2019 Participants

Thanks to a generous grant from the IMLS, the HBCU Library Alliance and Digital Library Federation are pleased to introduce the 2019 Authenticity Project Fellows alongside their Mentors and Conversation Partners!

Fellows, who will participate in the Authenticity Project between January 2018 and December 2019, have been paired with two library professionals: a Mentor from an HBCU Library Alliance institution and a Conversation Partner from the DLF membership. These community volunteers have been matched with Fellows based on shared interests and goals, and will meet throughout the year to participate in facilitated sessions and discussions.

Visit the program’s homepage for more information.

Program logo
Meaghan Alston

Meaghan Alston

Prints and Photographs Librarian, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University

Meaghan Alston received her MLIS with a focus on archives and information science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. She has been the prints and photographs librarian at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center since 2017. In this position she is responsible for a collection of over 150,000 graphic images depicting African American and African diaspora history. Prior to joining the staff at Moorland-Spingarn, she worked as a visiting librarian with the University of Pittsburgh’s Archives and Special Collections. Her interests include digital preservation, community archives, digital humanities, and archival education.  

Mentor: Joshua Hogan

Assistant Head, Digital Services Department
Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Josh Hogan is the assistant head of the Digital Services Department at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. His primary responsibilities include taking a leadership role in a variety of digital curation activities, including digitization, metadata creation, repository management, and digital preservation. Prior to assuming this role, he was the metadata & digital resources librarian at AUC Woodruff Library and spent several years as a manuscript archivist at the Atlanta History Center. Josh is strongly interested in digital scholarship/humanities research as well as the potential uses of open source software in digital preservation workflows.

Conversation Partner: Kimberly Wolfe

Digital Collections Librarian
University of Richmond

Kimberly Wolfe has worked for 14 years in museums, archives, and libraries in the Richmond area. She currently serves as the digital collections librarian at the University of Richmond’s Boatwright Memorial Library. Her responsibilities include managing the digitization of cultural heritage materials, archival collections, and university publications, to make such materials available online for public access. Kimberly also has a background in photography, art history, and women’s studies, and has held positions with the Valentine Museum, the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Additionally, Kimberly has developed several community-based cultural memory projects, including Battery Park Stories, a collaborative storytelling and oral history project that seeks to provide a platform for discussion among neighbors to document a neighborhood in flux. Recorded interviews capture the tensions of gentrification and the relationships that can develop between people of different ages, races, and backgrounds, simply by being neighbors (and being neighborly). To date, there have been two storytelling events, and the project consists of about 25 recorded oral histories with accompanying portraits of participating residents. Other collaborative projects include: an ongoing book-making and photography project, Frostburg: Document (2002 and 2012), about a small Appalachian town in Maryland; and Small Worlds, a book and exhibition about a collection of 4×6 photographs left behind by a camera shop’s former owner. Through Kimberly’s professional experience and project development, she strives to make the information, history, memories, and stories embodied by cultural heritage materials available and accessible to the public.

Danisha Baker-Whitaker

Archivist/Museum Curator, Bennett College (North Carolina)

Danish Baker-Whitaker is the archivist/museum curator at Bennett College. She’s also a PhD student in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. She focused on archives and special collections in obtaining the MLIS degree from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Her main research interests include exploring how the digital humanities field can intersect with and influence the duties of archivists. The overarching interests behind her work are identity and librarianship in the 21st century. Other interests include digital archives, access, and information architecture.

Mentor: Dr. Ana Ndumu

DLF Futures Fellow & President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Maryland, College Park iSchool

Ana Ndumu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland´s College of Information, or iSchool. Her research explores the intersection of libraries, information, and demography. As a DLF Futures Fellow, she is developing an evidence-based framework for fostering partnerships between library and information science programs and historically black colleges and universities. Ana recently completed her PhD in Information at Florida State University’s School of Information.

Conversation Partner: Lisa Spiro

Executive Director, Digital Scholarship Services
Fondren Library, Rice University

Lisa Spiro serves as executive director of digital scholarship services at Rice University’s Fondren Library, where she oversees the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive, the Digital Media Commons, and the Kelley Center for Government Information, Data and Geospatial Services. At Rice, she leads the Research Data Services team (a collaboration between the library and research computing) and teaches workshops on data management. She has published or presented on the values, skills, and collaborative practices important to digital humanities; the impact of digital resources on scholarship in American literature; the prospects for an all-digital library; and archival management systems. Lisa was the founding editor of the Digital Research Tools (DiRT) wiki and co-PI for the IMLS-funded Travelers in the Middle East Archive. She served as chair of the communications committee for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, was a member of the executive council of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, and helped found the Texas Digital Humanities Consortium. Currently Lisa is a co-PI for the Mellon-sponsored Resilient Networks to Support Inclusive Digital Humanities. She received a PhD in English from the University of Virginia and a BA in history and English from Rice University. For fun she likes to run, cycle, listen to new music and podcasts, and play board games.

Cassandra Burford

Cassandra Burford (@DigitalPresPro)

Technical & Digital Services Supervisor at Longview Public Library (Texas)
formerly: Special Collections Librarian, Talladega College (Alabama)

Cassandra Hill Burford is the technical & digital services supervisor at Longview Public Library in Texas. Before her current position, she was collections librarian at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. An Alabama native, she received a BA and MA in history from Jacksonville State University, and her MLIS, with a focus in digital preservation and digital libraries, from the University of Alabama in 2018. She is an avid proponent of digital preservation initiatives for archives.

Mentor: Dr. Dana R. Chandler

University Archivist/Associate Professor
Tuskegee University

Dana Chandler is an archivist and historian who received his graduate degree from Auburn University. He is the university archivist and associate professor at Tuskegee University and is the co-author of To Raise Up the Man Farthest Down: Tuskegee University’s Advancements in Human Health, 1881-1987 (University of Alabama Press, 2018). He has given more than 70 presentations at a variety of venues and teaches history in the Department of History and Political Science. He specializes in the history of Tuskegee University.

Conversation Partner: Dorothy Judith Berry

Digital Collections Program Manager
Houghton Library, Harvard University

Dorothy Berry is the digital collections program manager at Houghton Library, Harvard University. She graduated from the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University. She currently serves as chair of the Archivists and Archives of Color Section of the Society of American Archivists. Her work has focused on the intersections of information science and African American history, ranging from newspaper database research on the earliest mentions of African American concert music performances, to inventory design for the cosmetic kit of Hollywood’s first Black woman makeup artist, to exhibit curation highlighting transatlantic art inspired by African American film.

Justin De La Cruz

Justin de la Cruz (@justindlc)

Unit Head, E-Learning Technology, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library (Georgia)

Justin has worked on technology training for library staff and patrons in both public and academic libraries. He currently serves as the unit head of e-learning technology at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, where he collaborates with faculty and students on technology projects involving multimedia production, 3D design, and social media, among other topics. His recent publications, including a chapter in ACRL’s Applying Library Values to Emerging Technology, have focused mainly on library staff professional development. Justin recently joined the editorial advisory board for Library Hi Tech and is working on an ALA Diversity Grant-funded research project investigating the information seeking and sharing behaviors of LGBTQIA+ students.

Mentor: Jamal Fisher

Research Librarian
National Defense University

Jamal Fisher currently serves as a research librarian at the Department of Defense’s National Defense University. His decade of service in higher education includes managing special collections, reference, and circulation for diverse library institutions. Jamal’s professional accomplishments include becoming a Diversity Scholar under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, being named as an Emerging Leader, and matriculating from the HBCU Library Alliance Leadership Institute. Jamal has previously served as a professional mentor with Project I.D.o.L., an IMLS-funded diversity initiative and collaborative program between Wayne State University’s School of Library and Information Science and the HBCU Library Alliance. Jamal’s current research is focused on national security and strategy and enhancing the research value of special collections. Jamal is a proud graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Science in Durham, NC. 

Conversation Partner: Cynthia Hudson Vitale

Head, Digital Scholarship & Data Services
Pennsylvania State University

Cynthia Hudson-Vitale is the head of research informatics and publishing at Pennsylvania State University Libraries. The department’s portfolio of services includes digital humanities, research data services, statistical support, open-access publishing, and Maps & GIS. Her research interests are in the areas of open data, data curation, and research transparency.

Cheryl Ferguson

Cheryl Ferguson (@cdferg4)

Archival Assistant, Tuskegee University (Alabama)

Cheryl D. Ferguson is the archival assistant at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, where she helps build and promote the rich history of the university. Her areas of interest include archival research, digital preservation, digitization, outreach/development, and program management.

Cheryl is a member of the Society of American Archivists, Society of Alabama Archivists, and the Association of African American Museums.

Outside of the archives, Cheryl can be found actively involved servicing her community as a member of Tuskegee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Tuskegee United Women’s League, Inc.

Mentor: Dr. Richard Bradberry

Director of Library Services
Morgan State University

Richard Bradberry serves as the director of library services at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. He holds degrees from Alabama State University, The Atlanta University, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a certificate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has served as an academic library director for more than 30 years and has developed and implemented programs that support teaching, research, digital technologies, and service in small, medium, and ARL libraries. Currently, he is implementing a virtual reality program in the Earl S. Richardson Library at Morgan State University.

On a personal note, he enjoys baking, traveling, and American Sign Language (ASL). He is an interpreter at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, and does freelance interpreting with the Holy Hands Interpreting Services (HHIS), LLC, at churches in the Washington, DC, area. He also teaches sign language classes.

Conversation Partner: Anna Neatrour

Digital Initiatives Librarian
University of Utah


Anna Neatrour is the digital initiatives librarian at the University of Utah Marriott Library, where she manages descriptive metadata workflows and the digital exhibits program, and supports emerging technology projects. Anna was previously a metadata librarian at the Mountain West Digital Library and executive director of the Utah Library Association; she began her career in libraries as an instruction librarian.

Her interests include name authority control in digital libraries, collaborative digitization, and metadata community support. She co-founded the site Library Workflow Exchange, which facilitates the sharing of digital library and cataloging best practices. She is active in a variety of DLF communities, including co-facilitating the Assessment Interest Group’s Metadata Working Group and co-founding the Metadata Support Group. Anna has a BA in English from Kalamazoo College, and an MLIS from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Ida Jones

Ida Jones (@Ida39J)

University Archivist, Morgan State University (Maryland)

Ida E. Jones is the university archivist at Morgan State University. She is the first professional archivist hired by Morgan in celebration of the 150th anniversary. Since her arrival three years ago there are ten processed manuscript collections with online finding aids and a number of new donors and departmental contacts she made. The contacts are working with her in preparation for their future deposits, research, and reference queries. She has taught at the Lancaster Bible College; University of Maryland, College Park; and Howard University. She specializes in African American church history, organizational history, and local history. She authored four books. Her most recent publication, Baltimore Civil Rights Leader: Victorine Q. Adams: The Power of the Ballot, debuted in January 2019.

Mentor: Christine Wiseman

Head, Digital Services Department
Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Christine Wiseman has been the head of digital services at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library since 2012. She started her career in library and archives conservation and preservation and has since expanded into the digital landscape.

Conversation Partner: Robert K. Nelson

Director, Digital Scholarship Lab, Head, Digital Engagement
University of Richmond

Robert K. Nelson is director of the Digital Scholarship Lab, head of Boatwright Library’s Digital Engagement group, and affiliated faculty in the American Studies Program at the University of Richmond. He has authored, directed, or edited digital humanities projects such as American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History, “Mining the Dispatch,” and an enhanced edition of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States. He teaches and periodically writes on antislavery and slavery in the nineteenth-century United States.

Alvin Lee

Alvin Lee

Library Technical Assistant Supervisor at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (Florida)

Alvin Lee is senior library technical assistant supervisor and resource sharing coordinator for University Libraries at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, an HBCU located in Tallahassee, Florida. Additionally, Alvin serves as the chair of University Libraries’ Digitization Committee. He has a passion for learning about digital libraries and digital scholarship.

Alvin is committed to lifelong learning. In December 2018, he received his MA-LIS degree from the University of South Florida. He took graduate-level coursework at Georgia Southern University, in Statesboro, Georgia, to gain state certification in Georgia as a Middle Grades Teacher. Alvin has a BA in political science/history from Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah, Georgia. He began his undergraduate studies at Oxford of Emory University in Oxford, Georgia. Alvin is a proud honors graduate of Boggs Academy in Keysville, Georgia.

Alvin currently serves on a statewide committee charged with identifying training opportunities for staff at member institutions of the Sunshine State Digital Network, the state hub for Digital Public Libraries of America. He is a lifetime member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and is also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society. Alvin is currently serving a two-year term as a member of the state’s Resource Sharing Steering Committee. He is currently writing a grant for submission to the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund. The proposal will be based on the use of inclusion and use of digital scholarship for advancing conceptual research.

Mentor: Phyllis Earles

University Archivist & Head
Special Collections/Archives

Phyllis Earles is the university archivist and head of the Special Collections/Archives Department at Prairie View A&M University. She has worked in various capacities as reference librarian, serials librarian, assistant serials librarian, assistant acquisitions librarian, and reference librarian (Documents and Archives) at Prairie View A&M, along with 20 years of service as an adjunct reference librarian at Houston Community College, Stafford Campus.

Conversation Partner: Este Pope

Head of Digital Programs
Amherst College

Este Pope is head of digital programs for the Amherst College Library, where she leads the work of the Digital Programs department in building and preserving sustainable, accessible digital collections. Este is involved in the open source software community through her work with the Fedora Commons Steering and Leadership groups and the Islandora Collaboration Group. She has a background in library systems, digital libraries, digital humanities, library instruction, and educational technology, and has held previous library positions at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston College, Coconino Community College, and Yale University. She is dedicated to promoting open access to information and to the preservation of cultural heritage in all forms, and has presented and written on these topics and others throughout her career. Este holds an MLS from Simmons College in Boston and a masters in theology from Boston College. Este enjoys writing, art, knitting, and hiking with her family. More information can be found on Este’s website (http://stellesky.com/about/).

Brandon Lunsford

Brandon Lunsford

University Archivist and Digital Manager, Johnson C. Smith University (North Carolina)

Brandon Lunsford has been the archivist at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte since 2009. He received his MA in public history with a concentration in historic preservation from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2009, and his BA in history from UNCC in 2001. He is currently taking courses at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for his MA in library and information science, with a focus on archives. He wrote Charlotte Then and Now for Anova Books and Thunder Bay Press as part of his thesis project in 2008, and completed a revised edition in 2012. Before coming to JCSU he completed internships at the Charlotte Museum of History and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. While the archivist at Smith, Brandon has written five successfully funded grant projects from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lyrasis, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Lyrasis HBCU Photographic Preservation Project, and the North Carolina Library Services and Technology Act. His projects have included an NEH grant to create a digital interactive map of the historic African American neighborhood surrounding Johnson C. Smith University and a digitization grant and exhibit showcasing the James G. Peeler Photograph Collection.

Mentor: kYmberly Keeton

African American Community Archivist & Librarian
The Austin History Center

kYmberly Keeton is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. She graduated from the University of North Texas with an MLS, and was awarded a graduate certificate in digital content management. She holds a BA in English-creative writing from the University of Houston with a minor in African-American studies, and was awarded a baccalaureate degree with honors in English-creative writing and the graduate certificate in African American studies.

Keeton is a fellow of the UNT Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Program and a member of Beta Phi Mu International Library & Information Studies Honor Society, and is a member of the University of the Houston’s Honors College. She began her professional career in academic librarianship in October 2014 at a historically black college university, Lincoln University Missouri. The 2016 ALA Emerging Leader Alumnus designed and created the first African American university arts library program, digital repository, and online exhibition space at Inman E. Page Library. As an academic librarian, Keeton designed the first credit-based Hip Hop Information Literacy course under the library science minor at an HBCU; a supplemental resource for novice, skilled, and lifelong learners, entitled the Hip Hop LibGuide; and a library short course about women writers from Missouri.

As a scholarly writer and researcher, Keeton published the Hip Hop Librarian Consortium’s e-book, Leaders of the New School: Hip Hop Librarianship, A Comprehensive Bibliography, and her reflective article about Prince Rogers Nelson in the Journal of African American Studies. She is the former city editor of Rolling Out Magazine and entertainment editor of the Dallas Weekly Newspaper

Currently, kYmberly Keeton is writing a scholarly book about African American women in the arts from the state of Texas, to be published in 2020 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. “I’m rebelling against being handed a career, like, “You’re the next this; you’re the next that.” I’m not the next anything, I’m the first me.” – kYmberly Keeton

Conversation Partner: Mackenzie Brooks

Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities Librarian
Washington and Lee University

Mackenzie Brooks is assistant professor and digital humanities librarian at Washington and Lee University. There, she teaches in the Digital Culture and Information minor and coordinates digital humanities initiatives. Her research focuses on digital pedagogy, scholarly text encoding, and metadata.

Raeshawn McGuffie

Raeshawn McGuffie

Assistant Director of Technical Services — Hampton University (Virginia)

Raeshawn McGuffie is from Los Angeles. She earned her BA in psychology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned her MLS degree at North Carolina Central University. She is currently the assistant director of technical services at Hampton University’s William R. and Norma B Harvey Library. It is in this position that she discovered an interest in digitization to preserve the many historical resources housed in the library’s special collections. Raeshawn is, of course, an avid reader, but she also loves knitting, photography, and music.

Mentor: Cotina Jones

Deputy Director
Cumberland County Public Library System

Cotina Jones studied Biology at North Carolina Central University with a goal of going into teaching. However, she started her career in libraries as a total accident by becoming a part time reference librarian for a public library. This part time position led to a Branch Manager position of a small joint public library/community college library. Shortly after receiving her MLS from North Carolina Central University, she became an elementary school media specialist. Eventually, she decided to pursue a health science librarian position at Winston Salem State University thereby enabling her to use both her Biology and MLS degrees. This was a rewarding experience that enabled her to learn more about what she wanted to do as a librarian by affording her the opportunity to experience working on different projects within different departments. A few years later, she became Assistant Director at North Carolina Central University. Most recently she desired to return to her first love – public libraries – and accepted a position as Deputy Director for Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center. Along the way she has met many library administrators who took a vested interest in her and her career. Because of them, she has focused her career on her passion — which is to help develop new librarians through coaching, interview preparation and mentorship.

Conversation Partner: Melissa Wisner (@melissawis)

IT Projects and Portfolio Management Librarian
North Carolina State University Library

Melissa has been working in IT in academic libraries for more than 16 years. She is currently IT Projects and Portfolio Management Librarian at NCSU. Melissa also teaches workshops on agile project methodologies for the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is a certified SCRUM Master. Outside of work, Melissa volunteers to reduce food insecurity for low-income families with local community action agencies in the research triangle park area of North Carolina.

DeLisa Minor Harris

DeLisa Minor Harris

Special Collections Librarian, Fisk University (Tennessee)

DeLisa Minor Harris is a Fisk alumna who returned in 2016 to serve her alma mater after completion of her master’s degree at the University of North Texas and after spending four years with the Nashville Public Library. Connecting students, faculty and staff, researchers, scholars, and the Nashville community to the many historical collection holdings of Fisk University is DeLisa’s top priority. Since her start in special collections at Fisk University, she has curated five exhibits including, “Lord, I’m Out Here on Your Word”-Fisk Jubilee Singers: Singing from spirit to spirit” and written two articles published in the enlarged two-volume set of the Encyclopedia of African American Business, ABC/CLIO. She has twice presented at the Annual Conference for Association for the Study of African American Life and History, in 2017 discussing a photograph preservation project and Fisk University, and in 2018 the Student Army Training Corps during World War I. In 2017, Ms. Minor Harris was awarded the Rare Book School’s National Endowment for the Humanities-Global Book Histories Initiative Scholarship to attend Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. She currently serves as co-chair of the Nashville Area Library Alliance (NALA), working in partnership with librarians across Davidson County.

Mentor: Elizabeth Jean Brumfield

Distance Services Librarian
Prairie View A&M University

Currently, Elizabeth is the distance services librarian for Prairie View A&M University, a historically black college or university located in Texas. Previous experience included working as a librarian in the Job Career and Education Center and the Foundation Center, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, a specialized library department dedicated to creating educational tools and services for the philanthropic and fund-raising community. She also worked as an adjunct/lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Library and Information Science, where she developed and taught a course on diversity.

In 2013, she received grant funding to design a mobile app, which was the first of its kind in libraries. The app featured augmented reality for retrieval of information related to book titles. Elizabeth has worked on several unique projects at her university, including a telemedicine app for goat farmers, creating a homecoming app for students, and recently, working with an international virtual sign language vendor to provide better library service to deaf individuals without interpreters. She also serves on the Institutional Review Board and was selected to serve on her university’s SASCOC Core Review Team, compiling the documentation and writing the narrative for the library’s requirements.

As a recipient of the ALA/Routledge, Taylor & Francis Distance Services Librarian Award (2016), she is constantly looking for ways to enhance the learning experience of online students. She evaluates curriculum and beta tests software to find resources for her students. She is published in peer-reviewed journals, books, and book chapters, and can’t wait to finish and publish her dissertation. The dissertation highlights libraries as leaders in innovation and technology and focuses on ways we can use technology to reduce library anxiety, thus encouraging students to use the library more. She sees library leadership as central to university effectiveness; there can’t be one without the other. The university is not successful if students leave without having a clear understanding of information and have an appreciation for reading and life-long learning. 

Conversation Partner: Liz Lorang

Interim Associate Dean and Humanities Librarian
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Liz Lorang is an associate professor and humanities librarian, as well as an interim associate dean, in the University Libraries at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Liz collaborates with students, teachers, and researchers at all levels to foster critical analysis, application, and creation of information. For more about Liz, see https://elizabethlorang.com/

Aletha Moore Carter

Aletha Moore

Digitization Project Manager Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library (Georgia)

Aletha R. Moore, a graduate of Spelman College, earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a specialization in American and African American history and her master’s degree in archival studies with a concentration in digital archives at Clayton State University. While in graduate school Aletha worked in the Spelman Archives and The Jimmy Carter Presidential Research Library. Currently, she is the digitization project manager of a CLIR grant at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library Archives Research Center. Moore is a member of Society of American Archivist, Society of Georgia Archivist.

Mentor: Monika Rhue

Director of Library and Curation
Johnson C. Smith University

Monika Rhue is currently serving as the director of library services and curation at the James B. Duke Memorial Library, Johnson C. Smith University. Some of her work experiences include library management, grant writing, archival consulting, and museum curation. She has served on the HistoryMakers advisory board and the planning advisory team for the 2018 Harvard Radcliffe Workshop on Technology and Archival Processing and was the plenary speaker for the 2018 Rare Books and Manuscripts Section conference in New Orleans. She also serves as an archival consultant for the State Archives of North Carolina Traveling Archivist Program and 2017-2019 Board Chair for HBCU Library Alliance.

Monika managed JCSU’s archives first digital project to transfer instantaneous discs into a digital format, Save the Music: The History of Biddleville Quintet and launched Digital Smith, the university’s searchable archives. She was instrumental in accessioning the James Gibson Peeler collection with more than 100,000 photographs and negatives that document the history and culture of Charlotte’s African American population. She has bridged several partnerships across campus, in the Charlotte community and throughout the Southeast with programs like:

  • Giving Back: the Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited, a traveling exhibit throughout the Southeast paying tribute to generations of African American Philanthropy.
  • Know Your Plate, an interactive game project to promote awareness of obesity among African Americans in the Northwest Corridor.
  • JCSU’s Information Literacy Buddy initiative, which assisted HBCUs in transforming bibliographic instruction into an information literacy program. Monika was invited to share this initiative in South Africa as a People-to-People library delegate from October 19-29, 2009.

She is the author of Organizing and Preserving Family and Religious Records: A Step-by-Step Guide and Dress the African Way: An Activity Book for the Family, and is a contributing writer to the ACRL publication Creating Leaders: An Examination of Academic and Research Library Leadership Institutes. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Johnson C. Smith University and an MLIS degree from UNC-Greensboro. Her current projects include developing an animated plagiarism game to help students avoid plagiarism and partnering with Arts and Science Council Culture Blocks to capture and preserve the rich heritage of the Northwest Corridor neighborhoods.

Conversation Partner: Lisa Gregory

Program Coordinator
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center
UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries

Lisa Gregory is the program coordinator for the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (http://digitalnc.org), which partners with over 200 cultural heritage institutions throughout North Carolina to digitize and share their special collections online. Lisa helps set priorities and direction so that the Center remains responsive to partner and user needs while meeting the evolving demands of digital initiatives. Prior to the Digital Heritage Center, she worked for the State Library of North Carolina’s Digital Information Management Program, gaining experience in digitization project management and digital preservation outreach and education. She has an MA in English literature from the University of New Mexico, and an MS in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Digital Curation Fellow.

Monica Riley

Monica Riley

Serials Librarian, Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia)

Monica is serials librarian at the M. Delmar Edwards, M.D. Library at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her responsibilities include selecting, acquiring, and managing access to digital and print serials. She is a native of San Francisco and proud alumna of Clark Atlanta University, where she received a BA in mass media arts and an MS in library and information studies. She has enjoyed a rich career as a professional librarian, having held positions in reference, youth services, and interlibrary loan at academic, public and special libraries. Her interests include project management, assessment and curation of digital collections.

Mentor: Jean Greene

Director of Library Services & Archives
Hinds Community College – Utica

Jean Greene is director of library services and archives for Hinds Community College-Utica Campus. She serves as the deputy Title IX coordinator for the Utica campus, Student Government Association co-advisor, co-director of the NEH grant project William Holtzclaw & The Black Man’s Burden, curator of the Utica Institute Traveling Exhibit, and co-director of the Utica Institute Museum. She has been employed with Hinds Community College in various learning resources positions for 25 years (18 years as director of the William H. Holtzclaw Library and Archives, 4 years as serials and reference librarian for McLendon Library on the Raymond Campus, and 3 years as the Rankin Campus librarian). Other library experience includes serving as head of Northside Branch Library (currently Charles W. Tisdale Library) for the Jackson-Hinds Library system and AV department supervisor for the Mississippi Library Commission. Jean represented two-year technical and community colleges on the HBCU Alliance Board. She served as part of the mentor team for the Wayne State IDOL project as well as one of the mentors for the HBCU Library Alliance Leadership program in 2010 and 2012.

Jean is active in community service in the Utica area. She is a member of the American Library Association, National Education Association, Mississippi Association of Educators, Mississippi Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, Utica Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, and Friends of Utica. She is married and has one son, Dustin.

Conversation Partner: Timothy Ryan Mendenhall

Metadata Librarian, Columbia University
Assistant Cataloger, Frick Art Reference Library

At Columbia, Timothy prepares and manages metadata for digital collections and exhibits, but he also contributes to traditional monographic and authority cataloging workflows and supports Columbia’s participation in the PCC. His professional interests include linked data and semantic web technology. Work as a processing archivist for a large-scale digitization project led to his transition to metadata librarianship, where he continues to assist with the transformation and publication of metadata for special collections materials. He received an MLIS from Queens College at the City University of New York with a concentration in archives and a BA in Germanic languages and literatures with a minor in Spanish literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His professional engagement includes a post as webmaster of New York Technical Services Librarians, assistance organizing events for Code4Lib New York City, and service as the chair of the ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group. Outside of the library, he helps manage a community garden on New York’s Lower East Side and also volunteers with SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) in their Friendly Visitor program.

Carla Sarratt

Carla Sarratt (@offtheshelfMLS)

Director, Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)

Carla R. Sarratt earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and psychology with a minor in education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. After college, Carla taught high school English in Columbus, Ohio, and Charlotte, North Carolina. She later earned an MLS degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

During graduate school, she participated in a study abroad trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, that allowed her to experience the international scope of librarianship in Denmark as well as Sweden. She interned with the State Library of North Carolina, where she assisted with programming and outreach endeavors with an emphasis on genealogy research. Through her passion for social media, she started the library’s Pinterest account that continues to thrive today.  

Before graduation, she accepted a position as the solo librarian for the African American Cultural Center Library at North Carolina State University. Through her ties to the African American children’s literature community, she bought children’s author and illustrator Don Tate to campus as part of the cultural center’s programming.

In her role as librarian and virtual services librarian with New Hanover County Public Library, she continued to build on her experiences as a teacher and librarian with programming and outreach within the local community.  She worked with high school students and teachers as well as the writing community to promote library resources and services. In 2017, she was awarded a stellar award for innovation and professionalism from New Hanover County.

Mentor: Dr. Janice Lucas Peyton

Executive Director of Libraries and Museums
Texas Southern University

Janice L. Peyton serves as administrator of all library operations at Texas Southern University. She currently sits on university planning and construction committees charged with visioning and fashioning a new university Library Learning Center, designed to be a forward-looking, technology-rich 21st century learning facility. She has been involved with multiple new library projects.

Janice spent 30 years on multiple campuses in the Lone Star College System, and has extensive experience with on-site and off-site accreditation. While at the Lone Star College System, she assisted with substantive change and continued as initial academic support services contact while in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Other meaningful experience includes teaching and serving as reference librarian. She appreciates opportunities to make a difference.

Conversation Partner: Jessica W. Meyerson

Research Program Officer
Educopia Institute

Jessica Meyerson is research program officer for Educopia Institute and coordinating member of the Software Preservation Network, a role that allows her to promote the essential role of software preservation in responsible and effective digital stewardship. As research program officer, Jessica works across institutions, communities, and sectors to support applied research that advances digital preservation practice. She currently participates in several projects aimed at broadening participation in software preservation and exploring curation approaches for software-dependent objects. Jessica is also a coordinating member to the Maintainers network, an interdisciplinary and inter-professional group that “share(s) an interest in the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain our human-built world.”

Kayla Siddell

Kayla Siddell

Scholarly Communications and Instruction Librarian (Louisiana)

Kayla Siddell is the scholarly communications and instruction librarian in the university library at Xavier University of Louisiana where she manages the institutional repository and the Data Visualization Lab, and consults with faculty, staff, and students on their research and use of library resources and services. Previously she was the data curation librarian at Indiana State University, where she served as webmaster, managed the institutional repository and CONTENTdm and Omeka websites, and ran the digitization laboratory. Her research interests include alternative data, best practices for data curation and institutional repositories, scholarly communication, and information literacy. Kayla is an alumna of East Tennessee State University, where she studied psychology, and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she earned her masters degree in information science.

Mentor: Tina D. Rollins

Library Director
Hampton University

Tina D. Rollins is the director of the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library at Hampton University. She completed her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Old Dominion University and her MLS degree at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). While at NCCU she was a member of the Diversity Scholars Program which was an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded program to recruit students of diverse backgrounds into the library and information sciences field. This experience led to an interest in promoting and researching diversity within librarianship. Tina also studied international librarianship in Copenhagen, Denmark, during her studies at NCCU.

At Hampton, she has created initiatives to improve information literacy, outreach services, and professional development. The initiatives have led to increases in library programming, grantsmanship, fundraising, and faculty and staff communication. The library is successfully rebuilding its brand and building cross-campus collaboration and partnerships. These opportunities create a wealth of potential resources to improve library services and research efforts throughout the university.

Rollins has committed herself to bringing awareness to the lack of diversity within all facets of the LIS field. She currently serves as principal investigator on an IMLS grant awarded to Hampton University. This award, titled The Hampton University Forum on Minority Recruitment and Retention in the LIS Field, convened a national forum in August 2018 to discuss effective strategies and action planning to address the lack of diversity within the LIS field. The grant continues to address these concerns through virtual meetings and training sessions for LIS professionals.

Tina Rollins holds various memberships in both regional and national organizations related to the field. She is a board member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance. Additionally, she volunteers in literacy outreach organizations and initiatives in the region. She currently resides in Newport News, VA with her husband where she enjoys watching movies and bad reality television.

Conversation Partner: Dr. Ece Turnator

Humanities and Digital Scholarship Librarian
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ece Turnator received her PhD in medieval (Byzantine) history from Harvard University in 2013. Her dissertation is an interpretation of thirteenth century Byzantine economy through an analysis of archaeological (coins and ceramics) and textual evidence. Between 2013 and 2016, she was a CLIR postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Austin Libraries where she worked as coordinator for the Global Middle Ages Project, specialized in medieval data curation, and taught in her area of expertise. Currently, she is the humanities and digital scholarship librarian, and the liaison for history and linguistics departments, at MIT Libraries in Cambridge.

Raquel K. Williams Donahue

Raquel K. Williams Donahue (@RaquelKWilliams)

Reference & Instruction Librarian I at Prairie View A&M University (Texas)

Raquel K. Williams has been a reference and instruction librarian at PVAMU’s John B. Coleman Library since March 2016.  She graduated with honors from Texas Woman’s University in December 2015 with an MLS and earned a BA in English from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, in 2006. Raquel has been active in the Texas Library Association as a member and as a round table officer since 2014 in several groups, including the Latino Caucus RT, Library Instruction RT, Library Support Staff RT, and Reference & Information Services RT.  She is regularly on Twitter @RaquelKWilliams.

Mentor: Andrea Jackson Gavin

Grant Writer
Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Andrea Jackson Gavin has been a professional archivist for over 15 years. She is the grant writer at the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library, where she previously served as head of the Archives Research Center. Andrea was formerly executive director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. She is an alumna of Spelman College; New York University (MA, US History and Archival Management certification); and the Archives Leadership Institute. A 2018 Fellow of the Society of Georgia Archivists, she authored “Funding the Future of African American Religion Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library” in the Theological Librarianship Journal. She serves proudly on the International Archives Committee of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Conversation Partner: Catherine Aster

Product and Service Manager
Stanford University

Catherine A. Aster is a service manager in Digital Library Systems and Services. She manages both services and projects, and also works as a product owner with software engineers, operations staff, and designers for the digital library applications she helps support.

She is the service manager for Stanford’s Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission Program, Stanford’s exhibit platform called Spotlight, and the Libraries’ map program in collaboration with staff from the David Rumsey Map Center.

She also manages numerous digital collection projects in support of digitization and/or digital library content, preserving in the Stanford Digital Repository and bringing to light collections in SearchWorks and Spotlight at Stanford.

She is the product and service management team liaison to the Cubberly Education Library, and to the Libraries’ Preservation Department.

The HBCU Library Alliance and DLF are incredibly grateful to the community members who have volunteered to participate in this program, including those who were not matched with fellows in 2019. 

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