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CLIR Issues 130

CLIR Issues

Number 130  July/August 2019
ISSN 1944-7639 (online version)


CLIR and HBCU Library Alliance Form National Partnership

CLIR Appoints Postdoctoral Fellowship Advisory Committee

Announcing DLF Forum Fellows

Welcome New Staff!

Forthcoming Publications



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CLIR and HBCU Library Alliance Form National Partnership

CLIR and the HBCU Library Alliance have entered into a long-term partnership that aims to position historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as centers of scholarly distinction with unparalleled special collections that illuminate clearly the value, significance, and contributions of HBCUs. This partnership will foster awareness and access to diverse historical records that shaped American history, thus informing dialog to promote the common good.

Julian Bond
Julian Bond visited the campus of Savannah State University as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives on June 4, 1972, to deliver the commencement address. Photo courtesy of Asa H. Gordon Library Special Collections, Savannah State University.

The HBCU Library Alliance and CLIR Partnership seeks to develop collaborative solutions to build community; cultivate leadership; and preserve, make accessible, and advocate for the rich cultural heritage—original bound volumes, documents, photographs, and audiovisual materials —held within HBCUs. Specific goals include (1) assessing the research value of and risks to these collections, (2) improving scholarly and public access through digitization, and (3) establishing a leadership training program for HBCU library staff.

“Partnering with the HBCU Library Alliance is a rare and privileged opportunity for CLIR,” said CLIR President Charles Henry. “The resources, historical significance, and collective wisdom of the Alliance are invaluably unique; working and evolving with the Alliance in mutual support of our shared mission and social commitment represents a pivotal moment in pursuit of a more expansive community devoted to the public good.”

The future of preserving and sharing a more complete and authentic American history is contingent upon establishing partnerships like the HBCU Library Alliance and CLIR, said Monika Rhue, director of library services at Johnson C. Smith University and HBCU Library Alliance Board Chair. “The HBCU Library Alliance is delighted to partner with CLIR to advance common goals. It is my hope that this partnership demonstrates the impact of organizations protecting all collections that speak to the diversity of contributions to American history and worldwide history.”

“The HBCU Library Alliance is honored to engage with CLIR in this partnership to support mutual goals related to history, research and community,” said Executive Director Sandra Phoenix. “We will anchor our work on CLIR’s goal to ‘transform the information landscape to support the advancement of knowledge.’ Our collaborative efforts will impact education and scholarship that highlight the contributions of African-Americans to history and culture.”

The partnership grew out of events and programming run jointly by the HBCU Library Alliance and CLIR’s Digital Library Federation (DLF) since 2017. These initiatives, including the Authenticity Project Fellowship Program, aim to foster genuine, equitable, mutual learning and sharing among communities of practice.

A Partnership Steering Committee, comprising representatives from HBCU Library Alliance members and the CLIR/DLF community, will be named in the fall.

CLIR Appoints Postdoctoral Fellowship Advisory Committee

CLIR has appointed an advisory committee to guide and enrich the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The eight-member committee comprises digital scholarship specialists, data curation educators, scholars and specialists in African American and African Studies, and former CLIR Postdoctoral Fellows with data curation experience across disciplines. Members will advise CLIR staff and consultants and engage with postdoctoral fellows over the course of their fellowships. They will also serve as a sounding board for new ideas and suggest innovative approaches to help the program meet emerging needs. By participating in general outreach and amplifying communication about the program in the course of their professional endeavors, they will serve additionally as ambassadors for the program. Committee members are:

John Borghi, Stanford University
Marcia Chatelain (ex-officio), Georgetown University
Jeanine Finn, Claremont Colleges
Julia Flanders, Northeastern University
Jacqueline Goldsby, Yale University
Trevor Muñoz, University of Maryland
Sarah Lynn Patterson, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Colleen Strawhacker, National Science Foundation

Marcia Chatelain has also been appointed mentor for the African American and African Studies Data Curation Fellows. In this new role, she will advise the program on best practices in African American and African Studies and guide both the 2019 and 2020 cohorts of fellows as they contemplate their careers. She will facilitate networking opportunities for the two cohorts and provide advice and support to individual fellows through regular bimonthly cohort virtual meetings.

Announcing DLF Forum Fellows

We congratulate the recipients of DLF’s 2019 Forum Fellowship awards. These individuals, from DLF member institutions and the wider GLAM community, show exceptional dedication to their work and the field of digital libraries, and share in our community’s common goals.

ARL and DLF Fellows: Cosponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and the Digital Library Federation, these fellowships aim to foster a more diverse and inclusive practitioner community in digital libraries and related fields.

Joan Hua, MLIS student, University of Washington Information School 

Mairelys Lemus-Rojas, digital initiatives metadata librarian, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library

Selena Ortega-Chiolero, member of Chickaloon Village Traditional Council staff

Yvette Ramirez, arts administrator, oral historian, and MSI candidate in digital archives and library science/preservation at the School of Information, University of Michigan

Weiwei Shi, digital initiatives applications librarian, University of Alberta

DLF Student and New Professionals Fellows: These DLF-funded fellowships support newcomers to the profession and new voices to our community and the Forum.

Kerri Lee Alexander, education and public history fellow, National Women’s History Museum

Javier S. Garibay, dance preservation and digital projects librarian, University of Southern California

Sarah Nguyen, MLIS student, University of Washington iSchool

Angel Su, MILIS student and electronic resources and metadata services intern, University of Toronto Libraries

DLF Focus Fellows: These DLF-funded awards support established professionals in their pursuit of career growth and development.

Doyin Adenuga, Library Juice Academy Focus Fellow, electronic resources librarian at Houghton College

Jessica Farrell, project manager for BitCuratorEdu and community coordinator for the Software Preservation Network 

Andreas Orphanides, associate head, user experience, NC State University Libraries

Amy Wickner, co-facilitator of the DLF Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries, Archives, and Museums; and co-investigator on the Collective Responsibility project; manages a born-digital archives program at the University of Maryland, College Park

DLF International Fellows: A new category this year, these DLF-funded awards encourage attendance from members of the digital library community who are based in countries other than the United States.

Samir Hachani, lecturer at the School of Library Science, University of Algiers

Raquel Vázques Llorente, senior legal advisor, eyeWitness

GLAM Cross-Pollinators: These registration-only awards continue DLF’s tradition of “cross-pollinating” with the art museum community, offering complimentary registration to a representative from each of our GLAM partners: the American Institute for Conservation, Art Libraries Society of North America, and the Visual Resources Association.

Kristin MacDonough, AIC Affiliate, Grainger Fellow in Time-Based Media Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago

Alex O’Keefe, ARLIS/NA Affiliate, arts digital projects librarian at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University

Christopher Sawula, VRA Affiliate, visual resources librarian, Art History Department, Emory University

Read more about the fellows at

Welcome New Staff!

We are delighted to announce the appointment of three new staff members:

Sharon BurneySharon Burney joins our staff Aug. 26 as program assistant to CLIR’s grants team. She will contribute to several of CLIR’s major grant and fellowship programs, including the Hidden Collections and Recordings at Risk grant initiatives and the Dissertation Fellowships for Research in Original Sources. Based in Florida, Sharon brings experience in higher education, community engagement, and campus liaison building. She has most recently provided program support to the University of Florida African American Studies program. In her free time, she is a community organizer and writes poetry incorporating themes of contemporary civil rights, activism, and social issues. Sharon studied English at the University of Florida, Gainesville.


Erin O'DonnellErin O’Donnell joined our staff July 29 as development and outreach assistant. She will help with sponsor and member relations, and work to broaden engagement with CLIR’s constituency. Based in New Jersey, Erin has experience in both the museum and higher-education sector, having worked most recently as communications coordinator at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, New Jersey, and as research coordinator for corporate and foundation relations at the University of Pennsylvania. Erin earned her master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Georgia, Athens, and BA in anthropology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.



Gayle Schechter

Gayle Schechter will join our staff Sept. 3 as DLF program associate. She will work closely with DLF groups, promoting community engagement, and helping with events, including the Forum. Gayle comes to CLIR from the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, where she served as digital exhibitions coordinator for the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning. Prior to moving to Atlanta, she earned her MS-LIS with a concentration in archives management from Simmons University. While completing her master’s degree, Gayle interned at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Archives and at the UMass Boston Healey Library’s University Archives and Special Collections. She earned her BS with concentrations in American history and information systems at SUNY Empire State College.

Forthcoming Publications

The Foundations of Discovery. Report on the Assessment of the Impacts of the Cataloging Hidden Collections Program, 2008–2019. Early September. The assessment provides a comprehensive analysis of reports from all 128 projects funded under CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Collections Program, which ran from 2008 to 2014. With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Hidden Collections granted more than $27.4 million to academic, cultural heritage, and other collecting institutions to reveal, through cataloging, previously hidden special collections.

Technologies of Surveillance Group Advocacy Action Plan, by Eliza Bettinger, Mahrya Burnett, Michelle Gibeault, Yasmeen Shorish, and Paige Walker. Early September, to be posted on the working group’s OSF site. This document is intended to assist librarians who want to communicate about the sensitivities of library patron data with those serving in decision-making roles.


Here’s a roundup of blogs from the last month:

Arctic Expedition to (Almost) the North Pole, August 21. CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow Emily Beagle posts on her recent expedition to the Arctic, and using her work in data curation to explore solutions to climate change.

To Be Part of the Climate Solution, We Must Center Communities, August 14. CLIR staffers Nicole Kang Ferraiolo and Jodi Reeves Eyre post on the important role of memory institutions in an era of climate disruption.

CLIR’s Mission in the Era of Climate Disruption, August 9. CLIR president Charles Henry posts on how the organization is responding to the climate crisis.

Re-joining the Codex: VisColl and the Gathering Structure of Books, July 24. Former CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow Alberto Campagnolo posts on his collaboration to develop VisColl, which builds models of physical collation of manuscripts for visualization.

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