UH Libraries News

New Resource Description Librarian

Armin Lopez

Armin Lopez

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to welcome Armin Lopez (they/them) as the new resource description librarian.

Please describe your role. How does your work align with the student success and research priorities of the University? 

I will be creating bibliographic records for items such as books according to cataloging standards such as Resource Description & Access and best practices from the Library of Congress. Records will contain descriptive information, subject terminology and classification, and authorized or controlled access points for names and titles. This information contributes to student success by giving users tools to find, select, and access different items in the library’s collection that may help them complete assignments or supplement their learning. Additionally, items can be differentiated or brought together according to author name, title, subject or other data which can help users identify and access relevant library materials for their research needs.  

Please share a bit about your background and professional interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian? 

I grew up in the Houston area and am excited to join UH Libraries. My background lies in music, specifically viola, and I received a BA in Music with a minor in Psychology from Sam Houston State University in 2021. As an undergraduate student, I learned more about what librarians do and the need for effective searching to access library materials. After graduating, I began an MLS from Texas Woman’s University which I completed this past December.  

My professional interests in resource description lie in optimizing description for improved access, managing outdated terminology and practices, and ensuring that bibliographic records are respectful and inclusive of all identities and beliefs. I developed these interests while interning with the Fennel Music Library at Interlochen. The students and faculty at this institution had great interest in celebrating diverse composers which informed the library’s collection development, the priorities of the cataloging team, and resulted in the creation of a diverse composers LibGuide. Additionally, we worked with many older materials which often contained outdated content or practices that we worked to mitigate. My experiences in these areas impact the way I approach description and consider the diverse needs of users, especially when adding notes and assigning subject headings. 

What are one or two things you’d like faculty and students to know about resource description? 

Cataloging standards and practices are constantly evolving. This means that as catalogers, we are consistently learning and training on new resource description practice developments. Bibliographic records, both new and preexisting, can go through changes that may improve discoverability or the way resources and creators are represented. While resource description is important in organizing the collection for the library, our biggest priority is to help users as best we can. As a new librarian, I am especially interested in learning how faculty and students use our catalog and how our records could be optimized.  

Written by Esmeralda Fisher on April 30th, 2024 and filed under Announcements, Featured