UH Libraries News

2020 Library Excellence Awards

University of Houston Libraries honored outstanding librarians and staff at an online awards ceremony this week. Interim dean of Libraries Marilyn Myers commended not only this year’s award recipients but all Libraries staff for being adaptable and thriving in this period of great challenge to health and safety.

The Dean’s Library Advocate Award was presented to Joujou Zebdaoui, director of minor planned projects in UH Facilities Planning and Construction. This award recognizes an employee who has worked closely with the Libraries during the past year, and who has made a significant contribution to the success of the Libraries. Zebdaoui facilitated multiple long-term construction projects for the Libraries. She praised the great work of her team in her acceptance of the award.

The Student Achievement Award recipients are Corey Sherrard and Jess Spiehler. Sherrard is creative, dependable, and brings passion to work every day. Over the past three years, Sherrard has grown into the role of lead producer in the Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio and assists with the training of incoming studio technicians. Spiehler is a natural leader who is a driving force behind one of UH Libraries’ efforts to support research productivity and make that research globally available. Spiehler collaborates with colleagues to develop and streamline workflows, and routinely organizes new projects.

The McGovern Outstanding Student Awards went to Alys Garcia Carrera and Marus Jenkins, who work in tandem to push forward UH Libraries’ efforts to become a national leader in LGBT library collections. They work effectively with both Special Collections curators and community partners to preserve, catalog, and engage students with UH LGBT collections, and have made monumental efforts at organizing thousands of issues of local, regional, and national publications. 

The McGovern Staff Rookie of the Year is Stefanie Florencio, an incredibly fast learner who has acclimated quickly and become both an integral member of the team and an important asset to the Libraries. She has fostered very good relationships with administrators and staff across campus and throughout the Libraries, and is able to juggle multiple responsibilities with discretion, diplomacy, sound judgment, and efficiency. 

Reid Boehm is the Librarian Rookie of the year. She has developed relationships with colleagues across campus and in the Libraries, establishing herself as an effective collaborator, and contributing insight and knowledge to several ongoing projects. Boehm made immediate contributions to the Libraries’ research services initiatives, and is building a research data management program to strategically address identified needs and support existing research productivity efforts.

The second Librarian Rookie of the Year is Ian Knabe, who demonstrates high integrity, creativity, and strong librarianship on a daily basis. Knabe has strong knowledge of electronic resources, contract management, and vendor relations, and his problem-solving acumen has been in constant use as the Libraries worked through many challenges related to the system migration to Alma in the past year. 

This year’s Outstanding Group is Research Materials Procurement. The members of this department have worked actively with the Alma migration, including new monographic processes with Metadata and Digitization Services, and with Information and Access Services on circulation workflows during the transition.

Ariana Santiago is this year’s Trailblazer Award recipient. Santiago took on the challenge of coming into a new, high-stakes position as open educational resources coordinator, one that required creative thinking, innovation, flexibility, and strong leadership skills. She has moved forward the Libraries’ strategic plan goal of being a leader in student success by making educational resources more affordable for students, particularly through the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP). 

The inaugural recipient of the Dean Dana C. Rooks and Dr. Charles W. Rooks Diversity Award is Andrea Malone, a voice for all employees related to diversity and inclusion. Malone played a key role in developing the Libraries’ Plan for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion and served as the first chair of the Libraries’ Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI), working tirelessly for three years to get the committee launched and moving in the right direction, in support of broad equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. 

Chris Galloway is the winner of the Staff Achievement award. Galloway is known as a great resource and a great person who continually goes the extra mile, and then goes even further to make things better. During the Alma migration, Galloway quickly learned the software and became a point of contact because of his strength in using the software. He took on learning Alma modules, administrative tools, and analytics even though it was not required; he did it because it helped others and the library to adapt during the migration. 

Edith Villasenor Cruz is the next Staff Achievement recipient. She is known for making the Libraries a joyful place to work for both colleagues and patrons while developing programs that engender student success. She oversees a robust schedule of pop-up libraries and has implemented many other innovative programs this year, including establishing a collection of circulating non-consumable art supplies and creating many student outreach events that remind students that the library is a space for inspiration and delight as well as research. 

This year’s Outstanding Staff Award recipient is Yesenia Umana. She is not only extremely effective at her job, but is also a true pleasure to be around. Umana is an ideal colleague, always dependable, patient, helpful, and generous with her time, and has quickly become the go-to person for all things finance. She was also an active participant in the Alma migration, and played an integral role in not one but two departments.

Veronica Arellano Douglas is the recipient of the Librarian Achievement Award. She enjoys a reputation as a rigorous scholar, passionate educator, and advocate for centering labor and care in library practice. Douglas has an active, robust, and highly regarded research agenda, having authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and presentations on topics such as relational-cultural theory in librarianship, the gendered divide of labor in libraries, and the emotional labor performed by instruction librarians. She has also made significant contributions to the profession at the national level, and was recently selected to be a member of the 2020-21 cohort of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership and Career Development Program.

The next recipient of the Librarian Achievement Award is Wenli Gao, known for being an effective collaborator and strong leader, one who has gone above and beyond her core responsibilities to build a data services program from the ground up. Gao has a strong body of scholarship, having published seven journal articles in the last two years and actively presenting at conferences both local and national. Gao was elected vice-president/president-elect of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) and received the CALA President’s Recognition Award for her exceptional work and leadership chairing several CALA committees.

This year’s McGovern Outstanding Librarian recipient is Kerry Creelman. She has been a leader at UH Libraries for more than ten years, and is known for her strong voice, strategic thinking, and collaborations with departments and librarians throughout the library. A long-standing faculty senator, Creelman has raised the visibility of UH Libraries to faculty, served as chair of the Undergraduate Subcommittee, and has twice been elected to the Faculty Governance Committee. Creelman also has a strong record of service in the profession going back many years, including a prestigious appointment as chair of the University Libraries Section of Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and current appointment to the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Committee. 

The 2020 Library Excellence Awards committee members are Emily Deal, J Fisher, Ian Knabe, Tim McGittigan, Alex Simons, Shawn Vaillancourt, and Christin Zepeda.

Data Visualization Day 2020

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

UH Annual Data Visualization Day 2020

UH Annual Data Visualization Day 2020

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

9 a.m.
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion
Opening Remarks

  • 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

9:15 a.m.
The Future of Data Visualization
Lindita Camaj, UH Valenti School of Communication

9:45 a.m.
Training Astronauts Using Hardware In-the-Loop Simulations and VR
Angelica Garcia, NASA
   
10:30 a.m.
The Human Body Project and the Anatomage Table
Lisa Ostrin, UH College of Optometry

11:00 a.m.
Interpretation of Machine Learning with Visualization and HPE AI Solutions
Soumyendu Sarkar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

11:30 a.m.
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

Register for Data Visualization Day 2020

New Exhibit: TX Women, Music, and Feminism

Celebrating the independent spirit and expression of Texas women, musicians, and feminists, the archives in the exhibit complement the November 18 TX Women in Rock panel, which is part of the Barbara Karkabi Living Archives Series.

TX Women, Music, and Feminism

TX Women, Music, and Feminism

One case features items donated to UH Special Collections from Mydolls (1978-present), a women-led, post-punk band from Houston, Texas. Other materials include second-wave and anarcha-feminist publications from the 1970s, originally exhibited at UH Libraries by collection donor Nancy Agin Dunnahoe of Wild Dog Archive.

The exhibit will be on display for a limited time on the second floor of MD Anderson Library near Special Collections.

“I AM A MAN” Exhibit Extended

An exhibit featuring the work of eminent photojournalist Ernest C. Withers (1922-2007), “I AM A MAN,” now on display at the University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library, has been extended through November 15.

"I AM A MAN" exhibit

“I AM A MAN” exhibit

Withers was a freelance photojournalist based in Memphis, Tennessee who documented six decades of American culture. His photos appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Tri-State Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, Jet, Ebony, and others, and have been exhibited globally.

While his body of work, estimated at 1.8 million photos, spans musicians, athletes, and US presidents to scenes of everyday life, “I AM A MAN” focuses on Withers’ collection of images from the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit presents powerful depictions of the NAACP Main Street protests, Tent City, March Against Fear, and the Poor People’s March on Washington, as well as memorials for Martin Luther King Jr.

Related: Exhibition of Civil Rights-Era Photographs Comes to UH

“I AM A MAN” was originally planned to end on November 3, and in continuing the exhibit for two additional weeks, UH Libraries dean Lisa German hopes more of the UH community will have an opportunity to view the images, located on the second floor of M.D. Anderson Library.

“I am very grateful that Dean Tillis from CLASS and the Links, Incorporated Houston Chapter brought this exhibit to our university,” German said. “I encourage all UH students to visit the M.D. Anderson Library and experience the work of Ernest C. Withers. His photographs are incredibly powerful and very moving.”

Student Artist Reception November 8

Morgan Stahl

Morgan Stahl

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library will host an opening reception for student artist Morgan Stahl on November 8 at 12 noon. Her exhibit, Steel Time Capsule, will be on view through January 2020.

Steel Time Capsule is a collection of various memories and representations of myself, my family, and our experiences. Whether it is an item from my grandparent’s house or moment from a fun family vacation, I documented many things from my childhood through my art and sketches,” Stahl said.

Stahl is a designer from Baltimore, Maryland. She moved to Houston to study architecture at the University of Houston. She is in her fifth and final year of school and will graduate in May 2020. Stahl works at DEK Studio as a design professional on various small residential and commercial projects. She first started sketching in middle school while also taking many art classes in and outside of school to continuously learn more about design and art. Growing up in a small but tight knit family has influenced most of her work. Her art is representative of family and the emotions that come with those experiences.

The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served, and the first 10 guests will receive a free gift.

Banner Project Returns to UH Libraries

This week, visitors to the University of Houston MD Anderson Library will notice a suite of banners displayed in the atrium. The Banner Project, created by Houston activist Sara Fernandez, is a pop-up exhibit featuring pivotal points in Houston’s LGBT history from the 1930s to present day.

The Banner Project at UH Libraries

The Banner Project at UH Libraries

2019 marks the fourth year that UH Libraries has partnered with Fernandez to host the banners. Three new additions include Marvin Davis & Don Gill: Fundraising for the Aids Community (1987), Juan Palomo: Bridging Communities (1990), and Maria Gonzalez: Scholar Activist (1991), bringing the total banner count to 46.

“We are hoping that the visuals from the banners will generate discussion, reflection, and awareness across campus and in the community,” said Vince Lee, UH Special Collections archivist.

The Banner Project will be on display in conjunction with October 11, which is National Coming Out Day, and will remain through the end of the month. Staff from Special Collections and representatives from the Banner Project will be available with information on the LGBT History Research Collection, as well as resources from the UH LGBTQ Resource Center, on October 11 from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. in the MD Anderson Library atrium.

Moonshot: Historical Documents on Human Space Flight

At the 50th anniversary of NASA’s July 20, 1969 moon landing, University of Houston Libraries Special Collections is pleased to commemorate the historic event with an exhibition of archival documents, photographs, and publications related to human space flight drawn from primary source archives in the Libraries’ permanent collection.

Moonshot: Historical documents on human space flight from UH Libraries Special Collections

Moonshot: Historical documents on human space flight from UH Libraries Special Collections

The exhibit includes historical materials from the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics, the precursor to NASA, Project Mercury, the Apollo Spacecraft, and the work of the Johnson Space Center.

The exhibit will be on display near Special Collections on the 2nd floor of MD Anderson Library from July 22-26, 2019. For more information contact Christian Kelleher or Vince Lee.

New Music America Collection

An exhibit at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections features selections from the New Music America Collection. Materials document New Music America (NMA) festivals, which began as “New Music New York” in 1979 and were produced annually by the New Music Alliance in cities across North America from 1980-1990. A large part of the collection focuses on the 1986 NMA in Houston, and was donated by Michael Galbreth, part of the duo known as The Art Guys whose records also reside at UH Special Collections.

New Music America Collection exhibit

New Music America Collection exhibit

Courtney Tutt, a graduate student at the University of North Texas, collaborated with Mary Manning, university archivist and curator of the Performing and Visual Arts Research Collection; Joseph Lueck, coordinator of archival processing; and Bethany Scott, coordinator of digital projects, to process the physical and digital files of the NMA Collection. Tutt is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree with a focus on archives and imaging technology. Her work at UH Special Collections fulfilled a practicum requirement and a desire to earn experience in the field.

Among Tutt’s project tasks was the selection of items for an exhibit, now on display at the MD Anderson Library second floor near Special Collections.

“I have been fortunate to work on this compelling project which is both fascinating and relevant to the cultural identity of Houston,” Tutt said. “One of the many interesting things I learned from this collection was the festival’s opening day featured the world premiere of John Cage’s Ryoanji concurrently with the opening of MFAH’s Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden. A parade was held before the performance on Montrose Boulevard with art cars and performers celebrating the kick-off of the festival. This was the very first Art Car Parade in Houston.”

The collection is open for research in the Special Collections reading room.

Featured Student Artists: Tay Butler

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library encourages student artists to apply for a chance to exhibit their work inside the library. Student exhibits run for three months and are archived in the UH Digital Library.

This week, we will feature student artists whose work was selected for exhibition.


Tay Butler is a photographer and collage artist who challenges history and memory and repurposes archives, found material and original photography to create both familiar and new compositions and perspectives from which to view that history. Butler is a student at the University of Houston, in his senior year of the School of Art’s Photography and Digital Media block program. With an expected graduation date of May 2019 and intentions to continue studies after graduation, Butler is consistently building a portfolio of work and exhibitions that include spaces all over Houston, Texas like the Blaffer Art Museum, Texas Art Asylum, and Noble Artisan.

Tay Butler

Tay Butler

Tay Butler’s American Geographic is on display through April 2019, and is free and open to the public.

Blind Date with a Book

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library is hosting “Blind Date with a Book” for the month of February.

Blind Date with a Book

Blind Date with a Book

Students are encouraged to check out a “blind date” book from the Architecture, Design, and Art Library display, unwrap it, and read it. Students can fill out the “Rate Your Date” form included with the book, even if it was not finished. Return the form by February 28 to enter a prize drawing.