2023 MDOS Election: Candidate Statements

Thank you to all of our excellent candidates for standing in the 2023 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:

  • Three year terms:
    • Co-Chair (vote for 1)
    • Social Media Coordinator (vote for 1)
    • Committee Member (vote for 2)
  • Two year term (completing term for previous member):
    • Education Coordinator (vote for 1)

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:

Jaime Margalotti
Archival Metadata Librarian, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

I am the Archival Metadata Librarian at the University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press, where I have led the implementation of descriptive standards and systems for the Special Collections Department since 2006.  I am also a founding member of my institution’s interdepartmental Metadata Steering Committee and Digital Collections Steering Group, the latter of which I have co-chaired since 2018.  I previously held the position of Library Fellow at the North Carolina State University Library from 2004-2006, working in the Special Collections Research Center.  I received my MA in History from North Carolina State University and my MSLS from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, processing manuscript collections at both institutions while completing my graduate work.

I have been a member of SAA for most of my professional career, with intermittent membership in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and the Ephemera Society of America.  I’ve presented at these and other conferences many times, including metadata-centric topics such as “Negotiating the Crosswalk: EAD and MARC” (MARAC Fall 2009), “Discovery Tools for Archival Collections: Getting the Most Out of Your Metadata” (MARAC Spring 2010), and "Back to the Future: Bringing Legacy Metadata into the Present" (SAA Research Forum 2015).  I have also served as both my institution’s liaison to ArchivesSpace since 2013, and as a member of the Planning Committee for the 2016 & 2017 ArchivesSpace Member Forums.

Candidate Statement:
After I participated in one of the Metadata and Digital Objects Section’s "Re-Envisioning MDOS" focus groups early this year, I became highly motivated to join the section’s leadership as it reflects on the role the section has served in the past and the ways it can change to continue to support its members in the future.  

For the last five years, my focus has been on the necessarily interdepartmental and interdivisional structures that govern the creation of metadata and digital objects at my own institution.  Recognizing the need to definitively shift from discrete digitization projects to a fully realized digitization program that reflected the strategic directions and values of the organization as a whole, our leadership charged a task force to figure out what structures would be necessary to realize this change.  In 2018, the Digital Collections Steering Group emerged with the charge of normalizing complex workflows and establishing a prioritization framework for digitization requests.  This deceptively straightforward goal has led us to tackle long standing issues and newly emerging challenges.  In addition to the many technical decisions we’ve faced in bringing our disparate systems and standards together, we’ve addressed questions of funding, promotion of completed work, equitable access, copyright, and how to navigate relationships with community digitization partners, among many others.  We also overhauled our digitization criteria to proactively address the lack of diversity in available collections and formed a subgroup to closely examine how potentially harmful materials should be presented.   

This work is ever-evolving and organizational support from groups like MDOS can be significant.  I look forward to hearing what other members think MDOS should be and trying new approaches to reach and engage people.  As someone who has periodically struggled to justify the time commitment for outside organizational activities when my existing work has seemed so daunting, it is important to me that MDOS take this opportunity for reflection seriously and emerge with an actionable plan.

Social Media Coordinator Candidate

The following candidate is running for the Social Media Coordinator position:

Marissa Friedman
Digital Project Archivist, University of California, Berkeley

Marissa Friedman is a Digital Project Archivist at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. She received her MA in History (2017) from the University of California, Riverside, and her MLIS (2020) from San Jose State University. Her interests include Collections as Data, metadata and reparative description, and critical digital librarianship. 

Candidate Statement:
My professional background is largely in digital collections, with a focus on digitization and description of digital resources. I currently serve as Digital Project Archivist at the University of California, Berkeley, where I manage mass digitization projects and oversee the lifecycle of digital objects from initial creation to description to preservation and access. I have previously served as a member of the blog team for the Students and New Professionals (SNAP) SAA section, and recognize the significant impact maintaining an active social media and communications presence can have on the health of a section. In light of the Re-Envisioning MDOS initiative, it is clear that this task will be of even greater importance. I would be thrilled to help facilitate communications with the larger membership and beyond as Social Media Coordinator, and help contribute to the section's upcoming projects.

Steering Committee Member Candidates

The following candidates are running for the section steering committee:

Julia D. Larson
Collections and Digital Archivist, University of California, Berkeley

Julia is the Collections and Digital Archivist in the Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley. She is responsible for maintaining both the physical and digital collections—accessioning, organizing, processing, and formulating strategies for making digitized and born-digital materials accessible both online and in the reading room. Julia is also a member of the Digital Design Records Committee, which explores options for making born-digital architecture and design materials accessible. Previously, she was the Reference Archivist at UC Santa Barbara, where she created policies and procedures for standardizing metadata for digital object records in Archives Space, supervised undergraduate student interns in creating online exhibitions, and developed collection management policies for physical and digital collections. Julia has a MLIS from San Jose State University, with concentrations in Archives Management and Data Curation, and a BA in Philosophy from DePaul University, Chicago. She has been an active member of SAA since 2016, serving as Web Liaison to the Design Records Section and as a 2023 Program Committee member. 

Candidate Statement:
I am interested in being a Steering Committee Member because I would like to further the discussion about digitization, digital objects, and metadata standards. I think the Re-Envisioning MDOS initiative is important not only for understanding the future goals and priorities for this section, but also within the wider conversation within SAA surrounding Section consolidation. Being able to have focused group discussions about specific issues and creating a community of practice around specific topics is an important part of this section. 

Warren Lambert
Digitization Specialist, Wisconsin Historical Society

I am the incoming Digitization Specialist at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Before, I worked as a Digital Processing Specialist at the Penn State University Libraries and as a Digital Imaging Technician at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Prior to NARA, I worked as a graduate student at the State Historical Society of Missouri and the St. Louis Mercantile Library.  

Over the last two years, the bulk of my professional service has focused on understanding the problems archival workers encounter as we develop digital collections. As I served on the SAA 2023 Program Committee for the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., I helped select sessions that focused on developing metadata and creating digital objects for collections that told the stories of marginalized groups such as Native Americans, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. As a Mentor in the SAA Mentoring program, I have worked with mentees interested in archives and digital collections. All these experiences demonstrate a strong sense of service to help archival professionals learn how to manage metadata and preserve digital objects more effectively.

Candidate Statement:
My professional experiences in digitization have made me aware of the challenges when it comes to developing metadata and creating digital objects for collections documenting the histories of Native Americans, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. I helped MDOS serve the SAA community as I took notes at the 2022 Annual Meeting for the section that documented discussions on large-scale metadata creation for digitization and other initiatives. I participated in the “Re-Envisioning MDOS” focus group this past January where I shared my ideas and learned from others on what should be the goals and priorities of the section. I strongly believe that MDOS has a role to play when it comes to promoting the topics and issues relevant to developing, preserving, and providing access to digital collections. I look forward to working with everyone to accomplish these objectives.

Education Coordinator Candidate

Elizabeth Wilkinson
Archivist, Southern Connecticut State University 

Elizabeth Wilkinson is the Archivist in the Buley Library Special Collections & Archives at Southern Connecticut State University.  She is responsible for curation and stewardship of the university archives and manuscript collections, as well as creating and maintaining policies, workflows, and procedures for effective and efficient organization, description, and discovery of primary resource materials in all formats.  Prior to this position, she served as the Archivist in the Description & Access Unit of the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia, as Curator of Manuscripts at Georgetown University, and was the Processing and Public Services Archivist at Purdue University.  She holds an MLS and an MA in History from Indiana University.  Elizabeth has previously been co-chair of the MDOS Section and a steering committee member of the Collection Management Section.  Other service includes being a committee member of MARAC’s Education Committee and a co-Workshops Coordinator.

Candidate Statement:
I am excited about the prospect of serving the MDOS section as Education Coordinator.  If chosen to serve, I would look for opportunities to facilitate meetings and talks for our section members in order to continue expanding opportunities for learning and section engagement.