2022 MDOS Election: Candidate Statements

Thank you to all of our excellent candidates for standing in the 2022 Metadata and Digital Object Section (MDOS) election. Please take some time to review their candidate statements and get to know them so you can make an informed choice.

You will be voting for:

  • 1 Co-chair (three-year term)
  • 1 Steering Committee member (three-year term)
  • 1 Web Liaison (three-year term)
  • 1 Education Coordinator (three-year term)

Ballots will be managed by SAA staff through Survey Monkey; keep an eye on your inbox for when the ballot opens! 

Co-Chair Candidate

The following candidate is running for the Co-chair position:

Jessica Serrao
Metadata Librarian for Digital Collections, Clemson University

Jessica is the Metadata Librarian for Digital Collections at Clemson University where she creates, enriches, and maintains metadata for digital objects from Special Collections and Archives. She is responsible for developing metadata policies and workflows to ensure practices adhere to local and national standards. Jessica has six years of metadata experience in academic libraries. Previously, she processed physical and born digital archival collections as Library Associate at North Carolina State University, and scanned and generated metadata for historic collections as a Graduate Assistant at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and King Intern for Digital Collections at Duke University. Jessica also researched and created procedures for web archiving quality assurance as the 2016 Princeton Dulles Archives Fellow. She embraces metadata challenges and her current work focuses on inclusive and reparative descriptive practices for digital collections.

Jessica received her MLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Concentration in Archives and Records Management and a Certificate in Digital Curation. She also holds an MA in Public History from North Carolina State University and a BA in Anthropology from Binghamton University. She has been an active member of SAA since 2014 and previously served as the MDOS Web Liaison.

I am interested in serving as co-chair of the MDOS Steering Committee to better serve and support my colleagues doing meaningful work with metadata and digital objects. Digital archival materials and the audiences they serve are growing in diverse and complex ways, and our practices should evolve to reach their needs. As co-chair, I will work to align MDOS priorities with the SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the forthcoming Work Plan on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) by promoting practices for more equitable, diverse, and inclusive digital archival objects. I believe in cultural competency and transparency as two core practices that can improve description and enhance discovery of our nation’s rich cultural heritage. In co-chairing this section, I will strive to foster collaboration and communication with members so we may re-envision the present and future of MDOS together. I am excited to be considered for this position and the opportunity to serve.

Steering Committee Member Candidate

The following candidate is running for the section steering committee:

Danielle Russano-Simpkins
Museum Assistant, Lycoming Historical Society

I am a graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi obtaining my MLIS degree. Currently I work part-time at the historical society. I will complete my master's next semester.

I am looking for a new opportunity to use the skills I have obtained this far, and get the chance to gain valuable insight from long time members of the organization.

Web Liaison Candidates

The following candidates are running for the Web Liaison position:

Alston Cobourn
University Archivist, East Carolina University

Alston Cobourn is the University Archivist at East Carolina University working to preserve the university's history and to increase its capabilities with electronic records. Previously she was the Digital Scholarship Librarian at Washington and Lee University, the Processing and Digital Assets Librarian at Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, and a staff member at North Carolina State University. She holds a BA with majors in English and minors in Creative Writing and Journalism as well as a Masters of Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Being a member of SAA has been a wonderful experience for me, so I've been wanting to get involved in a leadership role. Working on metadata related issues is important to me because they really do permeate all aspects of our profession and are of universal concern.

Julie Rosier
Local History Archives Intern, Dickinson Memorial Library

As an Information Science graduate student at the University at Albany, SUNY, concentrating in Archives and Records Management, I am keenly interested in digital archives and diligently preparing to enter the field upon graduating in May 2023. I recently initiated a digitization project working as an archives intern in my public library’s local history collections. Before this career change, I worked in higher education administration at UMass Amherst, the Five College Consortium and the Juilliard School. I also have over a decade’s worth of committed experience volunteering in community-based initiatives, committees and working groups. I received my bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan in 2002.

Serving as the Web Liaison for the MDOS Steering Committee would provide me with a valuable learning experience, and greatly complement recent graduate courses such as, Digital Libraries, Archival Access and Use, and Database Design and Implementation. I am skilled at fostering community and would be happy to facilitate collaboration between like-minded archivists interested in digitization, digital archival objects and the metadata that enables their access, management and preservation. In past professional positions, I have used Drupal to maintain websites for academic programs and departments. I would not only contribute solid administrative and organizational skills to this role, but would also bring the curiosity and fresh-eyed enthusiasm of an early professional actively exploring the landscape of the field.

Education Coordinator Candidate

The following candidate is running for the Education Coordinator position:

Evgenia Diakonenko
Digital Assistant, Harvard Law School Library

Having graduated with MLIS in 2020, I’ve worked with library and archives access and preservation for about two years. In my current position I work with Historical & Special Collections of Harvard Law School Library, creating digital objects, managing and enriching, processing and digitizing modern manuscript collections. My interest in working with visual collections and digital preservation brought me to the LEADING program where I will serve as 2022 fellow for the Palestinian Museum Digital Preservation Metadata project in collaboration with the University of California.

I am a pro-active recent MLIS graduate willing to serve the Metadata and Digital Object Section in a meaningful and productive way and to gain skills in events coordination.