Next Things

My first job at FSU Libraries was 8 hours a week sitting at the desk at Florida State’s study center in Florence, Italy where I was studying abroad. The librarian at the time was a masters student from FSU’s iSchool, and I could care less about anything he was interested in. I was 20 years old and living in Italy, you know.

Several years later, I took a 10 hours/week position as the program coordinator for the Florida Book Awards, which also meant watching the desk/phones in Strozier Library’s admin office as other folks took lunch breaks. A few days a week between classes, research, and teaching a course on Underground Music in America (1980 – early 2000’s, natch), I would grab a $5 footlong and process submissions, create/update the book awards social media accounts, and say hello to lots of smart looking and important people. One day Julia Zimmerman, the Dean of the Library, mentioned that I should check out this new reading group about “digital scholars” headed up by this scrappy young assistant professor named Paul Fyfe. I dove in headfirst.


The DigiNoles are born. Richard Urban, Katie McCormick, Paul Fyfe and yours truly at THATCamp SE, Athens, GA, 2013.

I returned to FSU Libraries on a hope and a dream, after a stint at the Brooklyn Public Library, because Paul emailed me out of the blue and said the library was going to be hiring a project manager for something called “scholarly communication” that I would be perfect for, if only I were still in Tallahassee. I spent 10 hours googling, mainlined the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit and SPARC’s website, and nailed the interview. After 8 months hustling that part time gig, FSU Libraries saw fit to offer me the honor of serving as their first scholarly communication librarian. The rest, as they say, is on my CV.


I’ve lived in Tallahassee for almost all of my post-high school life. I can’t go anywhere without knowing or recognizing at least 1 person. It feels more like home than my hometown. FSU Libraries gave me incredible freedom for a brand new librarian, and with that freedom I built a reputation and a voice. It took me a while to realize, but I think I’ve been ready for some time to lend that voice to a new organization. For the style of librarian that I have become, I couldn’t imagine a better place to go than the “library of the future.”

hIbkn8ncSOWZBqsO7KXYvgI’ll be joining new colleagues and old friends at North Carolina State Libraries as the Open Knowledge Librarian. My role will entail developing programs, advocacy tools, and partnerships that facilitate and promote open and publicly engaged scholarship, and many other things I’m sure! I am overjoyed to join Will Cross and Erica Hayes at the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, folks I already have a ton of respect for. I look forward to getting involved in the multitude of activities NCSU Libraries host, and also to joining a regional network of colleagues and institutional neighbors who have constantly inspired me throughout my short career. I haven’t been new somewhere in a LOOOONG time, so I’m nervously excited to forget peoples names, bumble through a few projects early on, and learn a new University from the inside out. I’m eager to get to work, and so pumped about aligning my skills with a stellar group of folks in a forward-thinking library.

I’ll miss FSU like hell. And Tallahassee will always be the place where I started college, a career, and a family. But, I am ready for next things. And, I owe Paul a 7 year debt of gratitude for allowing me to sit under his Digital Humanities tutelage as a wee grad student, sending that email that called me back to Tallahassee, and then for hyping me to NCSU as the best digital thing since e-science.

Forever a DigiNole, about to be a DigiWolf? A Pack-nologist? Either way, I’m ready to take on the Triangle.

So, lets eat some Gaines Street Pies / Tan’s Asian Cafe and drink some Proof Brewing Company/ Lucky Goat Coffee. Lets guzzle tupelo honey, and chomp Bradley’s sausage. Lets morn the Miracle 5, Beta Bar, and Vinyl Fever. Lets lambast the legislature, snowbirds, and “Florida Man”. Lets swim in sink holes, swat mosquitoes, and surf the Space Coast. Lets wrestle gators, roll with manatees, and caw with seagulls. Give me key lime pie, gulf oysters, Hammakockers BBQ, Sweetgrass Dairy cheese, and all the juicy, pulpy, fresh picked oranges in the whole G-D state. Give me the Dry Tortugas, Everglades Nat’l Park, and St. Augustine.

But most of all, give me sunshine in my blood, salt water in my soul, and limestone in my heart.