University of Houston Libraries welcomes Maurine Nichols as the new assistant head of Acquisitions and Resource Sharing.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
My goal is to help support the teaching, learning, and research needs of the UH community by maximizing the reach of the library’s collections budget and resource sharing initiatives. There are so many different means and opportunities for procuring and sharing library materials, it can be tricky to home in on what combination of methods works best for a particular organization. I look forward to working with my colleagues to focus on aligning the department’s procurement strategies with the University’s and the Libraries’ strategic goals. I am especially interested in translating the library’s acquisitions methods into avenues for promoting diversity in our collections as well as the publishers and distributors we work with.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I have experience working in public, academic, special, and academic health sciences libraries—in both public and technical services roles. I think the breadth of my experience gives me a well-rounded approach to my work. It also informs how I problem-solve and think through workflows.
What is your first impression of the University?
Everyone has been so welcoming! I love the energy on campus—the UH community is incredibly vibrant. I have also found it inspiring that a commitment to student success truly seems to be at the heart of the University.
Favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie/TV show?
On any given weekend, you might find me camping or rock climbing with my two sons, or watching Netflix and eating too much candy.
A new community in Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (ROAR) allows University of Houston faculty to deposit and share open educational resources (OER).
Open Course Materials gathers openly licensed course materials generated by instructors at UH and creates long-term access to those materials for UH students, including archived resources that would otherwise only be available in Blackboard, the application for online learning.
The UH Institutional Repository, or Cougar ROAR, provides open online access to the research and scholarship produced at the University. By aggregating content reflecting the scholarly, educational, and administrative output of UH from faculty, students, staff, and campus units, the repository preserves and provides global access to the legacy of UH research and scholarly communication.
OER at UH is a student success initiative sponsored by the Office of the Provost that promotes the creation of teaching and learning resources in the public domain or licensed in such a way that anyone may freely use and re-purpose them. OER refer to any tools or materials used to support learning, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, lesson plans, streaming videos, tests, and other digital resources. UH instructors directly support student success by implementing an open or alternative textbook in their courses, with the purpose of eliminating textbook costs and ensuring UH students have free and immediate access to course materials.
“Cougar ROAR is a great resource for anyone who is developing a new course or enhancing or updating an existing course,” said Arlene Ramirez, instructional assistant professor in the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. “Being able to review materials others have found successful in the classroom is beneficial in the design process. More time can be spent on the methodologies that may be used to teach the materials and less time on developing artifacts to solidifying comprehension of the content. Another consideration is that the material on Cougar ROAR provides a different perspective on a topic, and this is especially helpful when one is immersed in developing a course or material. Using open resource materials also allows for expanding materials found on Cougar ROAR or using only specific portions. The flexibility is a great benefit.”
Instructors who are new to teaching will find Cougar ROAR to be a valuable tool in learning how to develop accessible course material. Sharing knowledge is a large part of what makes Cougar ROAR beneficial for faculty.
“The adage ‘sharing is caring’ is true when considering Cougar ROAR,” Ramirez said. “Developing material that can help others in their courses, or using contributions from others that can help in my courses, reflects how much the University cares about providing the best resources to faculty and the best education to our students. Faculty are proud of what they develop to help our students achieve success and sharing that is a way to not only give back but to also help in the professional development of faculty.”
Instructors are encouraged to explore options for creating OER and for making those resources widely available online. UH faculty who have created OER and want to make it accessible in the Open Course Materials community in Cougar ROAR may contact Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator at UH Libraries, to get started. Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received.
The University of Houston Libraries Bayou City Digital Asset Management Systems (BCDAMS) team is pleased to announce the full launch of the new UH Digital Collections (UHDC) repository.
UHDC allows users to search rare and unique digitized and born-digital items from UH Libraries collections. With 66 of the Libraries’ 92 digital collections moved to the UHDC and the Audio/Video Repository, the final phase of the UHDC implementation represents a shift away from the previous platform known as the UH Digital Library.
Improvements include navigation, search/browse, and image viewer enhancements; robust options for access and download restrictions; permalinks across access, preservation, and finding aids; and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for accessibility.
The purpose of the BCDAMS team is to bring a new digital collections experience to all Libraries users by upgrading the previous Digital Library, incorporating digital preservation strategies, and streamlining workflows for digital collection production.
The team stated that “UH Digital Collections supports the UH Strategic Plan goal of nationally competitive research by providing the infrastructure to promote interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research in areas such as energy and sustainability, history, social sciences, and the arts. Digital collections are currently being used in innovative faculty, staff, and student research projects across campus, and we look forward to engaging further with digital humanities and data science researchers through the improvements provided by the new system.”
Christian Kelleher, head of University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, has been awarded the Emily Scott Evans Endowed Library Professorship, effective November 1. The appointment enables UH Libraries to further develop impactful collections that support core University priorities for research, teaching, and learning.
The Emily Scott Evans Endowed Library Professorship was established in 2002 by Ms. Evans’ daughter, Alice Evans Pratt. Emily Scott Evans was a longtime friend of UH Special Collections, and the Evans Professorship was created specifically to support an Endowed Library Professor in the department.
As part of his role, Kelleher also curates the Libraries’ primary source collections in Visual Arts and Energy and Sustainability. Kelleher came to UH in 2015 from the University of Texas at Austin where he was the archivist and assistant head librarian at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection and managed UT Libraries’ Human Rights Documentation Initiative. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from UT. Previously, Kelleher was an archivist and records manager with History Associates Incorporated in Rockville, MD, a development assistant with literary publisher Graywolf Press in Minneapolis, MN, and a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. He currently serves on the boards of CASETA, the Center for Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, and of the Petroleum History Institute. His research interests include community archives post-custodial archives practice, and the intersections thereof.
“Christian personifies excellence in scholarship, service, and collaboration,” said Athena Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “His leadership propels UH Special Collections forward in its mission to preserve and make accessible unique materials for research, and he continues to expand collections that have generative, profound implications for UH Libraries and the scholarly community.”
University of Houston Music Library has a sleek new look. Research, relax, refine, and recharge at the transformed study space located in the Moores School of Music.
Sharing Stories from 1977: Putting the National Women’s Conference on the Map, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research Grant, highlights a multi-year, multi-state, multi-institutional effort, led by Moores professor of history Nancy Beck Young and associate professor of history Leandra Zarnow, to document and analyze the experience and impact of thousands of delegates and observers of the 1977 National Women’s Conference (NWC). The goal of the project is to create an open source digital archive that spurs quantitative and qualitative scholarship as well as public engagement.
An online preview of this project is now live.
The preview introduces the project in anticipation of a debut of the full site on November 21, 2021. On that date, visitors will have access to research on the Texas delegates and presidential appointed commissioners with the remaining research to roll out quarterly starting in late spring 2022. An initial data set will showcase the dynamism of what Sharing Stories from 1977 will grow to be when the project is completed in 2027. Over 1000 UH students, as well as pilot crowdsourcing partners at colleges and universities in Indiana and California, contributed to the project.
The site’s November 21 launch will include:
- Why NWC Matters: featuring a historical timeline and interpretive essays on topics pertaining to the NWC
- Discover NWC Stories: showcasing biographies and oral histories of NWC participants
- Mapping the NWC: presenting searchable demographic data on the lives, advocacy work, and careers of NWC participants
- How to Contribute: featuring resources for NWC participants, students, researchers, archivists, educators, and the general public
“The NEH has recognized Sharing Stories from 1977 as an innovative space for students to do historical research that builds their critical thinking and writing skills while also contributing to our digital public square,” Zarnow said. “Documenting the stories of dynamic and diverse women active in communities across the United States makes clear not only that the 1970s was a high point of civic engagement, but also that the issues advocated for then from child care to LGBT rights continue to matter today.”
The Sharing Stories project received funds from the UH Libraries Digital Research Commons and the Libraries Sponsored Projects program, which offers grants for digital research projects at various stages of development. The DRC cultivates interdisciplinary research and builds communities of practice around digital research methodologies.
Additionally, the Sharing Stories project received funds from the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, partnered with UH Special Collections Carey C. Shuart Women’s Research Collection, and is a flagship project of the UH Center for Public History.
Artworks and archives of prominent Houston artist Dorothy Hood are on display at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections in an exhibit organized by Public Art of the University of Houston System in collaboration with the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST) and UH Libraries.
From the Public Art of UH website: “As an artist, Texas-born Dorothy Hood (1918-2000) was best known for abstract works layered with a variety of materials, motifs and meanings. During her long career, her canvases and works on paper often referenced physical and mental landscapes as well as the connections between inner and outer worlds. Hood’s work was liminal, seamlessly moving between big concepts and the deeply personal.”
Visitors interested in an immersive look at Hood’s personal archives are encouraged to contact head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher.
University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons (DRC) invites all UH graduate and professional students to submit an application for participation in the Spring 2022 Digital Research Institute, a multi-day intensive experience aimed at building the foundational skills and knowledge needed to generate a piece of digital research.
The Institute will take place on Zoom over five days, March 14 – 19, 2022, the week of Spring Break, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily. It is aimed at those who are in the beginning phases of digital research that is intended to form the basis for part of an article or a thesis/dissertation. The 4-6 students who are best positioned to benefit from the experience will be offered a seat in the Institute along with a $500 scholarship, provided by the UH Graduate School and UH Libraries, to be received after successful completion of the experience.
Participants must attend all five days of the Institute plus a virtual interview with DRC staff and “Getting Started” cohort discussion to be scheduled the week before the Institute. Participants will be assigned individualized pre-work and readings that will give them the theoretical and conceptual grounding needed to undertake the work of the Institute and exit the experience with the tangible beginnings of their digital research as well as next steps. Over the Institute, they will attend 3-5 sessions per day delivered by Digital Research Commons staff and other digital research practitioners, each targeted at building technical skills and offering individualized mentorship.
To apply, fill out this form by Friday, November 19, 11:59 pm.
Questions? Contact the staff in the Digital Research Commons: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston community is invited to check out the UH Libraries Makerspace. Located on the first floor of the MD Anderson Library within the South Computer Lab, the Makerspace offers tools and support for anyone working on projects, making objects, or building electronic devices. All students on the UH campus, regardless of major, are encouraged to explore the space and the opportunities it presents for discovery and collaboration.
In-person workshops are happening this semester on topics such as Arduino and sewing. Have an idea for other Makerspace workshop topics? If you represent a student or faculty organization that is interested in collaborating to create a workshop, contact us.
The Makerspace is seeking volunteer instructors or sponsors on the following workshop topics:
- Introduction to AI on PyTorch
- Introduction to Machine Vision on OpenCV
- Raspberry Pi Retro Gaming
- Introduction to Soldering
- Making Origami with a Laser Cutter
- Beginning Embroidery
- Using a Oscilloscope 101
Kit check-out is a popular service available for all UH students and faculty. The Makerspace provides educational kits for learning electronics and microprocessors, including Ardunio, Raspberry Pi, Intel Edison, Beaglebone Black, and most Texas Instruments microprocessors. The kits are perfect for building prototypes and applying electronics concepts. View kit inventory
The UH community has access to Makerspace equipment and technical expertise in fabricating components. One-hour reservations are available for:
- Glowforge laser cutter station
- Electronics workstation
- Sewing/serger station
Spiderbot is an Arduino-controlled autonomous robot that wanders around the MD Anderson Library. Throughout the month of October, Spiderbot is filled with the Halloween spirit and features a pumpkin stuffed with candy for students to enjoy.
This month, visitors to the University of Houston MD Anderson Library will notice a suite of banners displayed in the atrium. Known as The Banner Project and created by Houston activist Sara Fernandez, the pop-up exhibit features pivotal points in Houston’s LGBT history from the 1930s to present day.
2021 marks the fifth year that UH Libraries has partnered with Fernandez to host the banners, which were produced by graphic designer Kirk Baxter. A new addition includes Houston Splash Galveston (1988), bringing the total banner count to 47.
The Banner Project is on display in conjunction with October 11, which is National Coming Out Day.