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Have you or a colleague been named for an award or to a special committee or panel? Are you presenting at a conference, publishing an article, or starting a new position? We here at the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative are always happy to hear about successes in our library community, and we'd love to share your news.

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November 2018

Cay Hohmeister is retiring
Cay Hohmeister is retiring after eight years as Leon County’s library director and 18 years with Leon County. Cay says, “It has been a joy and a privilege to work with our wonderful library staff members and other Leon County offices. The Leon County Board of County Commissioners has long supported the library in its vision of ‘Inspiring a Love of Reading and a Life of Learning."

Library users--the people who come to the library and visit our website to use all of our services--make our jobs rewarding, varied and interesting. The library truly is for everyone.

Debra Sears, who has been the Library's Extension Services Manager for 10 years, will be Leon County’s new Library Director.


July 2018

FSU names new Dean of University Libraries
Florida State University has named Gale S. Etschmaier as dean of University Libraries, effective Sept. 7.
Etschmaier has served as the dean of library and information access at San Diego State University since 2011.

“Florida State is pleased to welcome Gale Etschmaier as our next dean of libraries,” said Sally McRorie, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our extensive library operations are critical to student and faculty success at every level and in every program. Dean Etschmaier’s proven record of innovative leadership will help keep our academic progress toward the Top 25 on track.”

Etschmaier succeeds Julia Zimmerman, who concluded her 11-year tenure as dean June 30. Read more here.


Valencia State College Winner of the 2018 Learning Resources Commission Exemplary Practice for Library Services
The Human Library, presented by Nardia Cumberbatch, Jeannie Rodriquez, and Regina Seguin at Valencia College West Campus was awarded the Winner of the 2018 Learning Resources Commission Exemplary Practice for Library Services. See the presentation here.


TCC Welcomes New Library Director
Tallahassee Community College recently welcomed its new library director, Stephen Banister. Banister comes to TCC from Minot State University in North Dakota, where he had served as library director since 2010. He has also been the library director at McKendree University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Lamar State College.

“I am excited to be with TCC, and I am looking forward to working with the library staff and with the College community,” said Banister. “The library is a critical part of the campus, and I am looking forward to building on the positive developments the library has already made over the last few years.”

Banister holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Louisiana State University and pursued further graduate work at Capella University. Read more here.


June 2018

FSU Libraries dean closes the book on 48-year career
Nearly a half-century after landing her first job at Strozier Library, Florida State University Dean of Libraries Julia Zimmerman will finish her career right where she started. Zimmerman will retire from Florida State in June after more than a decade of leading University Libraries to a new level of excellence.

Read more here.


Rich Ackerman is retiring!
Rich Ackerman, Associate Dean of Technical Services, will retire from Broward College this month. Rich served as the Associate Dean of Technical Services for more than seven years.

Rich celebrated several major accomplishments during his time at Broward College including upgrades to physical building, implemented new mobile website for library (2014), and much more! His service to FALSC include being a FALSC Members Council interim representative (2016) and Alternate (2012-2016), as well as the FLVC Digital Initiatives Standing Committee (2013-2014).

Prior to working at Broward College, he worked at Nova Southeastern University for four years as the Manager and Director of e-resources and web services. Rich has developed many lasting relationships across south Florida and with the FALSC Team through his leadership, strong work ethic, service, and dedication to accessing information. However, he is most passionate about his love for orchids.
We wish him all the best as he rides off into the retirement sunset. Congratulations Rich!


New library director at Santa Fe College
Patricia Profeta is the new library director at Santa Fe College starting August 1. Patricia is currently the Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at Indian River State College in Ft Pierce. Before that she was Dean of Learning Resources at Indian River from 2012-2016, Asst. Dean of Learning Resources, 2003-2006, and Assoc. Dean of Learning Resources, 2006-2012.


March 2018

FALSC is pleased to announce the hiring of three new directors, each of whom will join us in April:

Rachel Erb, Director of E-Resources, comes to FALSC from Colorado State University, where she has served as Electronic Resources Management Librarian. Rachel has more than 20 years of experience in academic libraries, with much of that time spent in positions related to contract and licensing negotiations and review at both the local and consortial levels. She earned her master’s degree in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) at Florida State University (FSU).


Brian Erb, Director of Library Support and Training, also comes to us from Colorado State University, where he has served as Science and Engineering Librarian and as Shore Librarian for the Semester at Sea program. With more than 20 years of experience in multiple areas of academic libraries, Brian brings to the position a current and broad awareness of the challenges facing academic libraries. He holds an MLIS from FSU.


Rebel Cummings-Sauls, Director of Digital Services and Open Educational Resources (OER), has served most recently as Director of the Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship at the Hale Library of Kansas State University. She has researched, published, and presented extensively in the areas of digital scholarship and preservation, as well as on textbook affordability and OER.  Rebel’s education and experience include both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from FSU, as well as professional work experience at FSU and the University of South Florida.


February 2018

Dr. Elizabeth Curry

Renaine Julian, Associate Director of STEM Libraries of Florida State University Libraries, has been elected as an officer of the Florida Library Association (FLA). He will serve as Region 6 Director for 2018-2019. Donna Vazquez, Associate Director of Florida Gulf Coast University Library, continues in 2018-2019 as FLA Treasurer.



January 2018

Dr. Elizabeth Curry

Dr. Elizabeth Curry, Library Dean of the University of North Florida (UNF), plans to retire from the university at the end of the spring semester. She will return part time to her consulting and training business. Elizabeth ran Curry’s Consulting Services Inc. for 13 years, and worked with the State Library to develop the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute.

In a long and distinguished career, she also has served as Library Dean of the College of Central Florida, Associate Dean of Florida State College of Jacksonville Library & Learning Commons, Public Services Division Director for the Alachua County Library District, Assistant Director of the domestic violence center CASA, Executive Director of the Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN), Marketing Director of SOLINET (LYRASIS), and Library Development Consultant at the State Library of Florida. In 2010, Elizabeth received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Library Association.

She received the Northeast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) Distinguished Career Award in 2016, and the American Library Association/Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ALA/ASCLA) Award for Leadership and Professional Achievement in 2017.

Since joining UNF in 2014, the dean has worked to reimagine the university’s library, reorganize staffing, renovate the Library Commons, encourage collaborations, and focus on engagement with students, faculty, and the community. 

As she wrote in announcing her decision to colleagues, “I’ve been a librarian for almost 38 years. I’m ready for more work-life balance.” We here at FALSC wish Elizabeth the very best in the next chapter of her life.


Donna AlsburyDonna Alsbury, Systems Report Specialist, retires Jan. 12 after nearly 29 years with FALSC and its predecessor organizations. Donna began her career as an acquisitions librarian and eventually branched out into reporting. Her skills and dedication to learning as much as possible about Aleph tables and reporting techniques, along with her advocacy in maintaining the integrity of reports and statistics, has made her an invaluable asset to the organization. Her contributions and presence will be deeply missed, not only by her colleagues at FLVC and FALSC, but also by those at the libraries who have relied on her reports.


We’ll reluctantly bid farewell to another retiring staffer, Technical Services System Specialist Mary Ann O’Daniel, on Jan. 31. Mary Ann has been with FALSC and its predecessor organizations since 1986, aside from short stints at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Florida in the early ’90s. She couldn’t stay away for long, and returned to work in acquisitions, writing documentation and assisting with the newsletter. She also helped library staff with remote access support, or modem setup assistance, on the then-integrated library system (ILS), NOTIS. In recent years, Mary Ann has been integral in supporting authorities, indexing and cataloging. She also played a major role in some of the backend setup needed to make UBorrow work with Mango. Mary Ann has worked tirelessly on numerous ILS implementations from NOTIS to Aleph and currently Sierra, and countless upgrades in between, including the shared bib project for State University System libraries. Her thoughtful and detail-oriented approach to her work has been an invaluable asset to this organization and to the libraries we support.


Chris Yearwood

FLVC and FALSC will also miss Software Applications Engineer Chris Yearwood, who leaves us this month for a position at Aderant Software after 11 years with FLVC and its predecessor organizations. As the LINCCWeb and authentication engineer, Chris worked on SFX, Ezproxy, eBook connectivity, search widgets, LINCCWeb toolbar, and LINCCWeb authentication. Most notable in LINCCWeb authentication was his development of the LINCCWeb SSO used by 17 of the colleges in their portals and Learning Management Systems. His work developing the LINCCWeb SSO solution in less than 90 days with Palm Beach State College earned the project a Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) Innovation Award in 2008. Chris says he always enjoyed meeting librarians and students in the field to learn how FALSC’s software could be better.


December 2017

FALSC and FLVC welcomed new Help Desk Analyst Peter Ott on Dec. 11. Peter is originally from Illinois, but earned his master’s degree in Library and Information Studies at Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in Information Resources from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His background is in information technology – both support and teaching.



November 2017

Keila Zayas-Ruiz joined Florida State University (FSU) as Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN) Coordinator in September. Library and museum staff statewide can expect to hear often from Keila in the coming months as she helps get the Sunshine State Digital Network off the ground. Previously, she was Diversity Resident Librarian and Research Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville Libraries. Keila is no stranger to Florida: She earned her master’s in Library and Information Science at Florida State, a bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida, and an AA at Valencia College. 


October 2017

The “Chronicle of Higher Education” recently gave a shout-out not to one library staffer, but to a whole group of them with an article about interlibrary loan managers that ran as part of a series called “Unsung Campus: 5 Jobs Powering the Modern College.” The article, “When You Need That One and Only Book,” describes the interlibrary loan manager as a kind of detective working to facilitate scholarship. Megan R. Gaffney, the associate librarian in charge of interlibrary loans for the University of Delaware, describes the job’s payoff: “I love being able to hunt down something that I never thought we’d be able to borrow and say, ‘Here you go. We got it.’ "


Jay Wiese

Jay Wiese joined FALSC’s Gainesville office on Oct. 9 as a Library Services Analyst. Jay comes to us from the University of Florida Smathers Libraries Acquisitions and Collections Services Department. He has more than 16 years of experience in academic libraries, including 13 years in acquisitions and serials, and will join the Acquisitions/Serials Working Group as a FALSC liaison. Jay is an all-around great fit for FALSC and our member libraries: He has worked extensively with Aleph and EBSCO Discovery Service, and has participated in training on Sierra/Encore Duet. 


September 2017

Sadly, we're saying goodbye to two FALSC staffers this month.

Christine Freeland, who has served for three and a half years as an FLVC Help Desk Analyst based in Tallahassee, has returned to the Virgin Islands to be closer to family. Her last day on the Help Desk was Sept. 15.


Debra Cannon has been with us since August 2013 as an Assistant for Library and Digital Services in the Gainesville office. Her last day was Sept. 7.




August 2017

Florida’s public college and university libraries were well-represented at the daylong Panhandle Library Access Network/Florida Library Association (PLAN FLA) Mini Conference, held Aug. 25 at the Panama City Campus of Florida State University. The FALSC crew spotted a number of academic library colleagues in the audience, and conference presenters included:

  • Alvin Lee, Florida A&M University
  • Lorri Mon, Florida State University
  • Pamela Monroe, Florida A&M University
  • Shaun Saxon, Florida State University, Panama City


FALSC E-Resources Coordinator Amanda Yesilbas has successfully completed all requirements for a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Certificate from the Society of American Archivists (SAA).




July 2017

Ying Zhang, head of University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries’ Acquisitions and Collection Services, has been elected incoming Vice President/President-Elect (2018-2019) of the Executive Committee of the Chinese American Librarians Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association.


A bevy of Florida college and university librarians attended the American Library Association Annual Conference, June 22-27 in Chicago, and more than a few were involved in presentations. Our list is far from comprehensive, but we’d like to give a nod to those we know about. 

  • Mohamed Berray, Social Services Librarian at Florida State University, gave an ALA presentation titled “Strategies for Mapping Information Literacy Threshold Concepts to Course Objectives: A Case Study of the Political Science Department at Florida State University.”
  • Matthew Miguez, Metadata Librarian at Florida State University, was a speaker for a presentation on “Finding the Right API for You: A Technical Services Workflow Perspective.”
  • Tony Stamatoplos, Scholarly Support Services Librarian at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, participated in a panel discussion on “Protest & Preservation.”
  • University of West Florida Librarians Britt McGowan, Amanda Westley Ziegler, and Melissa Finley Gonzalez presented posters.


Julia Zimmerman, Dean of University Libraries at Florida State (FSU), was all smiles as staff honored her 10 years of service with FSU on June 7. An alumna of Florida State, Julia returned from Ohio University, where she also served as Dean of Libraries, to lead FSU Libraries beginning in July 2007. At left, the Dean shows off her cake, photo courtesy of FSU Libraries.






June 2017

Marian Smith has accepted a Faculty Librarian position with Eastern Florida State College, and will work at the college's Palm Bay Campus. Prior to the move, Marian was with Pasco-Hernando State College, and served as Associate Director of Libraries, based at the East Campus in Dade City.  


FALSC said goodbye to Linda McCarthy, Director of Library Support and Training, at the end of May. In her 15 years with FALSC and predecessor organizations, Linda was a driving force behind scores of projects, a generous mentor and colleague, and a kind but indomitable presence at countless meetings and conferences. We salute her service. 


Deborah Robinson, Director of Library Services at Tallahassee Community College, passed away peacefully in Tallahassee on June 13. She was 61. A highly respected colleague, mentor, and friend to many in the library community, Debbie will be greatly missed. A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. July 15 at St. John's Episcopal Church, Tallahassee.



May 2017

Congratulations to the staff members at Florida’s public colleges and universities who have been elected to section seats in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association:

  • Susan Silver, University of South Florida (USF): Member-at-Large (two-year term), Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of ACRL
  • Abby Janine Scheel , Florida State University (FSU): Member-at-Large, Literatures in English Section (LES)
  • E. Haven Hawley, University of Florida (UF): Secretary (two-year term), Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS)
  • Sara Russell Gonzalez, UF:  Member-at-Large (two-year term), Science and Technology Section
  • Michelle Demeter, FSU: Secretary, University Libraries Section


Morgan Tracy is the new Director of College Libraries at Seminole State College. He started in April and will now serve as the college's new MCLS primary representative.  Morgan comes to Seminole from Asbury University, Wilmore, Ky. Previously, he worked for the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives for several years.


Gloria Colvin, Director of Graduate and Faculty Services at FSU Libraries and a past President of the Florida Library Association, will retire May 31 to “start the next chapter” in her life. Gloria has been at FSU for more than 15 years, first as the Statistics, Assessment, & Special Projects Librarian, then as a reference librarian, founding member of the Scholars Commons, liaison to FSU’s College of Education, and most recently as a director. She writes: I’m looking forward to traveling, volunteering, spending more time with my grandchildren, reading the stacks of books I’ve accumulated, and not having to set an alarm clock in the morning.”


Ruth S. Ziegler, Associate Librarian and Head of Authorities/Catalog Management at FSU Libraries, will be retiring this month after 13½ years of service.  Ruth was instrumental in bringing FSU into the Library of Congress - Program for Cooperative Cataloging - Name Authority Cooperative Cataloging (PCC-NACO) in 2006 and has been involved with a number of major withdrawal projects since 2009. Ruth is looking forward to having time to paint, garden, photograph, cook, read and travel.


We note with sadness the passing of Phyllis J. Hudson, who was a librarian at the University of Central Florida (UCF) for 34 years. An outstanding colleague, she worked in several departments at the library, most notably Reference and Instruction, and touched the lives of thousands of Florida Technological University and UCF students. Phyllis was also a tireless advocate for United Faculty of Florida and for women’s rights in libraries and in the community at large. Phyllis died April 20 in Raleigh, N.C., at age 83.


April 2017

Elizabeth Curry, Dean of the University of North Florida Thomas G. Carpenter Library, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Leadership & Professional Achievement Award from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The association’s news release quotes nominator Barbara Stites: “Often described by her peers as a creative problem solver who successfully facilitates process-oriented solutions, Curry is frequently sought out for strategic planning efforts, leadership training and complex project planning endeavors. Curry led a myriad of cutting-edge projects with the Southeast Florida Library Information Network, where she set the stage for libraries’ future leaders by implementing the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute, which is still active today.” Elizabeth will be honored June 24 at the ASCLA Achievement Awards Ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.


Judith Russell, Dean of University Libraries at the University of Florida (UF), has been named the winner of the 2017 James Bennett Childs Award by the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association. The Childs Award is a tribute to an individual who has made a lifetime and significant contribution to the field of documents librarianship, and is based on stature, service, and publication. The scholar and librarian for whom the award is named had a career spanning 55 years, including service as Specialist in Government Document Bibliography at the Library of Congress. James Bennett Childs died in 1977 at age 80. 


Krystal Thomas, Associate Librarian and Digital Archivist at Florida State University (FSU) Libraries, has been awarded the 2017 Fred Standley Award, which recognizes a librarian who has made extraordinary contributions to the university through expertise, diligent effort, notable accomplishments, and exemplary teamwork. FSU Libraries honored several faculty and staff members at a reception in early March. The winner of the “Duct Tape Award,” recognizing a staffer who can deal with any issue that arises, was Bremen Hill, Undergraduate Services Overnight Coordinator. 


Theresa Burress, Humanities Librarian at New College of Florida, has been named one of Library Journal’s 52 Movers & Shakers for 2017. The magazine’s annual Movers & Shakers issue offers a “snapshot of the transformative work being done by those in libraries of all types and sizes across the field.” See Theresa’s profile online.



March 2017

Sara Duff, who has been the  Collection Strategies & Technical Services  Librarian at  Gulf Coast State College for the past seven years, will join the University of Central Florida as Acquisitions & Collection Assessment Librarian on April 7. 


Athena Hoeppner, Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Central Florida, was a speaker for the webinar “Ensuring What Libraries Have Licensed Is What Users Can Reach,” which was presented on Feb. 8 by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).

On Feb. 15, Florida was represented at a NISO Virtual Conference on Institutional Repositories: Ensuring Your IR is Populated, Useful and Thriving by Todd Digby, Chair of Library Information Technology at the University of Florida, and Robert Phillips, Digital Collections Applications Programmer at the University of Florida. The two presented “Enhancing the Institutional Repository through Publisher Partnerships to Increase Indexing, Linking, and Displaying of Faculty Published Materials.”


February 2017

Mohamed BerrayTwo Florida librarians recently were cited in a commendation of academic librarians serving as “referees” for Resources for College Libraries (RCL). Susan Ariew, Academic Services Librarian for Education at the University of South Florida, and Mohamed Berray, a Social Sciences Librarian at Florida State University, were named along with other referees in an article in the January issue of the College & Research Libraries Newsa publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). 

RCL identifies more than 85,000 essential titles for undergraduate research and teaching. Published by Choice/ACRL in partnership with ProQuest, each RCL subject collection undergoes peer review by academic librarians and faculty to ensure continued excellence for a core collection development tool.



January 2017

We offer our congratulations to the newly elected members of the Florida Library Association (FLA) Executive Board for 2017-2018:

  • Vice President/President Elect: Sarah Hammill, Business and Online Learning Librarian, Florida International University
  • Secretary: Tina Neville, Head of Library Research and Instruction, Nelson Poynter Memorial  Library , University of South Florida – St. Petersburg
  • Director Region 1: Jorge Perez, Digital Learning and Information Technology Librarian, Florida International University
  • Director Region 3: Anne Marie Casey, Library Director, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Director Region 4: Phyllis Gorshe, Library Director, City of Dunedin
  • ALA Counselor: Elana Karshmer, Associate Professor and Instruction Program & Information Literacy Librarian, Saint Leo University


Judith Russell, Dean of University Libraries at the University of Florida (UF), has been selected by the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) to receive the 2017 Miles Conrad Award. NFAIS, a global nonprofit membership organization, presents the Miles Conrad Award annually to honor achievement in fostering the growth of information services. Judith was chosen in recognition of “her significant achievements in librarianship and for her leadership in information services throughout a career spanning academia, government, the non-profit and private sectors,” according to an NFAIS news release. Before joining UF in 2007, Judith was Superintendent of Documents at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). She also has served as Deputy Director of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) and as Director of the Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services and the Federal Depository Library Program at GPO, and has worked in the information industry and special libraries.


Dr. Martha Saunders, who began her career at the University of West Florida (UWF) in 1984 as a professor in Communication Arts, became the sixth President of the institution on Jan. 1. She takes over from former President Dr. Judy Bense, who led UWF for eight years. Previously, Dr. Saunders held leadership positions at two other institutions, serving as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater from 2005 to 2007 and as President of the University of Southern Mississippi from 2007 to 2012. As part of UWF's Innovation Institute, FALSC and FLVC are administered by the university.


Caroline Reed, the Social Sciences Librarian at New College of Florida for many years, begins a new position as the Collection Development Librarian supervising Technical Services at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota on Jan. 9.   



FLVC will miss Dale Wann, who left us recently for a position at the Florida Department of Revenue. He was a programmer who worked here for 10 years. As the Primo Administrator, he kept it up and running, presenting about the implementation of Primo in a consortium environment at the ExLibris conference. He helped implement our Customer Relationship Management system, and did programming and maintenance for the legacy LINCCWeb products. Some of you may have met Dale at our FALSC Regional meetings, as he always had a keen interest in our customers and how to better meet their needs. 


Gerald Snyder, Coordinator of Special ILS Projects, will be retiring from FLVC this month. Gerald started at the University of Florida in 1982, where he worked on bringing up NOTIS, the first automation system for Florida university libraries. He joined the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA) in 1985 and has been a staff member for the subsequent organizations since then. Gerald has played an important role in support and development of Aleph, WebLuis, and Mango through the years. He will be deeply missed, and we wish him well as he embarks on his next adventures: traveling, completing the Camino de Santiago walk in Spain, and doing an old house remodel.  


Lydia Motyka, most recently Manager of Digital Services for FALSC, has resumed her former role as Manager of the Florida Digital Archive for the organization.


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