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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Transforming Research Libraries Contact:
Judy Ruttenberg
Planning and Visioning
New Roles for New Times

NRNT Author Biographies

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Transforming Liaison Roles

Karen Williams, University of Minnesota

Karen Williams is Associate University Librarian for Academic Programs at the University of Minnesota, a position she has held since 2004. The Academic Programs division includes liaisons in all subject areas, as well as archivists and curators. Prior to joining the U of M, she spent 22 years at the University of Arizona Library in a variety of positions, including subject liaison to several departments. Her expertise is in the areas of information literacy, copyright, and scholarly communication; with a strong dose of organizational development. She led the development of new liaison position descriptions at Minnesota, which include roles in scholarly communication, information literacy integration, and e-scholarship. She received her MLS from the University of Michigan, and her BA in English, with a secondary teaching certificate, from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Digital Curation for Preservation

Tyler Walters, Virginia Tech and Katherine Skinner, Educopia Institute

Tyler Walters is the Dean of University Libraries, Virginia Tech. From 2002 through early 2011, Walters was the Associate Dean of the Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a 2008–2010 Fellow in the Association of Research Libraries’ Research Libraries Leadership Fellows program. Walters has been involved in many digital initiatives, including Georgia Tech’s repository, publishing, and scholarly communication services and led the IMLS-funded Georgia Knowledge Repository, a statewide repository service. Walters is also a founding Board member of the Educopia Institute and Steering Committee member of the MetaArchive Cooperative. He serves on many professional bodies such as the Steering Committee for the International Conference on Open Repositories (http://www.openrepositories. org/), the Interim Governing Board for the Unified Digital Formats Registry (, the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Digital Curation (, and the Advisory Board for the Digital Information Management program, University of Arizona ( He teaches graduate LIS courses for the University of Arizona and for San Jose State University. Walters has been involved in numerous Federal grants regarding digital repositories, publishing, and preservation. He has presented at over seventy-five conferences and published over twenty-five articles in journals such as the American Archivist, D-Lib Magazine, International Journal of Digital Curation, Journal of Digital Information, Library Hi-Tech, Library Trends, New Review of Information Networking, portal: Libraries and the Academy and is a recipient of the Society of American Archivists’ Ernst Posner Award for best article in the American Archivist. He holds an MA from North Carolina State University and an MA from the University of Arizona. Walters is currently a PhD candidate in Managerial Leadership for the Information Professions, Simmons College, Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Katherine Skinner

Dr. Katherine Skinner is the Executive Director of the Educopia Institute (, a not- for-profit educational organization that acts as a catalyst for collaborative approaches to the production and preservation of scholarship. She also serves as the Program Manager for the MetaArchive Cooperative (, a distributed digital preservation solution for cultural memory organizations. She was previously the digital projects librarian at Emory University, where she served as co-PI on numerous projects in digital scholarship, access, and preservation arenas.

Skinner received her Ph.D. from Emory University, and has co-edited two books, The Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation (Educopia Institute: 2010) and Strategies for Sustaining Digital Libraries (Emory University: 2008), and has authored numerous articles, including “The MetaArchive Cooperative: A Collaborative Approach to Distributed Digital Preservation” (Library Trends). She is one of the founders and the former Managing Editor of the Southern Spaces Internet journal and scholarly forum. She has served as a faculty member specializing in the topic of digital preservation for numerous workshops, including the “Stewardship of Digital Assets” series (NEDCC, 2007–2009) and the “Staying on TRAC” series for digital collaboratives (Lyrasis, 2009–2011). Skinner also regularly consults with groups that are undertaking digital preservation planning, policy creation, or implementation for their cultural memory-oriented collections.

Library Roles in Developing Research Services for Graduate Students

Lucinda Covert-Vail, New York University

Lucinda Covert-Vail is Director of Public Services for New York University (NYU) Libraries and a member of the libraries’ management team. Her portfolio includes: program planning, implementation, and outreach; access, instructional and reference services; digital and media services; library renovation and facility planning; building program development; and assessment.

As Director of Public Services, Lucinda coordinates the work of eight department heads covering access, reference, instructional and undergraduate services, music, media and digital access services. She served as Interim Director for the NYU Abu Dhabi Library in 2009, leading the initial development of services, staffing, and the physical plant for the interim and permanent libraries.

Prior to joining NYU in 1993, Lucinda held positions at San Francisco State University, the California Energy Commission, and the USC/NASA Industrial Application Center. She was a visiting professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the Fundacion German Sanchez Ruiperez as an ALA Library/Book Fellow in Madrid. She holds an AB from UCLA, an MLS from the University of Southern California, and an MS from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

Scott Collard, New York University

Scott Collard is the Social Sciences Collections Coordinator and Graduate Student Services Coordinator at New York University. He chairs VRSS, which administers the library’s virtual reference services, and is the liaison to the education and linguistics programs. Scott received his MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in general studies in the humanities (early American history and literature) from the University of Chicago. He is chair of the Membership Committee of the Educational and Behavioral Sciences Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries. His research interests focus on the intersection between technology and public services, user-centered design, and customizability.