University of Houston Libraries and UH Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute are pleased to welcome Dr. Bryan Carter to campus. On Tuesday, March 5, Carter will deliver the 2024 DH@UH keynote, Reimagining a Collaborative, Sustainable Student-Focused Digital Humanities Initiative, in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library at 11 AM. The campus community is invited to attend the keynote as well as a post-talk reception with Carter in the Digital Research Commons, room 266C. RSVP
Carter received his PhD at the University of Missouri-Columbia and is currently the Director of the Center for Digital Humanities and an Associate Professor in Africana Studies, at the University of Arizona. He specializes in African American literature of the 20th Century with a primary focus on the Harlem Renaissance. His research also focuses on Digital Humanities/Africana Studies. He has published numerous articles on his doctoral project, Virtual Harlem, an immersive representation of a portion of Harlem, NY as it existed during the 1920s Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance. Dr. Carter’s research centers on how the use of traditional and advanced interactive and immersive technologies changes the dynamic within the learning space.
The keynote is part of the 2024 DH@UH program, an initiative of the Digital Humanities Core facility, a partnership between UH Libraries and UH Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute. This year’s program includes a student digital research showcase on March 25.
In an effort to better align with our mission and focus, University of Houston Libraries will soon decommission a virtual software service following a careful review of cost, usage, and maintenance factors.
By the end of May 2024, VMWare Horizon will be removed, resulting in cost savings. VMWare Horizon gave UH students, faculty, and staff access to a range of virtual desktop applications while on campus or via UH VPN, including Affinity Suite, SolidWorks, and SPSS to name a few, but usage has been low over the past year at 1.77%. Additionally, the virtual software infrastructure requires dedicated, continual technical maintenance and user support at a level which UH Libraries cannot sustain with current resources.
UH Libraries recognizes the potential effects this decommission may have on UH users, and conversations with identified stakeholders have been initiated to empower them in finding alternative solutions for their respective communities. UH Libraries will continue to engage in thoughtful assessment to improve processes, services, and programs for the benefit of the UH community.
Christina H. Gola has been named University of Houston Libraries interim dean. Since 2021, Gola has served as associate dean for Organizational Development, Learning, and Talent (ODLT) with an integral role in strategic planning and fiscal management. She has been with UH Libraries for 15 years and was promoted to full librarian in 2021. She has served on UH Faculty Senate in leadership capacities, has partnered with Faculty Engagement and Development, and has collaborated with colleagues in the Provost’s Cabinet in their shared enterprise-wide roles. During the Libraries’ 2021 organizational restructure, Gola assumed leadership of facilities and information technology Libraries teams in addition to human resources and organizational development. She is also leading the “Reimagined Libraries” endeavor to enhance spaces and leverage campus partnerships for the benefit of our students and scholars.
Gola is a recognized leader and mentor in the profession on a national scale, having served in numerous influential roles such as the competitive Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership Fellows program and president of the Texas Library Association (TLA). She was named as a University of North Texas Department of Information Science Outstanding Alumni in 2021.
University of Houston Libraries is now accepting applications for the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP). Since its launch in 2018, ATIP has helped over 18,500 UH students save approximately $2.5 million in textbook costs. Now in its sixth year, the program is expanding to support projects across two categories of engagement with open and affordable learning materials: textbook affordability and open educational practices.
- For Textbook Affordability proposals, instructors can receive awards to replace a commercial textbook in their courses by adopting, modifying, or creating open educational resources (OER) or no-cost alternative resources, such as library licensed or freely available resources. Awards in this category will range from $1,000 to $5,000 based on the estimated cost savings for students, projected number of students impacted, type of alternative textbook proposed, overall feasibility of the proposal, and scope and type of project proposed.
- For Open Educational Practices proposals, instructors can receive funds for either creating openly licensed learning objects, or replacing a traditional assignment with a renewable assignment. Awards in this category will range from $500 to $2,000 based on the project goals, overall feasibility of the proposal, cost of course materials, and scope and type of project proposed.
The deadline for ATIP applications is Friday, March 22, 2024. Instructors are encouraged to apply by March 1 to receive feedback and the opportunity to revise and resubmit their application if desired. Group applicants are welcome in either category.
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources in the public domain or that have been licensed in such a way that allows anyone to freely use and re-purpose them. OER can serve as alternatives to expensive traditional textbooks and learning materials. When faculty shift to freely accessible and openly licensed teaching and learning tools, more students will have access to course materials. In addition, OER materials can be customized to directly meet learner needs. Open educational practices (OEP) leverage OER and/or open pedagogy to empower students as knowledge creators, center the student experience, and create inclusive learning environments. OEP can take the form of renewable assignments, in which students are invited to create openly licensed resources so that others can freely use, adapt, and build upon them. Renewable assignments enable students to create meaningful work that can live on and continue to evolve outside of the classroom.
ATIP aligns with the University’s strategic goal of providing a top tier, inclusive educational experience to all UH students. By removing additional costs associated with commercial course materials or subscription services, ATIP improves access to affordable education.
Interested applicants are encouraged to attend an upcoming information session and other professional development opportunities to learn about the incentive program and the benefits of open education.
Faculty and instructors may also make an appointment with the Open Education Services Department to discuss implementing open textbooks in the classroom and the support provided through the incentive program.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Athena N. Jackson (’97), dean of University of Houston Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair, has been named Norman and Armena Powell university librarian (UL) at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library, effective March 1. In her new role, Jackson will serve as chief executive officer of the UCLA library system, providing strategic vision for and operational leadership of the libraries, comprising the Charles E. Young Research Library; Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library; Powell Library; Southern Regional Library Facility; six special libraries; a data science center; and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Jackson’s appointment as UL marks a return to UCLA, where she served as director of library special collections before departing in 2021 to become UH Libraries’ dean. During her time in Houston, Jackson led administrative direction and policy development of the Libraries with an annual budget of $21 million, while providing support and guidance to over 125 librarians and staff. Her priorities included programmatic and development leadership, as well as strengthening access and inclusion for all Libraries users through collaboration with faculty, scholars, staff, students, donors, and the Houston community.
Building upon her rich background in rare and archival collections, Jackson has been active in open scholarship dialogues at state and national levels, representing UH Libraries with key member organizations and external constituencies including Association of Research Libraries, Greater Western Library Alliance, HathiTrust, Council on Library and Information Resources, Digital Library Federation, and Texas Digital Library.
2023 was a year of partnerships, prioritizing, and paving the way for a reimagined University of Houston Libraries.
The professional and scholarly engagement of our librarians, staff, and student employees contributed to the University’s goal of becoming a top 50 public university. As plans for a robust near future are activated, UH Libraries remains collectively committed to our mission of enhancing student learning, participating in the development of scholarly research and creative output, and promoting discovery of information and knowledge from diverse and relevant resources.
Here are a few of our 2023 highlights:
- In collaboration with the UH department of African American Studies, hosted an exhibit, Forged by Protest: Student Organization Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) and the Genesis of the UH African American Studies Program, which was curated by Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) scholar Saron Regassa
- Curated and made accessible new digital collections, including the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization Project, Diana Foundation Oral Histories, Pecan-Shellers’ Strike Documents, and Digitized Theses and Dissertations Project
- In collaboration with faculty member Elizabeth Coen, PhD, planned a reimagined co-curricular experience for 29 theatre students that involved an assessment of playbills and marketing materials from theatre productions of the mid-to-late 20th century
- Received an anonymous gift of $135,000 to support the expansion of co-curricular student success
- In partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards, hosted Undergraduate Research Day, an annual celebration of undergraduate research and scholarship
- Hosted the 23rd annual Library Excellence Awards, supported through the generosity of the John P. McGovern Foundation, to celebrate librarians and staff who bring a high level of leadership, collegiality, and care to their roles
- In partnership with UH Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute, led the first UH faculty cohort through Badge 1: Foundations of Digital Humanities (DH) Project Development, a component of the inaugural Micro-credential in the DH program
- In collaboration with UH Center for Public History, hosted Agents of Change: Celebrating Innovation at the UH Centennial exhibit opening | photos
- Collaborated with artist and UH graduate student Erica Reed Lee who curated Zine Territory, a pop-up exhibit featuring zines from the Zine Fest Houston Records collection preserved at UH Libraries Special Collections that was on display at Blaffer Art Museum in conjunction with UH Zine Week
- Hosted the National Library of Medicine (NLM) traveling exhibition Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives/Enfrentando La Violencia: mejorando la vida de las mujeres
- For the seventh year, hosted the Banner Project, a pop-up exhibit featuring pivotal moments in Houston’s LGBT history from the 1930s to present day and created by Houston activists Sara Fernandez, JD Doyle, and Kirk Baxter
- Awarded UH instructors who applied to adopt, adapt, or create open educational resources (OER) in the fifth round of the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP)
- Began the MD Anderson Library collections and space project, signaling the first phase of preparation toward building the Digital Humanities Core facility on floor 7 in partnership with the Division of Research
- In partnership with Houston philanthropist Irma Brindis, hosted Un Brindis por University of Houston, a festive event benefiting the mission of UH Libraries and Public Art of the University of Houston System
University of Houston will be closed for winter break on Monday, December 25 through Monday, January 1. During winter break, MD Anderson Library will be open on Tuesday, December 26 through Saturday, December 30, 10 AM – 5 PM each day. During this time, the Service Desk will not be staffed, and services for visitors will be limited. Self check-out of materials will be available.
Security staff will open and close the building, and will be on-site during open hours. Visitors without a Cougar Card will be required to sign in with a valid, government-issued ID at the Security Desk.
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to welcome Lauren Gottlieb-Miller as the associate dean for Special Libraries and Preservation.
Please describe your role. How does your portfolio align with the student success and research priorities of the University?
My portfolio at UH Libraries includes departments of Special Collections and Preservation and Reformatting housed within MD Anderson Library, the Music Library housed within the Moores School of Music, and the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art Library housed within the College of Architecture building.
My role is to provide strategic oversight and leadership to these units stewarding, preserving, and providing access to some of the richest collections of primary source materials across formats in our campus and across our region. Together with my talented colleagues working within Special Libraries, Special Collections, and Preservation and Reformatting, we work collaboratively across the University and greater region to promote student success through engagement with our collections and to meet the research demands of our high-performing faculty and their students.
Please share a bit about your background and research interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I received my BA in English Literature with a minor in Studio Art and Printmaking, and received my MA in Library and Information Studies, Art Librarianship Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. At Madison I also began a PhD in the History of the Book and Print Culture. Most recently I was the director of the Library and Archives at the Menil Collection, an institution I worked for just under 8 years, prior to joining UH Libraries this November.
My research interests focus on the history of the book, particularly the book as object in both the historical sense and in our present moment, which informs my approach to both stewardship of special collections and specialized print materials. This also informs my approach to strategically managing these materials within research environments that are well served by open access and e-preferred acquisitions models. I am most interested in the same things that drew me to the profession in the first place: how can we create welcoming and meaningful opportunities to engage our audiences with the stories and histories that special collections materials offer us, regardless of format, while sustainably preserving them for future audiences.
What are one or two things you’d like faculty and students to know about engaging with special libraries and primary source materials?
I want faculty and students at the University of Houston to know that these materials are here for them, not as a secondary mission but as the mission of the four units my position oversees. As a first-generation college student, it took me a long time to feel empowered enough to ask for access to special collections and archival materials, as they didn’t feel like they were there for me and the reading rooms they’re often held in can feel very intimidating. What I found back then, and what I want our communities served by UH Libraries to know now, is that these materials are here to support your inquiry regardless of what stage you are in. We are here for you!
A festive event benefiting the mission of University of Houston Libraries and Public Art of the University of Houston System was held recently at the home of Irma Brindis, a Houston philanthropist and real estate developer. Guests of “Un Brindis por University of Houston” enjoyed an elegant celebration of Día de los Muertos to support cultural archival collections for engagement, research, and learning.
The Honorable Paula Mendoza and Mexico City-based sculptor Javier Marín were the evening’s honored guests. Venezuelan-born tenor Jonathan Sandoval delivered the evening’s vibrant musical entertainment, while guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner prepared by renowned chef Beatriz Martines, who hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
“Un Brindis por University of Houston” came to fruition through the generosity of Irma Brindis, who is active in chairing and hosting fundraising events for a wide range of causes. She began supporting the mission of UH Libraries in 2018, advancing student success and research productivity.
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the 2023 recipient cohort of the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP).
UH instructors applied for an award ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 that would go toward implementation of an open or alternative textbook in a future course. This program incentivizes faculty members to adopt, adapt, or create open educational resources (OER), or use a combination of freely available or library sponsored resources, to replace required traditional textbook(s) and other high-cost learning materials in their courses.
Awards were granted based on the number of students impacted, projected cost savings for students, the type of alternative textbook, and the feasibility of successful implementation.
In this fifth round of ATIP, the application process prioritized new applicants, as well as proposals involving adoption, adaptation, and authorship of open educational resources.
2023 ATIP winners are:
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences:
- Jose Angel Hernandez – HIST 2367: History of Mexico
- Lindsey Browne – PSYC 2319: Intro to Social Psychology
- Melissa Markofski, Seth Rinehart, and Justin Crane – KIN 4370: Exercise Testing and Prescription
Cullen College of Engineering:
- Mingjian Wen – CHEE 6397: Data-driven Materials Discovery
- Lu Gao – CNST 6308: Data Analysis in Construction Management
Cullen College of Technology:
- Ricardo Lent – ELET 4309: Object-oriented Applications Programming
College of Education:
- Carrie Cutler – CUIN 7397: Play in Early Childhood Mathematics
Projected savings for students in the first year of implementing alternative textbooks in these courses is $82,000, benefiting an estimated 1,000 students.
ATIP was created in 2017 as part of the University’s initiative to mitigate the high cost of textbooks for students. Since then, more UH faculty have been empowered to provide an inclusive, accessible educational experience for UH students through OER.
Special thanks to the members of the 2023 ATIP Review Committee: Veronica Arellano Douglas, Stacie Louie, Sadegh Kazemi, Kate McNally Carter, and Ariana Santiago.