The Authenticity Project, hosted jointly by the HBCU Library Alliance + CLIR’s Digital Library Federation, is an IMLS-funded mentoring and professional development program for early- to mid-career HBCU library staff.

Our goal is to build a more diverse, inclusive, collaborative, and cohesive next-generation digital library workforce, ready to work across types of institutions in building infrastructure of various kinds (social and technological) in service to a wide array of communities.

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2022 Mentors

Francesca Baird poses for a photo

Francesca Baird (@frannyl)

Head of Digital Initiatives
Wesleyan University

Francesca Baird is the head of digital initiatives for Wesleyan University Library where she works with a team to build, preserve, and make digital collections accessible. She participates in the open-source software community via the Islandora Collaboration Group. Before coming to Wesleyan, she held positions at the University of Vermont, Colgate University, and Yale University. Her professional interests include extensible digital collections practices, digitizing, preserving, and working with cultural heritage objects in all forms, and shifting the power dynamics within the library. Outside of work, she’s into the politics and economics of fashion, cooking/baking/fermenting, and travel.

DeAnn Brame poses for a photo

DeAnn Brame 

Technology and Innovation Strategist
Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 2, Medical University of South Carolina

DeAnn brainstorms, plans, and executes creative and innovative solutions to problems. She strives to make complex problems simple and digestible. She is currently the Technology and Innovation Strategist for Region 2 of the Network of the National Library of Medicine based at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a 2022–2023 ARL Leadership and Career Development Fellow. Previously, DeAnn was assistant professor and the Digital Services and Systems Librarian for Winthrop University, where she managed the university’s institutional repository, and provided leadership and vision for the library’s technologies.

In her free time, DeAnn runs an Etsy shop and enjoys going on food adventures.

John Dewees poses for a photo

John Dewees (@johndewees)

Digital Asset Management Lead
University of Rochester

John Dewees has worked in libraries for 16 years (public/academic, full time/part time, paraprofessional/professional positions), and his work has evolved to focus on digital preservation, digital curation, digital libraries, and generally digital all-the-things, along with closely aligned areas such as copyright and metadata. John has taken part in the ALCTS mentoring program (as a mentee), the SAA mentorship program (twice as a mentor), and the PeMento peer mentoring program, and is very excited at the prospect of building on that experience with the Authenticity Project and working with the amazing program fellows to achieve their career goals.

Jina DuVernay poses for a photo

Jina DuVernay (@jinaduvernay)

Getty Images

Jina DuVernay is a librarian and archivist who is very active in the field of librarianship serving on numerous committees and initiatives that advocate for the collection and stewardship of resources related to African American history and culture. DuVernay serves as a Councilor-at-Large for the American Library Association (ALA) and has served as an executive board member for the Black Caucus of ALA. She holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Alabama and is pursuing a PhD in Humanities at Clark Atlanta University.

Sandra A. Enimil poses for a photo

Sandra A Enimil (@copyrightlady)

Program Director for Scholarly Communication and Information Policy
Yale University Library

Sandra Aya Enimil (she/her) is the Program Director for Scholarly Communication and Information Policy at Yale University Library. At Yale, She provides consultation on licenses of all types for the Library. Sandra also provides information and resources on using copyrighted materials and assists creators in protecting their own copyright. Sandra collaborates with individuals and departments within the Library and across campus. Sandra is interested in the intersection of DEI and intellectual property. She grew up in Chicago and runs a small business with her mother called Pretty Afrika Designs.

Karen Estlund poses for a photo

Karen Estlund (@estlundkm)

Dean of Libraries
Colorado State University

Karen Estlund is the Dean of Libraries at Colorado State University focusing initially on the “Principle of Community in Action.” She has a digital libraries and technology background and started working in as a work-study student in cataloging and never left libraries.

Karen has served in multiple governance roles for library open-source community projects. She was a founding editorial board member of an open access, open peer review multi-modal journal, Ada: a Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. Karen is an outdoor enthusiast. She likes to make ice cream and is learning how to weave. 

Liz Gushee poses for a photo

Liz Gushee

Associate Dean, Digital Strategies
University of Miami Libraries

I have over twenty years of experience working within academic libraries and cultural heritage institutions with a focus on building and leading teams to build digital services and implement technologies to support the management, discovery, and re-use of digitized archives, special collections, and faculty research. As an administrator I have responsibilities for budget management, program planning, space planning, technology planning, change management, and leading and developing a diverse workforce. My current portfolio includes web & application development, digital initiatives, and digital scholarship & publishing. Things I enjoy include: playing my bass guitar, tennis, birding, movies, and summers in Maine.

Ann Hanlon poses for a photo

Ann Hanlon (@annhanlon)

Head, Digital Collections & Initiatives
University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee Libraries

Ann Hanlon is Head of Digital Collections and Initiatives at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also co-founded and leads the UWM Libraries Digital Humanities Lab. Ms. Hanlon has over twenty years of experience working with digital collections, including positions at the University of Maryland, Marquette University, and since 2012 at UWM. She has led projects to build digital archival collections of all shapes and sizes, and also works in the areas of digital preservation and digital scholarship. She has published and presented in the fields of digital collections and scholarship, digital preservation, and digital humanities. Ann has an MA in History from the University of Maryland and her MSLIS from the University of Illinois.

Mantra Henderson poses for a photo

Mantra Henderson

Director of Library Services
Mississippi Valley State University

Mantra Henderson is the Director of the James Herbert White Library at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS. Henderson, an ALA Spectrum Scholar, earned her Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS in 2001 and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS in 1993. Henderson has twenty-five (25) years in the library profession. Prior to her work in academic librarianship, she served as Technology Coordinator for the Sunflower County Library System, a public library system, for six (6) years. She has also participated in the Peabody Leadership Institute, the HBCU Library Alliance Leadership Institute, and the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians. Also, she has managed to publish six (6) articles and five (5) book reviews within the past five (5) years. Henderson is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education with a concentration in Higher Education.

Endya Johnson poses for a photo

Endya Johnson

Technical System Assistant
The Waterloo Public Library

Endya Johnson has been part of the Waterloo & Cedar Falls, Iowa area for the past 17 years. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, she graduated from the University of Iowa receiving a degree in Asian Studies with emphasis in Chinese language. She is working towards a Masters in Library Science from the University of Iowa, expected graduation December 2023. She has worked over 10 years at the Waterloo Public Library (WPL). Her title at WPL is Technical Assistant, but she also has experience in circulation, reference and program development. She loves spending time with her family and creating new experiences.

Dr. Rhonda Jones poses for a photo

Dr. Rhonda Jones

UNC Greensboro
Community Digital Archivist

Dr. Rhonda Jones works at UNC Greensboro as a Public Historian and Community Digital Archivist. A global scholar, she lectures, conducts research, and develops outreach opportunities.  She is passionate about digitizing archival material, curating exhibits and make local history material accessible online. Dr. Jones received a Ph.D. in United States History, a Master of Arts in Public History, and Master of Library and Information Science with a Concentration in Archival Administration.

kYmberly Keeton poses for a photo

kYmberly Keeton (@kYmizsofly)

Chief Library Curator
ART | library deco

kYmberly Keeton is a native Texan, a nationally published writer, an art librarian & archivist, and genealogy curator. By day, the ALA Emerging Leader and Library Journal 2020 Mover & Shaker is the Chief Artistic Officer of NOVELLA MEDIA, LLC a creative information agency, and the founder of ART | library deco a virtual African American Art Library. Currently, the writer is pursuing a Ph.D. in Information Science, Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of North Texas. The creative interdisciplinary mixologist can be seen on the regular with her dog, Roxy Blue. And if nothing else, kYmberly is always taking time to read books, write hooks, and design the next..

Camille Grace Lawrence poses for a photo

Camille Grace Lawrence

Black Beauty Archives

Camille Lawrence’s work as an archivist focuses on the art history, innovations, and diversity of artistic expression across the African Diaspora. She is most interested in exploring and archiving identity formation throughout the African diaspora and culture through three foundational principles: Oral, Physical, and Ritual. Lawrence’s background as an art historian, artist, and beauty practitioner informs her approach to archival work. Her projects include Black Beauty Archives and contributions to Urban Bush Women, BAM DanceAfrica, and Black Dance Stories.

Raeshawn R. McGuffie poses for a photo

Raeshawn R. McGuffie

Assistant Director of Technical Services
Hampton University

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. Ms. McGuffie has experience in grant writing as well as project management. Raeshawn is, of course, an avid reader, but she also loves knitting, photography, and music.

Amber L. Moore

Amber L. Moore

Project Archivist, Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection
Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Amber L. Moore ensures that the stories of African Americans are seen, heard, and preserved. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a passion for African American history and a commitment to increasing access to archival collections. Currently, Amber leads the processing of The Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. Previously, she has worked at Harvard University, Emory University, Syracuse University and the Amistad Research Center. Amber graduated from Simmons College’s School of Library and Information Science with a MLIS and earned her BA in history from Spelman College.

Eric Phetteplace poses for a photo

Eric Phetteplace

Systems Librarian
California College of the Arts

Eric Phetteplace is Systems Librarian at California College of the Arts, where his primary duties are maintaining and developing web applications, an institutional repository, a learning management system, and an ILS. Previously, he was Emerging Technologies Librarian at Chesapeake College. In 2015, he was a fellow at the inaugural Institute of Open Leadership organized by Creative Commons. He holds a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in English and Mathematics from Stanford University and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In his leisure time, he enjoys reading philosophy, literature, and playing card games.

Hannah Scates Kettler poses for a photo

Hannah Scates Kettler (@hskettler)

Head of Digital Scholarship & Initiatives
Iowa State University

Digital humanities/scholarship is my bread and butter; I enjoy learning about and from people, talking about folks’ hobbies and interests. I’m a systems-thinker and am curious about the social components of what I do. While I enjoy being a librarian, I missed my archaeological roots and needed an outlet for digging in the dirt. So, outside of work, I farm – I am the owner of Minerva’s Meadow, a flower farm in central Iowa. I have yet to discovery any cool archaeological sites, however. Hope springs eternal.

Jamillah Scott-Branch poses for a photo

Jamillah Scott-Branch

Assistant Director of Library Services
North Carolina Central University

Jamillah Scott-Branch is the Assistant Director of Library Services at the North Carolina Central University (NCCU), James E. Shepard Memorial Library. In this role, she oversees Research and Instructional Services, Interlibrary Loan, and Government. In addition, she supports the Director of Library Services with strategic planning, staff and budget management, and provides support with recruitment, hiring and performance management. Previously, she has held positions as Head of Research and Instructional Services, Technology and Media Services Librarian, and worked for several nonprofit organizations and in retail management. She is currently pursuing the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at East Carolina University.

Hilary Seo poses for a photo

Hilary Seo

Iowa State University
Dean of Library Services

Hilary has served as Dean and interim Dean of Library Services at Iowa State University since 2019. She has emphasized and encouraged the advancement of librarians of color by sharing her own experiences with new professionals in leadership programs, on conference panels, and through leadership roles. She has prioritized initiatives in the library that center on elevating the voices and experiences of marginalized groups, including Tracing Race at Iowa State University, a digital scholarship project. As a third generation Japanese American, she was honored to give the 2022 AAPI celebration keynote at ISU.

Sally Vermaaten poses for a photo

Sally Vermaaten (@SallyVermaaten)

Senior Manager
Archive Solutions at Gates Archive

Sally Vermaaten is the Senior Manager of Archive Solutions at Gates Archive, where she leads a team responsible for technology, preservation of digital and physical collections, digital asset management, digitization and reformatting, and project management. Prior to joining Gates Archive, Sally worked as archivist, technology program manager, and analyst at institutions including New York University, Statistics New Zealand, OCLC Research, and the University of Michigan. Sally received an MSI from the University of Michigan School of Information. Outside of work Sally loves chasing her 2-year-old son around Seattle’s parks.

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