May 2, 2016
Judith Cobb, OhioLINK’s digital curation coordinator, is the newest member to join the team. A librarian at heart, Cobb has spent many years working in library services. Prior to joining OhioLINK, Cobb spent over a decade at OCLC (Online Computer Library Center Inc.), most recently as a product manager for digital collection services.
In her new position, she will be building OhioLINK’s Digital Preservation Program from the ground up, by managing the implementation of Ex Libris Rosetta, a digital preservation platform. Cobb earned her master of library science from the University of Buffalo and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Houghton College.
Judith recently talked with OhioLINK about how library services have changed over the years, her accomplishment of teaching a workshop at the Library of Congress and her addiction to Candy Crush.
Did you grow up in Ohio?
No, I’m from Dekalb Junction, New York – a very small hamlet in northern New York, about 10 miles from the Canadian border. We watched more Canadian TV than American and averaged 100 inches of snow a year. If you have ever been to Saint Lawrence University or Clarkson University, you probably drove through Dekalb Junction although there isn’t a STOP sign, so you might not have noticed.
How long have you been with OhioLINK?
I am just starting on my third month!
What about OhioLINK interested you?
I’ve worked in many different roles related to digital resources and digital preservation, but I had never been in this particular role of standing up a digital preservation program. So professionally it was an excellent opportunity for me to use my skills in a new, very hands-on, way.
What are your responsibilities as OhioLINK’s Digital Curation Coordinator?
Since the OhioLINK Digital Preservation Program is brand new, I’m responsible for building the program from the ground up. I will be writing policies and procedures, managing large data ingest projects, testing our new software, working on outreach, and monitoring our data assets to ensure that they are available for use long into the future. OhioLINK has amazing digital resources that need to be kept and maintained through time and technological changes.
What led you to a profession in library services?
I stumbled into the profession after college with a part-time job inventorying local government records. I liked it, particularly the old archival records, and was advised to go to library school. While I was doing an internship in library school, I went to a meeting about Geographic Information Systems data and how we would need to maintain that data through time. I was intrigued, and have worked in libraries and archives and digital preservation ever since.
What changes in library services have surprised you the most over the years?
Technology, of course, and the amazing growth in global access to information have been a surprise. But, beyond that, I’m really amazed by, and interested in, the vast amount of data and information that we generate now – it’s beyond our human capacity to be able to make sense of it all! I think librarians, as information experts, have a role to play in how humans and computers will work together to access and understand the plethora of information and data available.
What’s something about yourself that might surprise people?
I’m addicted to Candy Crush. It’s embarrassing, but true.
Do you have any goals for yourself this year?
Personally, I’m working on living a simpler lifestyle and getting rid of all the stuff I’ve collected over the years.
Professionally, I’m looking forward to having a functioning digital preservation system for OhioLINK.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
One of the professional accomplishments I most remember is teaching a metadata workshop at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress!!! It seemed like a pretty big deal.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I take care of my pets – I have a dog, cat and a house bunny that keep me busy. I also do yoga and listen to lots of NPR. I’m learning to enjoy cooking and want to do more in the kitchen. Also, Candy Crush.