University of Houston Libraries stands in opposition to the racism and systemic injustices that shape the lives of Black people in the United States. Black lives matter. We grieve the death of George Floyd, who belonged to the Third Ward and Screwed Up Click communities that we have been honored to work with in building the UH Houston Hip Hop Research Collection. We grieve for Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others lost to racist and police-inflicted violence. We share in the sorrow and anger of our community and stand in solidarity with protests against police brutality. This statement affirms our commitment to equity, inclusion, diversity, and anti-racist practices and our pledge to use our skills and resources to advance the sharing and production of knowledge for racial justice.
University of Houston Libraries employs a number of students in various departments. While library facilities remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to recognize and celebrate the work of a few of our outstanding students employed during the spring 2020 semester who have contributed to the Libraries’ mission of advancing student success, knowledge creation and preservation, and globally competitive research.
As a Learning Commons studio technician, Lopez records, mixes, and masters songs, produces instrumentals, and creates arrangements. Lopez serves as president of the new and upcoming music organization on campus, Astro Music Foundation.
“The creation and development of Astro Music Foundation is currently one of my biggest projects. After working with various artists and expanding my network since I first started my journey in the music industry, I brought my entire network together to create AMF and from that I plan on creating one of the greatest record labels the city of Houston has ever seen. Some of my biggest career goals for 2020 include getting a gold or platinum plaque and working in the music business full time.”
Mathematics – Option in Mathematical Finance; Minor: Economics
In her role in Special Collections, Nafaryeh files documentation of artifact collection data, trains other student workers, pulls and re-shelves archival material and books within closed stacks, and takes care of front desk duties.
“This is my first job as a student worker and I couldn’t ask for a better one. I’ve gained self-confidence, people skills, and leadership abilities.”
Minor: Quantitative Social Sciences
Palomares works in Special Collections with archivist Julie Grob, assisting with projects related to the DJ Screw Hip Hop collection, cleaning vinyl records, or boxing rare and special books that are in delicate conditions.
“Working with Julie and the rare materials at Special Collections has shown me how lucky we are as UH students to have such materials available to us. I’ve learned to take advantage of all the resources that are available to me. As for career goals, I wish to continue with my education in graduate school, either focusing on clinical psychology or cognitive neuroscience. My ultimate career goal would be to work at a research center or hospital, to continue the advancement of our understanding of the human brain.”
Krista Renée Pape
Soprano Master of Music, Vocal Performance and Pedagogy
Some of Pape’s duties at the Music Library include recovering old books through reconstruction, repair, and sewing, maintaining study and work spaces, and creating fun and interactive displays that help patrons learn and get to know library collections.
“I’ve worked for the library for two years. My favorite part of the job is sewing new scores before placing them on the shelves for the patrons to peruse. It’s a sneak peek at new product, while also holding the power to the literal binding and spine of the book. It’s like doing book surgery!”
Interim dean of University of Houston Libraries Marilyn Myers is pleased to announce promotions in rank for the following librarians, effective September 1, 2020:
- Veronica Arellano Douglas, instruction coordinator, Liaison Services
- Wenli Gao, data services librarian, Liaison Services
- Melody Karle, resource description and management coordinator, Metadata and Digitization Services
- Christian Kelleher, head of Special Collections
- Amanda Watson, director of the O’Quinn Law Library
- Andrew Weidner, digital operations coordinator, Metadata and Digitization Services
- Claude Willan, director of digital humanities services, Digital Research Services
- Nora Dethloff, head of Research Materials Procurement
University of Houston student employees play a vital role in the successful operation of the University Libraries. Employed by virtually every department, these student employees staff the Libraries’ circulation desks, digitize unique and rare materials from Special Collections, and make outstanding contributions to the Libraries’ mission to “advance student success, knowledge creation and preservation, and globally competitive research.”
As the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic came into sharp focus, the University of Houston moved classes online. Shortly thereafter, campus facilities, including the Libraries, closed, moving all services online. To keep our typically on-site student staff gainfully employed along with adding to the strength of our online collections, members of the Libraries’ Special Collections department and Metadata and Digitization Services department’s Digitization Unit began to plan for remote work opportunities.
Two projects, both related to the transcription of archival audiovisual materials, were ideal for remote work. The first project addresses the hundreds of digitized archival films and videos on the Libraries’ Audio/Video Repository. Though well-described, these videos lacked closed captioning, making them inaccessible to deaf and hard of hearing researchers. The second project, utilizing the expertise of bilingual student employees, will see the creation of searchable transcripts for a collection of oral history recordings documenting the fight for bilingual education legislation in Texas.
Within a week of campus closure, project managers developed training materials, conducted a small pilot project, and began working with 25 students from six units across the Libraries. As of this writing, five weeks into the project, students have completed captions for all of the This Is Our Home documentary interview collection, chronicling Houston’s Riverside neighborhood. These closed captioned videos will soon be available online.
We are thrilled with the success of this project and look forward to providing increased access to hundreds more of the Libraries’ resources in the coming months.
Thanks to Emily Vinson for contributing this story.
Dorothy Zayatz Baker and Lawrence J. Baker were inspired to give to UH Libraries.
My husband and I believe that the library is the soul of the university. A university’s library serves every department, every professor, and every student—from the first-semester freshmen to the doctoral candidates. This is why we choose to support the University of Houston Libraries.
Throughout my career at the University of Houston I benefited enormously from the team of student workers assigned to a wide range of library departments, from interlibrary loan and reserves to tech support. They were smart, skilled, and always eager to help—a joy to work with. What is more, their choice to work on campus at the academic center of the university speaks to their commitment to their studies and their school.
To reward these fine students my husband and I created the Dorothy Z. Baker Endowment for Academic Excellence, which provides an annual scholarship for a library student worker who excels in the classroom and in their work in the library. This endowment is both professional and personal for me. Of course, I wanted to express my gratitude to the library student workers who helped me so often in my research projects.
Also, the award is in remembrance of my own introduction to academic life. I came from a modest family with no chance of attending college without a scholarship, so I was grateful beyond all measure to receive a generous award from my undergraduate college—with one of the conditions being an on-campus job. After a semester of washing dishes in the dining hall, I could not believe my good fortune when I was offered a job in the library, a place that quickly became my academic home. There I was surrounded by books, crossed paths with my professors, and truly began my academic career. I see myself in today’s University of Houston Library undergraduate student workers, and I want to encourage them just as I was encouraged.
Dorothy Zayatz Baker is Professor Emerita of the Department of English at the University of Houston. During her career at the university, she published five books and many articles on poetry, Early American Literature, and literary theory.
Lawrence J. Baker holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and enjoyed a thirty-year career at ExxonMobil, largely in upstream research.
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce that it has received a $348,751 grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Program to support the Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization and Access Project. The grant will allow for the creation of detailed archival finding aids, digitization, transcription, description, online publication, and an online exhibit documenting over thirty years of Houston-area radio and television history created for and by local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans communities.
Four series — After Hours, Lesbian & Gay Voices, Wilde ‘n’ Stein, and TV Montrose — are included in the project, totaling over 5,000 hours of content not heard or seen publicly since its initial broadcast decades ago. The recordings are currently inaccessible to researchers, and due to fragile audiovisual tape formats, are at significant risk of loss due to deterioration.
The unique audio and video recordings are drawn from UH Libraries Special Collections and through a partnership with the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. (GCAM)
Judy Reeves of GCAM, the project’s primary partner, said that “On September 6, 1987, Jimmy Carper, a gay activist/volunteer in Houston, TX popped a cassette into the recorder and taped the inaugural broadcast of a show called After Hours on KPFT 90.1 FM because he realized it was groundbreaking for the local GLBT community. He recorded the show for nearly 30 years until his death in 2014. He had no idea that the tapes would be a significant part of his and the communities’ vast history. We are grateful to Jimmy Carper and to UH for having the foresight to preserve, collate and make available the thousands of hours of GLBT history.”
Whitney Cox, lecturer at Rowan University and member of the project’s advisory board, said “I’m thrilled that this will not only preserve some of the key pieces of Houston’s queer history, but that it’ll make them accessible to so many people.”
The project will be managed by Emily Vinson, audiovisual archivist, and Bethany Scott, coordinator of digital projects. Grant funds will allow for the hiring of three project staff members and is slated for completion in 2023.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.
Thanks to Emily Vinson and Bethany Scott for contributing this story.
Elizabeth Kennedy, former director of advancement for University of Houston Libraries, was interviewed on Houston P.A. about the UH open educational resources program. Listen
Veronica Arellano Douglas, instruction coordinator at University of Houston Libraries, has been accepted to the competitive Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP). Arellano Douglas is one of 24 fellows chosen for the 2020-2021 cohort.
The LCDP is a yearlong program to prepare mid-career librarians from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to take on leadership roles in their careers and in the profession at large.
As instruction coordinator, Arellano Douglas focuses on the teaching and learning of information literacy. Her research interests include critical information literacy and librarianship, feminist pedagogy, labor issues in librarianship, and relational-cultural theory. Arellano Douglas received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of North Texas and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University. She was an American Library Association Spectrum Scholar and Emerging Leader.
Melody Karle, resource description and management coordinator at University of Houston Libraries, is the author of the forthcoming A Social Media Survival Guide: How to Use the Most Popular Platforms and Protect Your Privacy, published by Rowman & Littlefield.
Read the Booklist review (subscription).
UPDATE March 11, 2020: Data Visualization Day 2020 is postponed until further notice.
The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute and University of Houston Libraries will co-host the UH Annual Data Visualization Day 2020 to be held on March 16 at MD Anderson Library. Register
The event will feature presentations and demos on data visualization and interpretation in all fields of research and academia. Students may enter a data visualization contest.
Data Visualization Day 2020 Schedule
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion
- Claudia Neuhauser, associate vice president for research and technology transfer and director of the UH HPE Data Science Institute
- Marilyn Myers, interim dean of UH Libraries
The Future of Data Visualization
Lindita Camaj, UH Valenti School of Communication
Training Astronauts Using Hardware In-the-Loop Simulations and VR
Angelica Garcia, NASA
The Human Body Project and the Anatomage Table
Lisa Ostrin, UH College of Optometry
Interpretation of Machine Learning with Visualization and HPE AI Solutions
Soumyendu Sarkar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The Sampled City – Visualizing Granularity and Connection in Health
Dan Price, UH Honors College and HPE Data Science Institute
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Demonstration of Visualization Tools
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion
Introduction to Tableau
MD Anderson Library, Basement Level, Room 10-F