Please join me in welcoming the three newly elected Coordinating Committee members: Michael Barera, Chelsea Denault, and Jessica Venlet. Their terms begin January 1, 2024 and run through December 31, 2026. Read more about their backgrounds and interest below.
Michael Barera has been the Assistant Archivist and Digitization Specialist at the Milwaukee County Historical Society (MCHS) Research Library since June 2022. This position ranges broadly from traditional archival responsibilities such as digitization, processing, and reference to unique and often innovative programs and projects related to Milwaukee history, including creating questions for and calling Milwaukee History Trivia Nights at local breweries and leading historical kayak tours on the Milwaukee River. Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in history from the University of Michigan in 2012 and obtained a Master of Science in Information (MSI) in both Archives and Records Management (ARM) and Preservation of Information (PI) from the University of Michigan School of Information in 2014. Prior to taking his current position at MCHS, he previously served as an Assistant Archivist at the Texas A&M University-Commerce Libraries (from 2015 to 2019) and as the University and Labor Archivist at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries (from 2019 to 2022). He has been a Certified Archivist since 2016.
Michael ran for NDSA Coordinating Committee for two primary reasons. The first is to bring the perspective of a small but innovative county historical society to the committee. The second is to learn from the committee and engage more deeply with NDSA as a whole, with the ultimate goal of learning more born-digital and digitization best practices that can be realistically implemented at MCHS and thus raise its level of practice.
Chelsea leads the Michigan Digital Preservation Network, a program of the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services with support from the Library of Michigan. As the MDPN’s Coordinator, she works to build a community-centered statewide service focused on leveraging shared resources and expertise to make digital preservation affordable and accessible to all cultural memory institutions. As part of her efforts, Chelsea provides guidance and training on digital preservation in Michigan and leads the MDPN’s policy development and member recruitment. She also serves as the PI for the MDPN’s IMLS-funded grant to explore simplifying digital preservation workflows and provide training for non-technical users at under-resourced institutions in Michigan and beyond. Chelsea has served the NDSA on the DigiPres Conference Planning Committee (2021-2023) and the Long-Term Conference Planning Working Group. She also represents the MDPN in the Private LOCKSS Network (PLN) Community, and contributes to the Cross-PLN Technical Committee and the Shared Messaging Group. Before joining the MDPN, Chelsea was a public historian engaged in community outreach and collections work, and she holds an MA and a PhD in Public History/US History from Loyola University Chicago. Chelsea is guided by the MDPN’s commitment to small, underserved organizations, and plans to represent their needs on the Coordinating Committee.
Jessica Venlet works as the Assistant University Archivist for Digital Records and Records Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. In this role, she is responsible for a variety of things related to both records management and digital preservation. In particular, she leads the processing and management of born-digital archival materials.
Jessica is drawn to participation with NDSA because of how valuable the resources and network are to her work and to the profession overall. She has recently participated in working groups for the 2019 Levels of Digital Preservation Reboot (assessment subgroup), the 2021 NDSA Staffing Survey, and the 2023 NDSA Excellence Awards. She is excited to join the Coordinating Committee and contribute to the continued development of the NDSA organization and all its associated programs and working groups.
We are also grateful to all of the very talented, qualified candidates who participated in this election.
We are indebted to our outgoing Coordinating Committee members, Elizabeth England, Jes Neal, and Linda Tadic, for their service and many contributions. To sustain a vibrant, robust community of practice, we rely on and deeply value the contributions of all members, including those who took part in voting.
~ Bethany Scott, Vice Chair, on behalf of the NDSA Coordinating Committee