The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School of Education - Library and Information Studies

As Librarian-in-Residence, Martha Parker works on diversity initiatives and digital collections

UNCG LIS Alumna Martha Parker just began her second year as Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Arkansas’ University Libraries. After gaining experience in the Cataloging Department, she is now working with the Special Collections department in addition to working on diversity initiatives. We asked her a couple questions about her experiences so far.

1. You have presented on ACRL’s 2012 Diversity Standards for Academic Libraries, and you made a video to help people apply those standards. Why did you make the video, and what do you hope it accomplishes?

Well, I was accepted as a member at large for the ACRL’s Diversity Committee in January 2011. I do have a business background (a former manager for about 20 years). I felt that the standards were ideal for starting or even enhancing diversity efforts at all libraries. I do realize the emphasis is on academic libraries, but the standards could be customized to fit all types of organizations.

I saw a need for marketing and sharing the standards and decided to start with two presentations at the Library 2.012 Conference last October, and shortly after that, creating the video with Jeff Banks, the UA Libraries Human Resources and Diversity Director. ACRL loved the coverage and decided to do another article highlighting these works.

(Read the ACRL article and view the video at this link.)

2. You also worked on a digital exhibit called “Fruit-full Arkansas: Apples,” that recently opened. How did you contribute to the project, and what did you learn from working on it?

During my rotation in special collections, I have developed a passion for digital collections. In particular, I enjoy working with CONTENTdm and finding creative ways of displaying our materials. The collaborative project between the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library and the University of Arkansas Libraries afforded me the opportunity to demonstrate this expertise. Along with Janet Parsch, I was a project manager for this project. It was a fun project in which I was able to interact with several colleagues and learn from them.

(View the collection at this link.)

3. Why is diversity so important to you?

As a former business manager, I often track our nation’s ever-changing demographics. I love libraries and the services they provide. When I link my two careers, I strive to find a way to make resources available to all demographics. In addition, I have been the recipient of two diversity programs, the UNCG-ACE Scholars program and the UA Librarian-in-Residence program. These are two unique ways of contributing to diversity research within the librarianship profession. It is exciting to contribute to diversity research and the marketing of new resources across libraries.

4. What are your goals for the future? What would you like to work on next?

In the short run, I am working on two digital collections. Through these projects, I intend to gain more expertise. Perhaps I will take some more classes in creating digital collections, Web site design, and online collaborations.

In reference to diversity, I am presenting on March 13 at a virtual conference with San Jose State University. I’m also planning to present at the 2013 ACRL conference in April.

I am concentrating on doing my best work while I am a Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Arkansas Libraries. Hopefully I will have an opportunity in the future to work with the creation of digital collections and diversity research in my next position.

Thank you, Martha, and good luck on your next steps!

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