Earlier this year, I began my new role as the Latin American & Caribbean Collection (LACC) Digital Initiatives Librarian. Though I’m in a new role, I am not new to the libraries. I have worked at the UF Libraries, in various departments, for more than ten years. Prior to joining the LACC team I served as the Project Coordinator for the US Caribbean & Ethnic Florida Digital Newspaper Project, which has enabled the digitization of historic newspapers from Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
I started as the LACC Digital Initiatives Librarian in February 2022. In this role, I provide leadership in planning, developing, and managing digital collections. Most of my current projects are focused on newspapers and newspaper digitization. Additionally, I provide instruction, consultative services, and training for digital collections related to Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latinx diaspora. I also participate in the ongoing evaluation and development of the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) to enhance the effectiveness of preservation, discovery, and access to digital resources. I also lead and participate in outreach, promotion, and advocacy activities for the Latin American Collection, UFDC, and dLOC.
One of the many exciting things I have worked on since I started in LACC is a microfilm libguide. Libguides are essentially research guides that provide curated information for a particular topic. I chose to create a libguide for microfilm to help both library patrons and staff who are interested in using our microfilm collections. In LACC, the microfilm collection is comprised of nearly 50,000 reels of microfilm and is one of the most heavily used and requested collections in our library. Students, staff, faculty from across UF campus, as well as researchers from the local community and other institutions from across the US and abroad visit our collection specifically to use the microfilm. Most of the microfilm collection is comprised of newspapers that provide first-hand accounts of events of the past that are important for understanding the past.
The libguide is structured so it provides information for microfilm collections across the UF Libraries (not just LACC). It also includes a tutorial and a guide (available in English and Spanish) that provide instructions for how to use the equipment (ScanPro machines) needed to be able to view the content on the microfilm. Check out the guide and/or stop by LACC to chat with me about microfilm/newspapers!