorable career achievement:  Moving the Music Listening Room at Old Dominion from the main campus library to a newly built branch facility across campus, and establishing music special collections services in addition to other new workflows, services, and programs.  That was certainly memorable!

Joshua Hutchinson

Joshua Hutchinson

Cataloging and Metadata Librarian
University of California, Irvine
UCI Libraries
Irvine, CA  92623-9557
Phone:  (949) 824-8938

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  I think that in five years we will all be somewhat disappointed at the slow progress that our profession has made in embracing change (e.g., linked data, killing MARC) but also some aspects of the profession will be unrecognizable to us in 2020.

Kay Johnson

Kay Johnson

Head of Collection and Technical Services
McConnell Library
801 E. Main Street
Radford, VA  24142-6881
Phone:  (540) 831-5703

Professional career and activities:  Lengthy career in cataloging, serials, and technical services. 

Melanie McGurr

Melanie McGurr

Head, Electronic Services
University of Akron, Bierce Library
302 Buchtel Commons
Akron, OH  44325
Phone:  (330) 972-5390

Born and lived:  Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania and all around Ohio.

Professional career and activities:  I’ve worked as a librarian at Urbana University, the Ohio State University, the Northeast Ohio Medical University, and am now at University of Akron.  I’ve been involved in ALA for years and also enjoy participating in regional library groups, like the Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians. 

Family:  Two teenage daughters, husband, cat, and two dogs.

In my spare time:  I don’t have much of that, but I study British Country Houses and watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 to relax when I can. 

Favorite books:  Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Philosophy:  Work hard, mind your own business, and work well with others whenever possible. 

Most memorable career achievement:  Getting tenure at the Ohio State University. 

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  I’ve never had any specific goals in my career.  I work hard, work efficiently, and take advantage of opportunities.  I also have a supportive husband who understands my career is every bit as important as his. 

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  The industry can only go as far as the librarians and libraries who are always working to move forward.  If librarians and libraries are not getting support and respect from administration, patrons, and the community, then there is only so far we can go.

Demetria Patrick

Technology Librarian
Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
4209 Street, Route 44, PO Box 95
Rootstown, OH  44272
Phone:  (330) 325-6616

Born and lived:  Detroit, Michigan.

Professional career and activities:  Demetria Patrick is the Technology/Systems Librarian at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) where she is responsible for managing systems, cataloging, and emerging technologies at the Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic and Information Technology Center (Kohli Center). 

She manages the integrated library system (ILS), which is shared with seven Associated Hospital Libraries, and ensures access to resources through the proxy server. 

Ms. Patrick is currently leading the Emerging Technology Team on implementing Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a library resource that will provide instructional interaction.  It includes setting up an ECHO Show, Smart bulb, and customized AI skills. Her hope is to continue to educate and encourage library patrons to engage with innovative technologies such as Smart technology.

Her newest role includes leading the mission of redefining, reconstructing, and renewing technical services in the Kohli Center.  

Demetria has 15 years of experience as a systems librarian which includes nine years at NEOMED and six years at Hiram College library.  She also worked two years at Miami University, in Oxford Ohio, as a Resident Librarian.

She received her B.A. and MLIS from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and her MS in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

In my spare time:  I do whatever I am in the mood to do…relax, read, write, watch tv, sleep, etc.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  I believe that libarians will continue to rethink what we want and need out of our Integrated Library Systems (ILS)/ Library Services Platforms (LSP), especially in consortiums.  My hope is that the industry will be innovative and think outside of the box. I have been imagining the industry realistically embedding emerging technologies such as AI in our future systems.

Amber Seely

Division Director, Collections & Technical Servies
Harris County Public Library

Born and lived:  Native Texan.

Early life:  Amber is a second generation librarian and grew up in her mother’s libraries helping her shelve books.

Professional career and activities:  In addition to her position at Harris County Public Library, Amber also serves as an Adjunct Instructor of Cataloging at Texas Woman’s University, her alma mater.  She is very involved in the Texas Library Association.

Family:  Amber’s family includes a husband, a precocious daughter, 3 cats, and her parents who live near by.

In my spare time:  Amber enjoys running, photography, reading, being a cat pillow, and spending time with her family.

Favorite books:  Amber loves The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, Ready Player One by Ernst Kline, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Country of the Bad Wolfes by James Carlos Blake, and everything that Brandon Sanderson has ever written.

Philosophy:  Always ask why.

Most memorable career achievement:  It is a dubious achievement, but I will never forget responding to 3 of our libraries that had flooded during Hurricane Harvey.  I was proud to lead the team that rebuilt their collections and assisted with reopening them only 9 months after the hurricane.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  Libraries remain vital pillars of the community.  While preferences for print vs. ebooks may change, and the technology certainly will change, our roles in developing early literacy, providing equal access to information and technology, serving as community meeting places, and providing adult continuing education will continue to be critical.

Natalie Sommerville

Natalie Sommerville

Team Lead, Monographic Original Cataloging
Duke University Libraries
114 S. Buchanan Boulevard
Durham, NC  27708
Phone:  (919) 668-3681
Fax:  (919) 660-9009

Born and lived:  Born in Mexico City, lived in Guadalajara and San Diego, California.

Early life:  Spent in San Diego, California, Tijuana, and Guadalajara, which gave me a view of how fluid language and culture is across national borders.

Professional career and activities:  I have been a cataloger for almost all of my career and have worked with metadata, both creating it and maintaining it on a small- and large-scale.

Family:  Spouse, two children, and a cat.

In my spare time:  I read and take walks.

Favorite books:  The Brothers Karamazov, Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm (a family favorite).

Pet peeves:  Decisions based on assumptions instead of data, observations, and empathy.

Philosophy:  Honor all persons.

Most memorable career achievement:  Feeling the support and appreciation of my team.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  Helping my team increase its already solid participation in national cataloging programs.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  The industry is so big – it’s hard to speak for all libraries and librarianship.  In my setting, I see our research library growing more in areas that support interdisciplinary approaches to study and research, as well as internationalization.  For librarianship and libraries as a whole, I hope that in five years we will have collectively made more real progress toward recruiting and retaining a workforce that is more diverse.

Denise Soufi

Denise Soufi

Middle Eastern Cataloger
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Resource Description & Management
Davis Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
Campus Box 3914
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
Phone:  (919) 962-3824

Professional career and activities:  I began my career in 2009 at Princeton University as the Islamic Manuscript Cataloger under a grant-funded project.  I came to UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013, where I catalog materials in Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, and other Middle Eastern languages.  I also work in Special Collections, where I am working on a project to catalog UNC’s collection of Renaissance and early modern European manuscripts.

Nanako Kodaira Thomas

Nanako Kodaira Thomas

Catalog Librarian for Japanese Language Resources
Duke University
Campus Box 90188, Smith Warehouse Bay 10
114 S. Buchanan Boulevard
Durham, NC  27708
Phone:  (919) 668-3145
Fax:  (919) 660-9009

Born and lived:  Born in Japan but came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student in California for one year.  After finishing high school in Japan, returned to the U.S. for more higher education opportunities and never left.  Since then, lived in various states, including California, Wisconsin, and finally in North Carolina.

Early life:  Enjoyed winter sports, especially skiing;  studied flute; excelled at English (e.g., translator at Peace Conference in Hiroshima).

Professional career and activities:  NACO independent cataloger since 2005.  Participated in the Duke-UNC Japanese-Arabic cataloging project.  Co-authored the job-hunting guide for ALA’s New Members Round Table (NMRT).

Family:  A husband and two pre-/pre-pre-teen kids (one son and one daughter).

In my spare time:  (If I have any!?)  Play the flute, ice skate, watch comedies to relax.

Favorite books:  Harry Potter series.

Pet peeves:  People walking around with untied shoes.

Philosophy:  Make sure my cataloging helps people better locate materials.

Most memorable career achievement:  Translator for visiting Japanese librarians.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  Become fully CONSER authorized.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  Library silos will merge as projects will require more cooperation among units.

Cecilia Williams

Cecilia Williams

Technical Services Manager
Harris County Public Library
5749 South Loop East
Houston, TX  77033
Phone:  (713) 274-6641

Born and lived:  Throughout Texas.

Family:  Husband, one son, and two tiny dogs.

In my spare time:  I have either a hook or needle in my hands (crochet and knitting). 

Favorite books:  His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman;  anything by Gretchen Rubin.

Philosophy:  Don’t make things harder than they have to be.

Most memorable career achievement:  Writing my first script to automate call number creation for a cataloging unit and the look of joy (and surprise!) in my coworkers’ faces.

Nikita Mohammed

Cataloging and Processing Manager
Harris County Public Library
5749 South Loop East
Houston, TX 77033
Phone:  (713) 274-6642


GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO

999 N Maple Street
Contoocook, NH
Phone:  800-258-3774
Website:  https://gobi.ebsco.com/

Affiliated companies:  EBSCO Information Services: https://www.ebsco.com/

Key products and services:  GOBI is used as a library specific acquisitions website for both print and eBook collections.  We offer a variety of services that help libraries provide resources to their patrons. I specifically help to setup cataloging, physical processing, and acquisition workflows for customers in Canada and the U.S.

Core markets/clientele:  Academic, Medical, Special.

Number of employees:  Approximately 200.

History and brief description of your company/publishing program:  GOBI, formerly known as YBP, has worked to provide collection development services to libraries for more than 40 years.  Many of our employees are librarians themselves or have significant library experience.


Duke University Libraries (DUL)

411 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC  27708
Phone:  (919) 660-5870 (Perkins Library Service Desk)
Website:  http://library.duke.edu

Background/history:  The William R. Perkins Library, Bostock Library and Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library comprise the main West Campus library complex, which is joined by Lilly and Music libraries on East Campus, the Pearse Memorial Library at the Duke Marine Lab and the separately administered libraries serving the schools of Business, Divinity, Law and Medicine.  Together they form one of the nation’s top ten private university library systems. (From the Libraries’ “About” page: https://library.duke.edu/about.)

Number of staff and responsibilities:  251 full time staff members as of June 30, 2018 (latest data available at https://library.duke.edu/about/reports-quickfacts). 

Overall library budget:  $36,029,523 as of June 30, 2018 (latest data available at https://library.duke.edu/about/reports-quickfacts). 

Types of materials you buy (eBooks, textbooks, DVDs, video streaming services, databases, other):  DUL acquires print books and serials, eBooks, eJournals, DVDs, Blu-rays, eBooks, eJournals, streaming, videos, data sets, GIS layers, manuscripts, realia, and likely more categories of materials.

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  DUL has a vended solution for its ILS, which the separately administered libraries also use.  DUL is currently working with partners on the FOLIO Project to develop and Library Services Platform.

Do you have a discovery system?  Yes, DUL and uses TRLN Discovery, which was built with open source software, as its catalog.  TRLN Discovery is a collaborative effort and also provides discovery of the collections at North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In addition, DUL uses Summon for web scale discovery of its resources.

Does your library have a collection development or similar department?  Yes, DUL has a Collection Strategy and Development Department (https://library.duke.edu/about/depts/colldev/). 

If so, what is your budget and what types of materials are you purchasing?  Print or electronic or both?  In June 30, 2018 (latest data), materials expenditures totaled $17,312,354 (https://library.duke.edu/about/depts/colldev/).  Expenditures included both print and electronic resources.

What do you think your library will be like in five years?  The current Strategic Plan (https://library.duke.edu/sites/default/files/dul/pdf/DUL-Strategic-Plan-2016.pdf) provides insights into the how DUL has evolved and will continue to evolve.

Harris County Public Library

5749 South Loop East
Houston, TX  77033
Phone:  (713) 442-6600
Website:  www.hcpl.net

Background/history:  The Harris County Public Library was founded 99 years ago to serve the rural communities outside Houston, Texas.  In the beginning, there were shelves in general stores, train depots, and churches, and there was a bookmobile. Currently we have 26 branch locations and 4 mobile vehicles spanning the 1700 square miles of Harris County.

Number of staff and responsibilities:  395 staff members, including full and part time.

Overall library budget:  34 million.

Types of materials you buy (eBooks, textbooks, DVDs, video streaming services, databases, other):  Books, audiobooks, DVDs, magazines, ebooks, eaudiobooks, evideos, eMagazines, databases.

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  Yes, we have Sirsi Symphony and we share it with 2 libraries, with 2 more joining us in the coming months.

Do you have a discovery system?  Yes.

Does your library have a collection development or similar department?  Yes.

If so, what is your budget and what types of materials are you purchasing?  Print or electronic or both?  4 million dollars annually, covering print, electronic, and databases.

What proportion of your materials are leased and not owned?  For the physical collection – 0% are leased.  For the digital collection, if you consider Metered Access and Simultaneous Use titles to be leased, then about 25%.

What do you think your library will be like in five years?  HCPL will continue to become embedded in more communities within the County via partnerships with other organizations and outreach locations.

What excites or frightens you about the next five years?  Evolving service models to provide more local coverage within such a large geographic area is exciting because it is bringing us back to our roots from almost a hundred years ago, and it provides the opportunity to touch so many lives!

McConnell Library, Radford University

801 E. Main Street
Radford, VA  24142-6881
Phone:  (540) 831-5364
Website:  https://www.radford.edu/content/library.html

Background/history:  Radford is a public university founded in 1910 and the library is named for the founding president, Dr. John Preston McConnell.

Types of materials you buy (eBooks, textbooks, DVDs, video streaming services, databases, other):  We provide access to all of these, plus ejournals, a few print journals, and occasional special collections/archival materials.  I’m assuming hosted subscriptions could be considered as “bought,” though some lack perpetual access.  

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  Yes.

Do you have a discovery system?  Yes.

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)

4209 State Route 44
PO Box 95
Rootstown, OH  44272
Phone:  (330) 325-6600  • Website: https://www.neomed.edu/library/

Background/history:  NEOMED was founded in 1973 as a center for the education of primary care physicians in Northeast Ohio.  The first class of medical students started in 1977 and where from the regional state universities in the area;  The University of Akron, Kent State University, Youngstown State University, and Cleveland State University. The College of Pharmacy was established in 2005 and the College of Graduate studies in 2009. 

Number of staff and responsibilities:  Five full time and two part-time staff.  One interim director who also works in another department on campus, one full-time manager who supervises circulation and the IT help desk, a staff person at circulation/help desk who also manages ILL, one part-time person at the circulation/help desk.  One reference librarian, one technology librarian (systems, emerging technologies, and supervising the part-time cataloger), and one part-time cataloger.  

Types of materials you buy (eBooks, textbooks, DVDs, video streaming services, databases, other):  ebooks, textbooks, databases, journals, e-journals, and print materials. 

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  NEOMED administers the ILS for a consortium consisting of NEOMED and seven hospitals. 

Do you have a discovery system?  We have EBSCO’s EDS, but are not currently using it. 

Does your library have a collection development or similar department?  No.  The position that includes collection development in the job description is currently vacant. All staff help with collections at this point. 

What proportion of your materials are leased and not owned?  A lot of our journal and textbook packages are on yearly subscription models.  Students and faculty in the health professions often need current material, so owning material that goes out of date quickly does not make sense for most of our purchases. 

What do you think your library will be like in five years?  It is hard to know.  Like many libraries, we have seen a sharp decrease in staff and budget in the last few years.  There has a lot of turnover in library administration, so, hopefully, some stabilization in leadership will occur soon.  

University of California, Irvine

UCI Libraries
University of California
Irvine, Irvine CA  92623-9557
Phone:  (949) 824-8938  • Website: lib.uci.edu

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  UCI uses the Alma/Primo VE products from Ex Libris. 

Do you have a discovery system?  Yes.

Does your library have a collection development or similar department?  Yes.

If so, what is your budget and what types of materials are you purchasing?  Print or electronic or both?  I don’t know what our budget is.  We buy both print and electronic. 

University of Maryland Libraries

McKeldin Library, 7649 Library Lane
College Park, MD  20742-7011
Phone:  (301) 405-0800  • Website: https://www.lib.umd.edu/

Background/history:  The University Libraries serve 37,000 students and faculty of the flagship College Park campus in the University System of Maryland, the state’s public higher education system.  [source: https://www.lib.umd.edu/about]

Number of staff and responsibilities:  As of October 2019, the Libraries employed 72 library faculty members, 102 non-exempt and exempt staff members, 35 colleagues on contract, 20 graduate assistants, and 276 hourly student assistants.  [source, Office of the Dean of Libraries]

Overall library budget:  $28.3 million.  [source: https://www.lib.umd.edu/about]

Types of materials you buy (eBooks, textbooks, DVDs, video streaming services, databases, other):  Books, eBooks, DVDs, video streaming services, databases, print and electronic journals.

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  The University Libraries are members of a seventeen-member library consortium.  The Libraries share ExLibris’ ALEPH ILS with the other consortium members.

Do you have a discovery system?  WorldCat Discovery.

Does your library have a collection development or similar department?  Yes.

If so, what is your budget and what types of materials are you purchasing?  Print or electronic or both?  $12.6 million per year, with over 90% of our annual budget per year on electronic resources, the majority of which are continuing costs, meaning journal and database subscriptions which are typically leased content.  [Source: Director of Collection Services]

Is there anything else you think our readers should know?  The Libraries welcomed its new dean, Adriene Lim, PhD, in August 2019.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

208 Raleigh Street, CB 3916
Chapel Hill, NC  27515
Phone:  (919) 962-1053  • Website: library.unc.edu

Does your library have an ILS or are you part of a collaborative ILS?  We have an ILS.

Do you have a discovery system?  Yes.

Does your library have a collection development or similar department?  Yes.


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