Fellow travelers

It can be hard staying current in the emerging field of metadata librarianship, so when I heard that instructors from Brown University’s Women Writers Project would be giving a nearby workshop on TEI, the Text Encoding Initiative XML schema, I immediately signed up. Besides learning how to encode historic texts for possible digital humanities initiatives, I also hoped to stay a step ahead of our Digital Librarianship Fellows, who are eager to be mentored on XML projects for DLS. Alas, I discovered that wouldn’t be the case when I heard that all ten Fellows would be joining me in Urbana, Ill., site of the workshop, where we would learn the schema together.

Trading in my mentoring duties for those of chaperone turned out not to be particularly taxing, as the Fellows were model students. When we weren’t in workshop sessions — learning the metadata schema itself, along with XML editing tools, exstensible stylesheets, and TEI delivery applications — they could usually be found holed up with their laptops, designing database projects for school and other studious activities. (The reports of beer funneling back at the hotel were, I’m sure, only ugly rumors.)

Being in close quarters with the group for three days wasn’t a problem either, as I had recently built up a high Fellow tolerance. Back in December, we had no sooner bid farewell to that semester’s Fellows than we were notified that all four of them would be returning to our department in January, along with four more of their cohort, to spend most of their collective 160 (!!) hours per week in DLS. This influx in staff has necessitated a more collaborative approach this time around, as the Fellows have stepped up to help design and shape their experiences on projects ranging from traditional collection-building work to large-scale data migration and application development initiatives. See the blogs below for first-hand accounts of their journeys to digital librarianship.

–Jen Wolfe
Metadata Librarian, Digital Library Services

DLS Digital Librarianship Fellows: Spring 2008
Shawn Averkamp
Project: data migration – Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua printed ephemera

Blog: Digital Library Seminar

Chris Ehrman
Project: digital collection – Iowa City Foreign Relations Council videos

Blog: IMLS Project Blog

Amber Jansen
Project: digital collection – medieval manuscripts
Blog: Fuzzy Technowledge

Joanna Lee
Project: data migration – archival finding aids
Blog: techno.log

Jane Monson
Project: data migration – archival finding aids
Blog: Notes From the Library

Bryan Stusse
Project: digital collection – Artists Television Network videos; application development – SmartSearch enhancements
Blog: IMLS Fellowship Blog

Jill Wehrheim
Project: data migration – Dada Digital Library rare monographs and serials
Blog: Jill’s Weblog

Sarah Zdenek
Project: data migration – Daily Palette text and videos
Blog: Sarah Zdenek’s Weblog