University of Houston Libraries welcomes Marian Smith as the new digital photo tech with responsibilities for the digitization and quality control of Theses and Dissertation Digitization (TDD) project documents.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
My role is to digitize theses and dissertations that are only accessible in physical print so they can be accessed remotely. This means working with a dedicated student worker to disbind (remove the cover and binding) withdrawn thesis and dissertation books, scan them using a feed scanner, edit the images, and run them through optical character recognition (OCR) to make the documents word searchable. I am working with a variety of wonderful people who handle different sections of this project to tweak the current processes in place to both make things easier for everyone, and to make the document output as accessible as possible. This opportunity has allowed me to take my past experiences and play them out on a larger scale, as well as expand my knowledge in the field.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I am a recent graduate with an MS in Library Science, Archival Studies and Imaging Technology from the University of North Texas College of Information, and previously worked at Sterling Municipal Public Library primarily as a shelver, but I had the awesome opportunity to work on digitizing a variety of items for them as well, such as original City Minutes, and local historical documents. I have always been fascinated by internet born and hosted materials, as well as the transformation of print materials into digital items, and the host of pros and problems that come with said materials. People always say the internet is forever, but really, it is only on the internet forever if someone takes the time to ensure it is. This fascination has led me here, where I can contribute to creating content for people to use and learn from, and work on making said content as accessible and longstanding as possible.
What is your first impression of the University?
First impressions back on campus was me being treated to an eagerness to help and friendliness when I first walked into day one orientation. It was also odd (in a good way) to be going through orientation as a staff member and not as a student, as I graduated with my BBA in Supply Chain Management from the UH C. T. Bauer College of Business several years ago. Despite being caught in the transition of full online to in-person on-boarding, and getting tangled in said transition at times, everyone has been extremely kind and helpful in getting me set up with what I need to move forward. I am looking forward to continuing to work with such wonderful people here in the library!
What is your favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie/TV show?
I am a crafty sort of person, dabbling in a variety of hand crafts, though lately I have been mainly crocheting and slowly getting back into sketching. Food is also a big facet of my life, with a love for baking (be it bread or a variety of sweets, it’s all great), and large family dinners (though not as large or often as we used to considering the current affairs). I am slowly returning to reading for fun (besides finding neat articles relating to archiving items digital born), and tend to read science fiction or urban fantasy.