“Time Is On My Side” published

Heather Fox, one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic archivists I know (and straight-up awesome person), and I wrote an article based on our presentation on streamlining workflows for the 2014 Ohio Valley Group of Technical Service Librarians annual conference. It was published in the most recent issue of Kentucky Libraries (v. 79, no. 1, p. 20-23), journal of the Kentucky Library Association, and can be seen here: “Time Is On My Side: Harnessing the Power of Automation for Efficient Archival Workflows“. Watch out for that closing sentence. It still makes me groan.

2014 Archives Leadership Institute

The Archives Leadership Institute | ALI@Luther

I finally finished unpacking and sorting through my materials from ALI14. As I was placing notes, binders, and books on my  shelves, I can’t help but reflect upon my week at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. In fact, I haven’t stopped thinking about the information and ideas shared, people I met, conversations had, and how ALI has already affected my work this first week back.

The evening before I left, I told my boyfriend that I wanted to spend my time at ALI discussing the positive things happening at the University of Kentucky Libraries: successful projects, engaged and supportive faculty and staff, and opportunities to expand and enhance our services. Thankfully, our incredible facilitator, Luther Snow, spent our first day teaching us about asset-based thinking and generative language. Even though I’m a fairly positive and empathetic person to start with (as provided by my StrengthFinder test results), I’ve already put Luther’s tools and techniques to good use.

The ALI mentors and instructors also left an incredibly strong impresson, as did the other participants– I have never been around so many intelligent and passionate archivists! We spent almost every waking moment talking about the profession and it never grew tiresome. I learned so much from sharing our experiences, successes, and failures. I’m so thrilled to have the ALI14 cohort, mentors and faculty as part of my “archives family.”

And As Beth Myers so aptly said during our last evening together, “I expected to leave ALI as a better archivist, but I left a better person.”

Image courtesy of Luther Snow, 2014.

Conference swag being put to good use!


Bittersweet Discovery

Earlier this week, an extended family member found the letter sent to my great-grandparents notifying them of their son Leo’s death in the European theater of WWII. The letter is certainty a treasured family document but also a reminder of a very sad and difficult time. We are lucky, however, to have received some details of the circumstances of Leo’s death. Many other families were not as fortunate.


UKNow article on Archives Leadership Institute 2014

Read here!

60 degree day at Gray’s Arch, Red River Gorge

60 degree day at Gray's Arch, Red River Gorge

Photograph by Greg Abernathy

Good Things Come in 3

(…or I’ve been too busy* to post)

This winter has been pretty fantastic. Most folks already know how much I love the cold and snow, so after two winters in Charleston, South Carolina, I’ve been reveling in all that nature has dropped on Kentucky. The crunch of snow underfoot on a still evening is one of my favorite sounds.


Above: “Students lying in the snow, 1960” from the Univ. of Kentucky general photo prints collection

In November, I received word that the “Metadata and Digital Preservation:  How much do we really need?” panel discussion I was invited to chair was accepted for the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting of CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA. The abstract is below. Panelists consist of Kelly Eubank (NC Dept. of Cultural Resources), Mark Evans (Tesslla), Andrea Goethals (Harvard Library), and Mark Meyers (KY Dept. for Libraries and Archives).

Digital objects are not simply the files themselves but also the metadata that accompany them. But how much metadata, and which metadata, is actually necessary to preserve and provide long-term access to digital objects? This is a practical and important question given the resources required to process, store, maintain, and index large amounts of metadata; plus migrate to new forms and systems over time.

This session will examine the issues associated with determining what metadata to include in the Archival Information Package. The speakers will outline challenges of applying different metadata schemas (Preservica’s XIP, qualified Dublin Core, METS, and in-house cataloging systems) to diverse metadata sources (output from various format tools or supplied by content contributors). They will discuss how much of the PREMIS metadata is essential and offer a case study highlighting the challenges of merging file/folder-based descriptions (in-house file server and Preservica) with item-level systems (DSpace & CONTENTdm).



In late May, Heather Fox (University of Louisville), Heather Stone (Filson Historical Society), and I will present at the Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians annual conference on streamlining workflows.

“Streamlining workflows: Transforming 20th century metadata processes for 21st century access”

In the 21st century, archivists strive to meet user expectations that their collections be digitally accessible and often must contend with legacy metadata processes and practices in order to meet these expectations. Archivists from three Kentucky institutions will describe strategies they have implemented to streamline these processes and share helpful tools and ideas that anyone can use.



And No. 3 is both unexpected and incredibly exciting. Friday brought the news that I was selected for the Archives Leadership Institute 2014 cohort. ALI is a week-long program “for emerging archival leaders to develop necessary theories, skills, and knowledge.” There is also a practicum project component, for which I will be developing a user studies and assessment of the Kentucky Digital Library and ExploreUK. I’m so thrilled to have this opportunity! Friends and colleagues who participated in past cohorts have nothing but positive things to say about the ALI program.

ali banner photoshop 2



*I finally took the plunge and bought a Kitchenaid stand mixer off Craigslist. It’s fantastic! Biscuits, pies, and loaves of bread now populate 75% of my kitchen counter space.  


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.