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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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January 2022

Hellos and Goodbyes

Over the past few months, the Library Services division of FLVC have had some staff with the addition of two new employees and one retirement.

Shannon Whisenant

Shannon joined the FLVC staff on December 9th as a Library Assistant in our E-Resources workgroup. She is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. Shannon will be assisting with both the Statewide and Group E-Resources Licensing projects.



Hisham Makki

Hisham began work at FLVC on January 14th as the new Assistant Director of Data Quality. He previous positions include a stint with the Library of Congress’ Overseas Operations Office in Cairo, a Digitization Consultant in the Agha Khan Documentation Center at MIT, and most recently as a Systems Manager at the Rogers Public Library in Arkansas. Hisham’s knowledge in IT and SQL will be helpful as he will oversee our work in loading and maintaining records in Alma as well as reports.


Gary Phillips

Gary retired from FLVC on January 3rd after 10 years of work with the organization in various roles. In 2012, he was hired as a Systems Engineer for FLVC’s Department of Information Technology where he provided hardware and software support. Because of his previous background working with library systems, Gary moved to Library Services in 2019 to assist with reports for Aleph. He was an integral part of FLVC’s Alma/Primo VE implementation last year, leading our efforts in understanding how Alma Analytics works and assisting institutions in creating and managing reports in our new system. We certainly wish Gary a long and happy retirement!

January 2021

FLVC Says Goodbye to Two Employees

In the midst of transitioning from UWF to FSU last month, FALSC said goodbye to two long-time employees from our Gainesville staff: Gail Orth and Elaine Henjum. Both departures are due to well-deserved retirements.

Gail was hired by FCLA in 2007 as an administrative support person and assisted in purchase requisitions for the SUS statewide database collections, processing invoices, and some HR duties. When the organization merged and became FLVC, she was moved to the Financial Services Team where she performed many of the same duties as well as supervising the front office staff in the Gainesville office. In 2015 when FALSC was created, she moved to the E-Resources Team where she worked with purchasing and invoicing for all of the statewide collections and group licensing for all 40 institutions and provided administrative support for the Gainesville office. She is looking forward to lots of travel in her retirement and can’t wait to start this new chapter in her life.

Elaine’s story with FCLA/FLVC/FALSC goes back to the very beginning of the organization itself. Hired in early 1985, she was one of the original staff members of FCLA and an integral part of bringing up the first shared integrated library system for the Florida universities: NOTIS/LUIS. After many years working as a Systems Specialist on NOTIS, she was also a part of the team that implemented Aleph for the SUS in the mid-2000s. After the formation of FLVC and FALSC, her duties were mainly with the database support, assisting in batchloading new records in Aleph for all 40 institutions. Her knowledge of our current system and all of its intricate functions has been invaluable and will be very difficult to replace.  Elaine is looking forward to spending more time with her family, especially her young grandchildren.

Obviously, these staff members will be sorely missed, but we wish them well as they begin a chapter in their lives.

July 2020

Selma Jaskowski Retires

(From the CR&L News, July/August 2020)

Selma Jaskowski, Associate Director for Technology, Services Resource Management, has retired from the University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries after 25 years of service. Arriving at the library in 1994, Jaskowski embarked on a mission to provide the best technology services for students and staff. It begin with the rewiring of the entire building, which was the first structure built on the UCF campus, to support network connected PCs for all staff and students. Jaskowski moved on to increase her staff of 1 to 12 over the next several years creating an autonomous IT team for the libraries that installed and managed multiple servers, switches, and wiring. Through the efforts of Jaskowski and her team, the building was the first on campus to have wireless connectivity. Technology lending soon followed along with the establishment of the LibTech desk, a central location to borrow equiment and for tech help. Jaskowski oversaw the creation of the libraries' web presence, multiple custom designed databases for staff operational use, the implementation of network printing, and digital signage.

June 2020

In Memoriam: Bill Garrison

(From the C&RL News, June 2020)

William "Bill" Garrison, dean of the University of South Florida (USF) Libaries in Tampa (2008-2015) has died. Garrison's career in librarianship took him to Northwestern University, Stanford University, the University of Colorado, and Syracuse University. Garrison joined USF with more than 30 years of cataloging and library administrative experience, and was instrumental in creating and supporting the LGBTQ Collection in Special Collections through several donations. He oversaw the major renovations of the first and second floors of the Tampa library that allowed for increased seating and technological advancements, and laid the foundation for rich collaborations with Academic Success, Career Services, and Innovative Education. He published numerous research papers, books, and chapters, and enjoyed teaching cataloging throughout his career. He was an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the IFLA team that developed the foundation for the Resource Description & Access standard. He served locally on the Tampa Bay Library Consortium Board of Directors and was a member of the Association of Southeast Research Libraries and ALA. During his service in three Association of Research Libraries (ARL) libraries, Garrison was active in ARL programs and was awarded an ARL Leadership Fellow (2004-2006).

May 2020

Susan Mythen Elected Vice President/President Elect of ALA's Instruction Round Table

Congratulations are in order for Susan Mythen, Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Director of Campus Library Services, on her election to Vice President/President Elect of the American Library Association's Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)! Founded in 1977, LIRT empowers librarians from all types of libraries to become better teachers, and with just under 2,000 members is ALA's largest round table. Susan's term with ALA begins July 1st. Dobby (the cute fuzzy one) is happy for her!


FGCU Has a New Library Dean

With little fanfare due to the current pandemic, Florida Gulf Coast University has welcomed its new Library Dean, and she is no stranger to Florida. Dr. Tracy Elliott, formerly the Dean of the Library at San Jose State University since 2016, began work in late March. Before moving off to California, Tracy was the Director of Libraries at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota as well as a Library Program Director at St. Petersburg College. She succeeds Kathy Miller at FGCU who retire in August 2019. Welcome back to Florida, Tracy!

Simonne Jackson Joins FALSC Staff

FALSC would like to welcome Simonne Jackson as our newest staff member, effective April 27th. Simonne will be working in our Digital Services workgroup as a Digital Services and OER Support Specialist. She is a recent graduate of the University of West Florida with a Bachelors in Information Technology. Before joining FALSC, Simonne worked as a pharmacy technician. She currently lives in Fort White near the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, which she enjoys visiting regularly. She will be working at the FLVC offices in Gainesville. Please welcome Simonne to our staff!

Other Staff Changes at FALSC

In addition to Simonne joining us, FALSC has had a couple of other changes to its staff. Leigh Mihlrad, the Assistant Director of E-Resources recently left FALSC for another position in the Washington, DC area. We wish her (and her bulldog Clovis) well in her latest adventures. Long-time FALSC staff member Lisa Tatum, has been appointed to fill Leigh's position on an interim basis. Lisa will be assisting Rachel and the rest of the E-Resources staff on day-to-day operations and especially with the annual group licensing process.

Also leaving FALSC is Anthony Perryman, who has been a Help Desk Analyst for the past three years. However, Anthony is not going very far. Effective May 4th, he is now a Senior Accountant with FLVC in the Tallahassee Office, working under Lisa Ryals in our Finance workgroup. Once staff are allowed back in the building, he will relocate his office down the hall! Congratulations to both Lisa and Anthony in their new positions!


January 2020

Barry Baker, UCF Library Director, Retires

Barry B. Baker, the University of Central Florida's Library Director for the past 22 years, will retire on February 20, 2020. He joined UCF in 1997 from the University of Georgia Libraries where he had served as Assistant Director for Technical Services. Baker's time with UCF Libraries was marked by rapid change, as university enrollment grew from 28,000 to nearly 70,000. Baker was instrumental in developing the libraries' regional campus network of librarians, the opening of the Rosen College and Downtown libraries, and he guided a significant increase in both print and digital information resources. His interest in building special collections and archives led to the addition of several important collections during his tenure.

Baker's most notable accomplishment is the successful redevelopment of the John C. Hitt Library, which now includes a 1.25 million volume automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) and a 57,000 square foot addition and renovation, which will open in March 2020. The project, designated the 21st Century Library, represents a major academic enhancement to the University of Central Florida.

Over his 53-year library career Baker has been active professionally in ALA, ACRL, ALCTS, ASERL, FLA, and of course, FCLA and FALSC. He was the editor of the "Technical Services Report" in Technical Services Quarterly and is a noted expert in cataloging and acquisitions.

The FALSC leadership and staff would like to wish Barry and long and happy retirement!

FAU Librarian Wins National Public Service Honor

Leah Plocharczyk, Interim Director of Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Library, in Jupiter, Florida, is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized for her leadership in her community and commitment to transforming lives, she is one of only 10 librarians in the country to receive this national honor from the American Library Association. 

Plocharczyk has made a powerful impact through the book club she created for adults with intellectual disabilities.

The book club is both a key service to her community and an opportunity for much-needed special education research: Plocharczyk develops innovative tactics to engage participants and closely documents which strategies are most successful, publishing her findings in The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion as well as in an upcoming book.

Plocharczyk is also honored for her contributions to biological research: she has spent hours at sea with scientists, observing dolphins and contributing to research on migration patterns. 

Colleagues describe Plocharczyk as having “a special blend of intelligence, integrity, courage, compassion and determination.” Her nomination praises her ability to inspire and mentor her staff, as well as as her professionalism and service to faculty.

The American Library Association (ALA) receives I Love My Librarian Award nominations from the general public that showcase the lasting contributions of dynamic librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. This year library users nationwide submitted 1,974 detailing how their favorite librarians have gone above and beyond to improve community members’ lives.

Since the award’s inception in 2008, ALA has selected up to 10 librarians from a pool of hundreds of nominations. This year’s award winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony in Philadelphia on Jan. 25, 2020.

Over the last decade, library supporters have shared more than 19,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to connect them to information, educational opportunities and critical technology. Information regarding previous award winners, can be found on the I Love My Librarian website.

Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library and the New York Times are award co-sponsors. The ALA administers the award through ALA’s Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians. 


November 2019

Ray Calvert Retires

Raymond Calvert from Pasco-Hernando State College recently announced he is retiring as their Director of Libraries at the end of this year. Ray has had a long and successful career in libraries that spans 40 years, with most that within the state of Florida. After graduating from FSU with a MLS in 1979, he worked as a librarian for the Florida Department of Education (1979-81), the Florida Department of Corrections (1981-83), and Manatee Junior College (now State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota) (1984-99). In 1999, he became the Director of Learning Resources at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick. He remained there until 2009 when he became the Director of Libraries for PHSC.

During his tenure, Ray has overseen many changes to the college including the addition of two new campus libraries (Spring Hill and Porter), extensive renovations to the existing campus libraries, and a vast expansion of professional and para-professional staff to serve these facilities. In addition, Ray has also been active in the leadership of FLVC and FALSC, serving as the chair of the Members Council for Library Services in 2016-17.

We sincerely wish Ray a long and happy retirement.


Barbara Stites Retires

Dr. Barbara J. Stites, currently the Interim Dean of the Wilson G. Bradshaw Library at Florida Gulf Coast University, is retiring on December 24, 2019 after 44 years in education and libraries. Barbara began her career as an elementary school teacher, then as a high school library media specialist. After a stint working as a librarian for PriceWaterhouse and then for Holland and Knight as a law librarian, she was hired as the second Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC). Later, she served as Executive Director of Southwest Florida Library Network (SWFLN) for several years until moving on FGCU.

During her career, she has been very active in several professional organizations within the state, including Treasurer of the Florida Association for Media in Education, President of the Special Library Association, Florida and Caribbean Chapter; and President of the Florida Library Association (2013). In addition, Barbara has been recognized for her many accomplishments in the profession including the 2008 recipient of the University of South Florida School of Infomation Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2015 Alice G. Smith Lecturer, and FLA's 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Barbara's dedication and leadership has touched many throughout her storied career. She has been a staunch supporter in mentoring aspiring library students and younger colleagues, whether formally via the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute or informally through her work at FGCU and the various library associations. Her commitment to mentoring leadership in others will continue in her "retirement" as she plans to open an executive coaching firm for future library leaders during the next year.

While the Florida Academic community will certainly miss her, we wish her well in her next adventure!


New Addition to FALSC Staff

FALSC would like to formally welcome Melissa Sykes to our staff as a Public Services System Specialist. Melissa started on November 18th and will be a part of the Library Support and Training Workgroup. Her main responsibilities will include assisting in the coordination and delivery of all training and documentation for FALSC as well as various regional meetings and workshops. Her previous positions include working at the Florida Department of Education as a Library Media and Instructional Materials Program Specialist and as a Reference Librarian for Florida State University and the Gadsden County Public Library System.

She is very eager to begin her work with FALSC. If you have a chance, please welcome her to the organization.

July 2019

In Memoriam: Dr. William Miller

Dr. William “Bill” Miller, Dean of the Florida Atlantic University Libraries for over 27 years, passed away on July 18, 2019. Bill began his tenure at FAU in 1987 and served as dean until his retirement in 2014. He oversaw many technological advances to the library and was an avid supporter of library cooperation. Bill was a founding member and longtime Treasurer of the Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN), a member of the Florida Library Network Council, and was actively involved in FCLA, FLVC, and FALSC while serving as dean.

Nationally, Dr. Miller served as the editor of The Reference Librarian for many years, was president of the Association of College & Research Libraries (1996-97), and was very active in ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). In honor of his many years of service, ALA named Bill the winner of the 2014 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, the highest honor RUSA can give.

Our condolences are given to his wife, Dr. Kathleen Miller, who is the current Dean of Libraries at Florida Gulf Coast University, their family and friends, and to the many present and former FAU library staff who worked with him through the years. Bill will surely be missed.


FALSC Says Goodbye to Two Long-Time Employees

Jeannie Dixon, Assistant Director of Data Quality, will be retiring on August 2nd. We will miss Jeannie and thank her for all her contributions to the library profession throughout the years.

Jeannie received her BS in Library Science at Mississippi University for Women in 1976 and her MLS from the University of Alabama in 1977. She began her 42-year professional career as a cataloger at Birmingham, AL Public Library System (1977-78). Later she was Head of Cataloging for the State Library of Mississippi (1978-1982). After moving to Houston, she became Head of Cataloging at Houston Public Library (1982-1984) and then Coordinator of Library Automation, Houston Area Library System (1984-1988) and Automation Librarian at Pan American University in Edinburg, TX (1988-1992).

Since moving to Florida in 1992, she has worked at FLVC/FALSC and its predecessor organizations in numerous capacities for the past 27 years! Jeannie played a major role in implementing and configuring Aleph for the colleges in 2004. She currently leads the Data Quality team in Integrated Library Services and supplies invaluable reports to librarians across the state.

Paramount in Jeannie’s life is her family - married to Tucker Dixon; 2 children Robert and Mary; 6 grandchildren; 3 step-sons; 5 step-grandchildren; 5 step great grandchildren! She is looking forward to travelling more with her family and friends and continuing her involvement with her church. We wish her well.

Lydia Motyka, Digital Services and OER Coordinator, will be retiring on July 31st after 18 years with the organization.

Lydia received her BA in Sociology from State University of New York Binghamton and an MLS from Drexel University. Before coming to FCLA (one of FALSC/FLVC predecessor organizations), she worked for two ILS vendors, Inlex and Innovative Interfaces, assisting with library system installations. She came to Florida in 2001 to help with the university libraries’ migration from NOTIS to Aleph. Later, Lydia moved to digital services where she managed the Florida Digital Archive. After the formation of FLVC, she became Manager of Digital Services, where her main project was migrating data from DigiTool to Islandora, FALSC’s current digital platform.

Due to health issues, Lydia’s role with the organization has been somewhat reduced in the past few years, but her desire to provide excellent support to the universities and colleges in Florida has never diminished. We wish her well in all her future endeavors!


June 2019

FALSC Welcomes Leigh Mihlrad to its Staff
Leigh MihlradFALSC would like to formally welcome Leigh Mihlrad to its staff as the new Assistant Director for E-Resources, effective June 24, 2019. Leigh comes to us from Washington, DC where she was an Information Technology Librarian for the FDIC. She has also held positions at National Institutes of Health Library, Georgetown University Medical Center, and the Health Sciences Library at the Albany Medical College. Leigh has an extensive background in managing and maintaining electronic resources, and her experiences will be beneficial in assisting FALSC in its state and group licensing programs. She will be located in FLVC's Tallahassee office.

Please make her feel welcome as she acclimates to Florida and our organization.

UNF Library Names New Library Dean
Dr. Brent MaiDr. Brent Mai, has accepted the University of North Florida's offer to become the new dean of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library.

Mai will begin his new position early this summer. Under his leadership at Fairfield University for the last three years, he has headed the migration to a new integrated library system and developed a strategic plan to implement the university's vision. We here at FALSC welcome him to the Florida and look forward to working with Dr. Mai.

April 2019

Clayton Tucker joins the FALSC Staff
Clayton TuckerFALSC would like to welcome Clayton Tucker as the latest addition to its staff, effective April 1st. Clayton will serve as a Library Services Analyst as part of the Integrated Library System Workgroup. Clayton comes to us from the University of Florida where he was a Circulation Team Leader at the George A. Smathers Libraries for the past three years. Previously, he was a Library Assistant at the UF Health Science Center Library in Gainesville as well. Clayton has a BA in English and Political Science from the University of North Florida and a MLIS from Florida State University. He brings to FALSC a working knowledge of our current ILS and desire to learn new skills. Welcome aboard, Clayton!

Maggie Hoomes Also Joins the FALSC Staff
Maggie HoomesFALSC would also like to welcome Maggie Hoomes to its staff as well, effective April 22nd. She is the latest addition to our Help Desk where she will serve as a Help Desk Analyst. Maggie has held library positions at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Florida State University's Law Library and Strozier Library, and Tallahassee Community College. Her MLIS is from FSU, but she also has a Masters degree in Education from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelors degree from Georgia Southern University. Maggie is cheerful, energetic, and eager to learn her new position. Library staff should look forward to working with her as they interact with the FLVC Help Desk staff. Welcome Maggie.

Eastern Florida has a New Librarian

FALSC would also like to welcome Holly Tkaczyk to Eastern Florida State College as their new Instructor/Librarian for the Cocoa Campus. Holly has worked in academic libraries for over 14 years and comes to the college from Tennessee. She received her MLIS from the University of Alabama and her BA in English from Michigan State University. Her favorite pastimes include traveling, movies, and reading and writing poetry. Holly has two adult children and a tabby cat.

February 2019

New Addition to the FALSC Staff
FALSC welcomes Gary Phillips to its staff. Gary will serve as our Systems Reports Specialist, effective February 25th. He is a very familiar face to the organization since he has worked for FLVC and FCLA in various roles for the past nine years. Since 2012, he has been a Systems Engineer for FLVC’s Department of Information Technology where he provided hardware and software support for many of the organization’s servers. Well versed in several programming languages, Gary also has extensive experience in working with various library systems throughout his career. He will be working in our Data Quality Workgroup primarily assisting in the production of reports. Please join us in welcoming him to FALSC!


January 2019

New Faces at Broward College

Over the past several months, Broward College has welcomed two new staff members to replace long-time librarians who recently retired. In September 2018, Angela Griffin joined their staff has the Director of Technical Services, a position previously held by Jan Rothhaar, who retired earlier in the year after 32 years of service. Angela comes to the college from St. Thomas University, Law Library where she also worked in Technical Services. In addition, Craig Amos was hired in January 2019 as the Associate Dean of Library Access and Discovery. He replaces Rich Ackerman who retired in the summer of 2018. Craig’s previous position was with Nova Southeastern University as a Reference/Subject Specialist Librarian. Welcome to the FALSC community.

Eastern Florida State College Says Goodbye to Jill Simser

Jill Simser, an Associate Professor/Librarian at the Cocoa campus, has retired from her position at Eastern Florida State College effective January 2019. Jill has been at EFSC since 2003, coming from Valencia College. She has served as the college's representative to the FALSC Members Council for Library Services for the past few years and on various FALSC, FLVC, and CCLA committees during her tenure with the college. We wish her well as she begins a new course in her life.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.






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