Elizabeth Yalkut New Digital Scholarship Front End Developer in the Center for Digital Scholarship

Elizabeth Yalkut
Elizabeth Yalkut

The Library is excited to welcome Elizabeth Yalkut as the new Digital Scholarship Front End Developer in the Center for Digital Scholarship. First day: August 15

Elizabeth has been a web developer at Columbia University, the socially progressive digital agency Threespot, and (most recently) Harvard Medical School. She brings a passion for accessibility and universal design, component-based design approaches, and collaborative coding to CDS.

And, like many of the staff in CDS, Elizabeth came to technology via the Humanities—she has a BA in History from Barnard College of Columbia University.

Hilary Wang New Digital Archivist at the John Hay Library

Hilary Wang
Hilary Wang

Hilary Wang joins the Library in the role of Digital Archivist within Digital Services at the John Hay Library. First day: August 1.

Hilary will be preserving and providing access to born digital and reformatted digital collection materials including websites, social media, email and other digital record types from archival and manuscript collections at the John Hay Library to advance the integrative scholarship and educational mission of the University. She will provide access and support widespread dissemination of digital collection materials through the Brown Digital Repository and other portals, with a particular focus on materials from the priority collection areas identified in the John Hay Library’s collecting directions.

Hilary comes to Brown from Yale University’s Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library and the Yale Center for British Art Archives where she was the Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship. As part of her fellowship, Hilary described and arranged hybrid archival materials, including describing born-digital materials and preparing those for ingest into a long-term preservation system. In addition Hilary served on the Reparative Archival Description Working Group at Yale.

Previously Hilary was an Archives Intern at the Isamu Noguchi Museum, the Born Digital Archives Pratt Fellow at the Guggenheim Museum, and a User Experience Researcher and Data Analyst at the Pratt Center for Digital Experiences.

Hilary holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute School of Information. She is very familiar with Providence as she holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Bianca Pallo Named Global Curatorial Project Archivist

The Global Curatorial Project Archivist is a project-based position housed at the John Hay Library in partnership with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ). The Global Curatorial Project (GCP) was founded in 2014 to be a network of scholars, curators, and educators who are committed to creating innovative forms of public history about the historical social system of racial slavery and the ways in which it continues to shape our world. To learn more about this innovative project see the description on the CSSJ website.

Bianca Pallo
Bianca Pallo

Bianca Pallo is originally from South Florida and earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and her Master’s in Library Science from Simmons University. Bianca has a broad range of experience in the archival field, having worked previously in digitization, metadata, and collections management. Prior positions include Digitization Intern for Liberty Mutual, Graduate Student Assistant for Simmons University, Post Production Archives Intern for Lucasfilm Ltd., Museum Educator and Collections Assistant for The Grove Museum, and Archival Assistant for The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.

Christopher West Inaugural Curator of the Black Diaspora

Christopher West
Dr. Christopher West

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Christopher West as the inaugural Curator for the Black Diaspora at the John Hay Library. He will curate special collections, provide instruction and outreach, contribute to programming, and strengthen relationships with key partners like the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. He will also work closely with the Library’s Academic Engagement unit as the subject liaison for Africana Studies. First day: August 8.

Christopher brings deep subject and collections expertise to this role. He most recently served as the Black Culture Literacy Librarian Assistant at the Central Branch of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, where he assessed the current holdings of the Library’s Black Resources Center, conducted outreach, and developed programs with Black & African arts organizations in the Portland Metropolitan Region. One example of the collaborative work in which he has participated is the exhibit Reckoning: Racism & Resistance in Glendale, which examines systemic racism in this city. Christopher also developed Historic Central Avenue: A Public History Resource Website which focuses on mid-20th century Central Avenue, a commercial and business district in South Central Los Angeles, based on a 1930s Black business directory with supporting materials including oral histories and thematic essays.

Previous roles include Pasadena City College, in California, where for eight years he served as the College Diversity Initiative Coordinator and for 9 overlapping years as an Assistant Professor of History. He also worked for six years at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, as Curator and Program Manager. In 2007, Christopher was awarded a PhD in American History from the University of Southern California.

Roger Shaw Williams Inaugural Head of Libraries Conservation

Roger Shaw Williams

The Brown University Library and the John Carter Brown Library are pleased to announce Roger Shaw Williams as the inaugural Head of Libraries Conservation. Roger’s first day will be September 30, 2022.

Reporting jointly to Michelle Venditelli, the Director of Collections Care for Brown University Library, and Karin Wulf, the Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, Roger will create and oversee a collections conservation program for both libraries, including the assessment, treatment, and documentation of the libraries’ sizable distinctive special collections with a focus on the conservation of bound materials. He will also play an active role in expanding access to these collections for a global scholarly community through both campus-based and digital outreach.

The majority of Brown University Library’s special collections are located at the John Hay Library, one of seven facilities within the University Library system. The Hay’s holdings include more than three million items in several hundred named collections of books, manuscripts, and prints. Overall, the University Library’s collections include approximately seven million volumes and over 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives. 

The John Carter Brown Library is a world-class collection of materials focused on the early Americas. An independently administered and funded center for advanced research in history and the humanities located on the Brown campus, the JCB is home to more than 65,000 exceptional and rare books, maps, and manuscripts related to the early Americas from the 15th through the early 19th centuries. This position is the second full-time, joint position between the JCB and Brown University Library.

Michelle Venditelli noted that “We are thrilled to have Roger head this inaugural position. An active member of the professional conservation community, Roger will also bring his collaborative spirit, expressed through expanding access to the profession and mentoring postgraduate conservation fellows.”  Karin Wulf said that “having Roger join our team at the JCB, and expand our joint work with Brown University Library, is equally exciting. We’re so pleased to welcome him to Providence.”

Roger is currently the Book and Paper Conservator at Northwestern University Libraries. During his time at Northwestern, he initiated the Adaptable Conservation Book Support project, collaborating with undergraduate engineering students to create a DIY and open-design tool that has been implemented in conservation labs around the world. Previously, Roger worked at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia and interned at Smithsonian Libraries. He completed his master’s degree in conservation studies at West Dean College and the University of Sussex. He is a Professional Associate member of the American Institute for Conservation and currently serves as an editor for the Book and Paper Group Annual. Recently he has been involved in writing and illustrating Conservation of Books, a comprehensive overview of the field to be published by Routledge next year.

Isabella Uliasz New Senior Library Technologist – Media Support Specialist – Library Facilities

Isabella Uliasz

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Isabella Uliasz, who joins us in the newly created role of Senior Library Technologist – Media Support Specialist. Isabella is a member of the Library facilities team, reporting to Joseph Campbell, Senior Director of Library Facilities. Isabella’s first day was May 23.

The Media Support Specialist is responsible for the proper upkeep, operation, and function of audio-visual and other media equipment to support Library instruction, meetings, study spaces, and events.

Prior to Brown, Isabella worked at the University of Connecticut – Storrs, where she served as a Teaching & Production Assistant in Expanded Media.

Isabella holds a Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Integrated Art from Alfred University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Connecticut – Storrs.

Leslie Varrecchia New Senior Library Specialist – Cataloging in Scholarly Resources

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Leslie Varrecchia as Senior Library Specialist – Cataloging in Scholarly Resources. Leslie is responsible for general cataloging of library materials in all formats. Her first day at Brown was June 1, 2022.

Leslie comes to Brown from the Newport Public Library where she worked as a cataloger performing cataloging and database management. She also helped maintain the library’s website using WordPress. Prior to that, she was a research associate at the US Naval War College. 

Leslie received her Master in Library and Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in history from Providence College, and a bachelor’s in history from the University of Miami.

GIS Librarian Authors Article on US Census for American Library Association

As part of the Library Technology Reports series, ALA TechSource (an imprint of the American Library Association) has published “US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research,” written by Frank Donnelly, Brown University GIS and Data Librarian (vol. 58, no. 4, May/June 2022). Library Technology Reports help librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects.

From the publisher: 

US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research” provides readers with a crash course on the census: learn about the concepts on which the census is organized, the key datasets, accessing data online and through scripts via APIs, and considerations for using GIS, historical data, and microdata. Librarians will gain knowledge they can use for assisting members of their communities with census data and will see how the census can be used for library planning and research.

Donnelly’s summary article of the report, “Crunching the Numbers: What to do with the release of the 2020 Census data,” published June 1, 2022, is available in American Libraries.

Kelly Clifton Appointed Head of Library Community Engagement

Kelly Clifton

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelly Clifton as the inaugural Head of Library Community Engagement, a key member of the new Center for Library Exploration and Research (CLEAR) and a member of the Library’s leadership team. Reporting to the Deputy University Librarian, Kelly Clifton will begin her new role on June 1, leading the Library and collaborating with campus partners in establishing a responsive and sustainable system of community engagement in Providence, Rhode Island, and the region.

As the Head of Library Community Engagement, Ms. Clifton will build and implement collaborative and strategic programs and initiatives with Rhode Island local schools, community organizations, public libraries, and the people they serve, overseeing programs that connect these stakeholders with Library resources while facilitating relationships to inform and shape our work. Through collaborative partnerships with Brown staff, faculty, students, and campus community engagement experts, Ms. Clifton will seek to leverage the Library’s core capacities and resources to address needs identified by the community, producing long-term, sustainable, mutually beneficial initiatives. Partnering in this work with Brown students, who are well known for their commitment to community-based scholarship and activity, will enhance their educational and social experience at Brown.

A self described “connector,” Ms. Clifton has over twelve years of experience in a variety of  not-for-profit institutions developing community relationships, managing volunteers, and producing engaging events. Ms. Clifton is thrilled to help build upon the Library’s vision for community engagement, and centralize these efforts throughout the organization.

Kelly was born and raised in Providence. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and holds a master’s degree from Northeastern University in nonprofit management. She has a love and appreciation for her hometown and is committed to seeing Providence thrive. Kelly brings a wealth of expertise — from sitting on various boards with a focus on K-12 education and underserved students in the community, to attending training and conferences surrounding equity and inclusion. Kelly is a lifelong learner who looks forward to collaborating with Brown’s creative and talented educators and the region’s change-makers, inviting them through the doors of the Brown University Library.

Elizabeth Mellen Appointed Senior Library Specialist, Access Services – Circulation

Elizabeth Mellen

The Library is pleased to announce Elizabeth Mellen as Senior Library Specialist, Access Services – Circulation at the Rockefeller Library. April 25 was her first day at the Library.

Elizabeth joins the Library after spending the past few years at Brown’s School of Public Health, where she was the Program Coordinator for Student Engagement. She will receive a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Organizing from Prescott College in May of this year.

Elizabeth enjoys reading, hiking, and finding good coffee around Providence.