Over the past year, the CTW Digital Projects Group, which encompasses staff from Connecticut College, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University, came together to consider how the three schools might collaborate on digitizing and publishing archival or other materials owned by each school.
For its pilot project, the group selected student-made scrapbooks from multiple eras: those of Linda Abel, a student at Connecticut College from 1965-1969, Lynn Smith Miller, a student at Wesleyan from 1910-1914, and Phillip DeWitt Phair, who attended Trinity College from 1890 – 1894. The scrapbooks offer a glimpse into college student life during these periods through ephemera such as playbills and athletic event tickets, dance and social cards, artwork, valentines, invitations and letters, newspaper clippings, menus, and miscellaneous objects.
Utilizing the University of Southern California’s open-source platform, Scalar, members of the group scanned and uploaded an image of each scrapbook page, jointly decided on metadata fields, and added metadata and descriptions for each page, as well as a biography and introduction to each scrapbook.
“Connecticut Connections” was recently presented at the CTW Retreat in downtown Hartford and is publicly available online at: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/ctwscrapbooks.
Joelle Thomas, User Engagement Librarian
This summer we were thrilled to welcome Joelle Thomas to our staff as Information Services’ new User Engagement Librarian. Joelle most recently was the User Experience & Media Technologies Librarian at the University of Connecticut Storrs. In that role Joelle was a leader in using evidence-based practice to improve user services, including an ethnographic study of undergraduate research practices and an observational study of how people used spaces in the main library. At Trinity, Joelle will provide research consultations and instruction in several First Year Seminars, serve as liaison to Language and Culture Studies, and as a selector for materials in Women, Gender and Sexuality.
User Engagement is a new position for us, and we created it very purposely to ensure that we are listening to the Trinity community and designing services aimed at improving their experiences with the library and technology at Trinity. We’ll intend to call on her expertise with user studies and online interfaces to help us improve our library digital and physical services. That is already starting to happen. Joelle has been reaching out to the undergraduates, asking them for their ideas on how to improve our small leisure reading collection. She is also working with other staff to create a series of focus groups around the undergraduate experience doing research.
Joelle’s office is on the A level of the library, in Room A36 near the other Research Services librarians. Stop by and say hi!