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Authenticity Project

Introducing the 2019 Authenticity Project Fellows

Thanks to a generous grant from the IMLS, the HBCU Library Alliance and Digital Library Federation are pleased to announce the first of three annual cohorts of Authenticity Project Fellows! hese fifteen Fellows work in libraries and archives at historically black colleges and universities. They will receive full travel, lodging, and registration expenses to the 2019 DLF Forum in Tampa, FL; professional development through online discussions, activities, and in-person networking; and opportunities to apply for microgrant funding to undertake inter-institutional projects of strategic importance across DLF and HBCU Library Alliance institutions and communities. They will also participate in quarterly facilitated, online networking and discussion sessions, and will be matched for mentorship and mutual learning with two experienced library professionals: an established mentor from an HBCU Library Alliance library or with a strong background in HBCUs, and a “conversation partner” working in an area of the Fellow’s interest, ideally within a DLF member institution. (Names of our 2019 mentors and conversation partners will be announced soon.) Applications for this fellowship opportunity were extraordinarily strong, and we are pleased that we will be able to welcome 30 more Authenticity Project Fellows in our 2020 and 2021 cohorts. If you are interested in applying or re-applying for the fellowship, please stay tuned for a call in the autumn of 2019, and see our press release about the program for more information. About the Fellows: Meaghan Alston Prints and Photographs Librarian, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Meaghan Alston received her MLIS with a focus on Archives and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. She has been the Prints and Photographs Librarian at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center since 2017. In this position she is responsible for a collection of over 150,000 graphic images depicting African American and African Diaspora history. Prior to joining the staff at Moorland-Spingarn, she worked as a Visiting Librarian with the University of Pittsburgh’s Archives and Special Collections. Her interests include digital preservation, community archives, digital humanities, and archival education.       Danisha Baker-Whitaker Archivist/Museum Curator, Bennett College (North Carolina) Danish Baker-Whitaker is the Archivist/Museum Curator at Bennett College. She’s also a Ph.D. student in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Program at North Carolina State University.  She focused on archives and special collections in obtaining the MLIS degree from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Her main research interests include exploring how the digital humanities field can intersect with and influence the duties of archivists. The overarching interests behind her work are identity and librarianship in the 21st century. Other interests include digital archives, access, and information architecture.   Cassandra Burford (@DigitalPresPro) Special Collections Librarian, Talladega College (Alabama) Cassandra Hill Burford is the special collections librarian at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, where she manages eight collections. An Alabama native, she received a BA and MA in history from Jacksonville State University, and her MLIS, with a focus in digital preservation and digital libraries, from the University of Alabama in 2018. Cassandra firmly believes that objectivity is an archivist’s most important quality. An archivist is not concerned with who won or lost the battle, but rather with the materials and artifacts and the stories they tell. With that objectivity in mind, she is an avid proponent of digital preservation initiatives for archives, especially niche collections like those maintained at Talladega College.   Justin de la Cruz (@justindlc) Unit Head, E-Learning Technology, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library (Georgia) Justin has worked on technology training for library staff and patrons in both public and academic libraries. He currently serves as the Unit Head of E-Learning Technology at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, where he collaborates with faculty and students on technology projects involving multimedia production, 3D design, and social media, among other topics. His recent publications, including a chapter in ACRL’s Applying Library Values to Emerging Technology, have focused mainly on library staff professional development. Justin recently joined the editorial advisory board for Library Hi Tech and is working on an ALA Diversity Grant-funded research project investigating the information seeking and sharing behaviors of LGBTQIA+ students.   Cheryl Ferguson (@cdferg4) Archival Assistant, Tuskegee University (Alabama) Cheryl D. Ferguson is the Archival Assistant at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama.  As part of the university archives she helps to build and promote the rich history of the university. Her areas of interest include archival research, digital preservation, digitization, outreach/development, and program management. Cheryl is a member of the Society of American Archivists, Society of Alabama Archivists and the Association of African American Museums. Outside of the archives, Cheryl can be found actively involved servicing her community as a member of Tuskegee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Tuskegee United Women’s League, Inc.   Ida Jones (@Ida39J) University Archivist, Morgan State University (Maryland) Ida E. Jones is the University Archivist at Morgan State University. She is the first professional archivist hired by Morgan in celebration of the 150th anniversary. Since her arrival 3 years ago there are 10 processed manuscript collections with online finding aids and a number of new donors and departmental contacts she made. The contacts are working with her in preparation for their future deposits, research and reference queries. She has taught at the Lancaster Bible College, University of Maryland, College Park and Howard University. She specializes in African American church history, organizational history, and local history. She authored four books. Her most recent publication is Baltimore Civil Rights Leader: Victorine Q. Adams: The Power of the Ballot debuted in January 2019.   Alvin Lee Library Technical Assistant Supervisor at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (Florida) Alvin Lee is a recent MA-LIS graduate.  He is currently employed as Senior Library Technical Assistant Supervisor and Resource Sharing Coordinator for University Libraries at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a Historic Black College/University, located in Tallahassee, Florida.  Additionally, Alvin also serves as the chair of University Libraries’ Digitization Committee. Mr. Lee has a passion for learning about digital libraries and digital Read More

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