Librarians’ Assembly hosts the 2018 Fall Professional Development Day

The Librarians Assembly held its Fall 2018 Professional Development Day last week in the Jones Room. Scheduled twice a year in the spring and fall, the Professional Development Day is an opportunity for librarians and LITS staff to present on topics related to their professional development in a short, lightning-round format. Forum presentation topics include summaries of presentations given, papers written, projects completed, conferences attended, and updates on current research.

Here were this session’s presentations:

Sarah Quigley: Ms. Quigley Goes to Washington: Lessons in Legislative Advocacy from Archives on the Hill

Sarah Quigley spoke about “Archives on the Hill,” an event she organized that was sponsored by the Society of American Archivists.  The event was held the day before the annual meeting in Washington, DC and combined the efforts of SAA, NAGARA, and COSA to create an opportunity for archivist and librarians to meet with staffers from congressional and senate offices. This event didn’t focus on any concrete legislation, but instead was used to build relationships. Sixty members participated in the event, which was proceeded by the creation of an advocacy guide and fact sheets authored by the three organizations.

Kim Collins: Leading your Professional Organization: Tales from ARLIS/NA

Kim Collins reflected on her leadership position over the past year as vice president – and the start of her term as president – of ARLIS.  She discussed the responsibilities, which included communication with membership, appointing new leaders, and setting agendas, and explained her approach in enhancing each of those goals. She explained her use of technology in creating videos to further engage communication, adding more content to the webpage, and working with new members to encourage participation. She also worked on a leadership institute program and organized a more active strategic planning committee to create practical programs from discussions.

Peter Shirts: Better than crystal ball (presenting this week at SEMLA) in Tallahassee

Peter Shirts gave an abbreviated talk on the presentation to be given at SEMLA. His talk focused on creating a quantitative plan for creating collection policy and looked to both circulation and ILL statistics to see what is currently being used from the collection and what patrons are interested in outside our holdings.

Laura Ackerman: Linked Data Summer: 5 conferences/2 webinars

Laura Ackerman related what she learned from five conferences she attended this summer: Code4Lib, ELUNA, ALA, IGeKU, and show and tells. She explained that she attends conferences to learn from other colleagues; discover the “hot topics;” inform others on what Emory is doing; and network to see what has changed, what should change, and how we can work together. Hot topics at these conferences included interoperability and open access, Esploro, and Bibframe. Laura presented on API and ALMA but claimed there was not a lot of interest.

ACRL Immersion: Peter Shirts, Lolita Rowe, Courtney Baron

Peter Shirts, Lolita Rowe and Courtney Baron attended ACRL Immersion. The program was different this year as there were no tracks, but the participants were randomly assigned cohorts, and a final product was a design rationale. Each day focused on a topic and was divided up between conversation or activity. The cohort was able to discuss options and work on tasks together. Learning outcomes included concept design, understanding by design, critical reflective practice, and leadership concept. Each participant had their own project that implemented these ideas. At the conclusion of the talk, Peter, Lolita, and Courtney mentioned that other participants brought up the idea of tackling diversity and were impressed with the program designer’s flexibility in allowing for space to talk about this topic in the course of the program.

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“Ansible” – a science word with Emory origins?

Ursula K. Le Guin

Many Emory IT folks are involved with the automation and control tool Ansible, and with ongoing LITS efforts to incorporate it into our environment. But the name of the product isn’t just a word made up by a marketing consultant somewhere in Silicon Valley.

Decades ago in high school, I ran across the invented word “ansible” in the groundbreaking novel The Left Hand of Darkness. Pioneering author Ursula Le Guin coined the word:

Wikipedia: An ansible is a category of fictional device or technology capable of instantaneous or faster-than-light communication. It can send and receive messages to and from a corresponding device over any distance or obstacle whatsoever with no delay.

As a name for such a device, the word “ansible” first appeared in a 1966 novel by Ursula K. Le Guin. Since that time, the term has been broadly used in the works of numerous science fiction authors, across a variety of settings and continuities.[1]

Using the ansible in Ender’s Game.

The author of a later novel (and more recent film) “Ender’s Game” openly borrowed the word and the device; a character acknowledges the name comes “out of an old book.” The story depends on the ansible to centrally control a huge, complex fleet of distant ships.  Sound like a  familiar problem? That’s where the Ansible automation software founders got the name for their product.

And perhaps the idea of the ansible first formed here at Emory University.  After high school in Berkeley (alongside Philip K. Dick), then Radcliffe and Columbia, Ursula Le Guin gave up on her own PhD in Renaissance Literature to follow her new husband here to Emory University in the 1950’s. She worked here as a departmental secretary while he completed a PhD in History. After the couple moved on to teach elsewhere, she worked for over a decade to get her first novel published, eventually achieving great success and being honored as a literary trailblazer.!msg/ansible-project/djZklLE2wIE/XCEOIq0RbN4J

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Soma Chaganti, Project Manager, PMO

“I am proud to be part of the Emory family.” – Soma Chaganti

Soma Chaganti is the newest project manager to join the Project Management Office (PMO). Prior to coming to Emory, he was a project manager/business analyst for over two years at Georgia Pacific. Soma also has 25 years worth of experience on applications related to supply chain, warehouse management, and finance and has held job titles such as programmer, systems analyst, senior software engineer, and IT manager.

Born in India, Soma holds master’s degrees in mathematics and computer science from Osmania University and the University of Hyderabad, respectively. Both universities are in India. Soma also has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the PMI, as well as Certified Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Master, Six Sigma – Green Belt certifications.

Soma is married to Malathi Chaganti and they have two daughters – Praneetha, who is a pediatrician living in New York, and Sharanya, who owns a bakery in Los Angeles. When Soma is not working he likes reading, hiking, walking, listening to music, photography, and teaching.

“My teammates are highly talented, intelligent, qualified people, yet very modest,” said Soma. “I am proud to be part of the Emory family. This position offers plenty of opportunities for me to use skills I’ve acquired over time and presents an ocean of opportunities to explore new areas and build knowledge.”

You can reach him at soma [dot] sankar [dot] chaganti [at] emory [dot] edu.

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Caroline Corbitt, Exhibitions Graphic Designer, Campus and Community Relations

“I’m excited to work with the Exhibitions Team and I cannot wait to see how it progresses.” – Caroline Corbitt

Caroline Corbitt has joined the CCR Exhibitions team as a graphics designer. She comes to Emory after spending two years as the exhibits graphics designer at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia in Athens. She also did proprietary work at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Born in Augusta, GA, Caroline earned her bachelor of fine arts degree, with an emphasis in graphics design, from UGA. She also has a minor in art history. Caroline was raised in Valdosta, GA, and attended Lowndes HS.

Away from work, Caroline likes to teach acrylic and watercolor painting classes. She also plays piano and enjoys spending time with her dog, Bonnaroo, who is an English cocker spaniel.

“This is a bigger team than I’ve been on in the past, which is awesome because I love working with people,” said Caroline. “I’m excited to work with the Exhibitions Team and I cannot wait to see how it progresses.”

You can reach her at caroline [dot] corbitt [at] gmail [dot] com

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Jennifer Gunter King, Director, Rose Library

“Emory’s special collections are a direct link to the past, providing access to literary, political and personal histories, all critical to supporting scholarship, civic engagement and, not least, democracy.” – Jennifer Gunter King

Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library has named Jennifer Gunter King as its new director. She started on Oct. 15.

“Jennifer brings a wealth of experience and an expansive view of libraries, not only from a special collections aspect but from a broader organizational understanding,” says University Librarian Yolanda Cooper. “She will work collaboratively to take a fresh look at operations, relationships, and programs to further advance our world-renowned Rose Library and fully engage in the future strategic goals of the Libraries and the University.”

King was the director of the Library and Knowledge Commons at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she led the transformation of the library to become a knowledge commons. Prior to joining Hampshire, King was director of Archives and Special Collections at Mount Holyoke College, where she initiated programs including an online digital archive, electronic records archiving and campus-wide exhibitions and programming. She previously held positions in special collections at Virginia Tech University Libraries and the University of Virginia.

“I am very excited to join Emory University as director of the Rose Library. The extraordinary staff and collections play a vital role in advancing Emory’s mission ‘to create, preserve, teach and apply knowledge in the service of humanity,’” King says.

“Emory’s special collections are a direct link to the past, providing access to literary, political and personal histories, all critical to supporting scholarship, civic engagement and, not least, democracy,” she explains. “I cannot imagine a more worthwhile calling or a more welcoming community.”

King earned her BA in history from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and her MA in history and MLS with an archives concentration from the University of Maryland. Her interests include 21st century library design, advancing the accessibility of archival resources and pursuing opportunities for collaboration between libraries, archives and museums.

When she’s away from work, Jennifer often goes hiking with her family and dog, bakes as often as possible, and forages for mushrooms. She also loves all forms of music, and is very interested in exploring local Southern music and culture.

You can reach her at Jennifer [dot] Gunter [dot] King [at] emory [dot] edu.

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LITS recent headlines and upcoming events

Headlines & Events graphic banner

Recent LITS headlines:

Upcoming LITS events:

(go HERE for more information for each event)

  • October 19-21 – Homecoming: see the Campus Calendar
  • October 20 – Event: Emory Wheel archives booth, 2:00 – 5:00, booth on the Quad
  • October 30 – Event: Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversation with Randall Burkett, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Jones Room, Woodruff Library
  • October 31Event: Chili Cook-Off/Bake-Off, 11:30 – 1:30, 1762 back parking lot
  • November 6 – Event: The Conservation of Dante’s 1477 La Comedia with Jeff Peachy, 4:00 am – 6:00 pm, Jones Room, Woodruff Library
  • November 15 – IT Briefing: 10:15 am – noon, 4th Floor Auditorium, North Decatur Building
  • November 15 – InfoForum: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Jones Room, Woodruff Library
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Scott Swann retires after 35 years

Scott Swann and Dooley, 2013.

After a 35-year Emory career, mostly spent in management and project management, Scott Swann has decided to hang up his tartan. So to speak.

Scott began at Emory on August 18, 1980, which has always been easy for him to remember because August 19 is his birthday. He started as a mainframe programmer with Emory Hospital IT. “This was before the Emory Healthcare merger,” said Scott, “and we were still using punch cards.”

In 1987, Emory merged the Crawford Hospital IT staff with Emory IT. There was a significant cultural difference in IT philosophy between the two groups, and in 1988, Scott left Emory to work for a couple of small software companies. Then in 1991, Emory Clinic IT hired him and he worked there for four years. In 1995, he was hired by the University into the University Information Services (UIS) as a senior mainframe programmer. He’s been with Emory ever since.

(L to R) Swann, Mike Ewanowski, Alma Profitt, 2004.

Scott first began to do management work in 1997, when Francene Mangham was managing Emory’s first PeopleSoft (PS) implementation. Scott became a manager on that project and soon thereafter managed Emory’s Y2K effort. During this time, Scott hired Byron Nash (who went on to become director of Enterprise Applications) to do the day-to-day management of Y2K.

Trisha Wilson and Scott Swann.

PMO Team from 2012.

After spending several years managing the finance team, including applications such as FAS, Imaging, R25, the purchasing system, Scott became the technical project manager of the initial Compass finance project in 2007. Scott ensured all of the legacy data was moved into the PS systems for the University and Healthcare. This was a two-year effort that went live in 2009, after which Scott took a permanent project management position in the Project Management Office (PMO).

Project management was a field that suited Scott. “When I am done with a project, I get to walk away,” he said. “I like that a lot better than nurturing software through its lifecycle.”

“Before Scott came to the PMO, I never knew how wickedly funny he could be,” remembers Marisa Benson, the former director of the PMO. “That group was already full of dry wits and Scott fit right in.” “Scott is a rare gem. He is super loyal to his friends and goes beyond the extra mile to help people,” added Trisha Wilson, a former co-worker in the PMO. “He will be missed greatly. I wish him the best on his next chapter.”

Emory Tartan design.

Life at Emory has not been all project management. As a direct descendant from a Scottish clan, Scott  suggested that Emory create an Emory Tartan, especially with St. Andrews in Edinburgh being Emory’s sister institution. Scott worked with Gary Hauk and the Emory Traditions Committee, created a committee for the tartan project, and created a design that Emory accepted as its own in 2009. National Tartan Day is April 6.

Swann and Jay Flanagan.

When asked what he would miss the most about his time at Emory, Scott said, “I will miss the people the most. After you work somewhere for decades, people become more than friends, they become family. When I started at Emory, my daughter had not been born. She ended up graduating from Emory.”

Dana Haggas and Swann, 2005.

After leaving Emory, Scott plans to continue to manage some rental properties he owns near campus. He’s also a church treasurer, the membership chair for a couple of Celtic organizations, and has started a membership tracking company, called SCOTS (Scottish Clans Online Tracking System) for Celtic groups to keep up with one another.

Scott’s advice to his friends and co-workers is simply, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn as much as you can about project management because you have to cover things you’ve never worked on before. You are always learning new things. Learn to like the people you work with because people will cooperate more if they like you. If they don’t like you they can kill your projects!”

He added, “Some of the finest people I have ever known or worked with are here at Emory.”

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