“The word ‘digital’ increasingly appears throughout higher education — digital humanities, digital science, digital collections, and so on.
The formation of the Digital Scholarship Services department under the leadership of Carol Ann Borchert embodies our commitment to actions that go well beyond the terminology. While the Digital Media Commons team focuses largely on undergraduate student success, this new unit will target faculty and graduate student needs. These complementary missions will ensure that the library is benefiting all audiences and needs.”
-Todd Chavez, Dean of the USF Libraries
The University of South Florida Libraries have long been pioneers in the digital realm. From open access scholarly publishing to digital special collections to oral histories, we’ve consistently been among the first to test and deploy innovative technologies in our quest to improve access to information. It’s no surprise, then, that the digital ethic would inform the evolution of services in multiple areas of the library.
Under the visionary leadership of Dean Todd Chavez, the USF Libraries recently concluded a year-long collaborative strategic planning exercise. Among the outcomes of closer alignment with USF system goals and improving the delivery of existing services, library faculty and staff identified in-house strengths which could be leveraged to greatly benefit USF students and faculty.
Out of this exercise, Digital Scholarship Services (DSS) was born. An existing digitization group had largely been charged with scanning, creating, and posting digital collections – primarily items from Special Collections. Another group within the Academic Resources unit focused on scholarly communications: an institutional repository for faculty publications, the publication of open access journals and textbooks, and the hosting of online conference proceedings – areas in which USF is a national leader. Both groups have focused on providing research materials in an open access format for researchers worldwide. Skill sets that had been siloed in two units are now combined for greater efficiency as well as seemingly limitless strategic synergy. As Carol Ann Borchert, the newly-appointed director of the DSS unit, puts it “USF has a universe of remarkable collections, and now they will be accessible without the need to come to our building in person to dig for them.”
“I’m excited about the new Digital Scholarship Services unit and honored by the opportunity to lead it as the new Director. I look forward to working with faculty and researchers to build unique collections that will be available open access online. These collections will support researchers worldwide, enhance educational opportunities, and showcase the work being done here at USF.”
-Carol Ann Borchert, Director, Digital Scholarship Services
USF’s potential to revolutionize digital scholarship is limitless. To support these efforts, consider making a gift to the USF Tampa Library. Contact the USF Libraries Office of Development at 813-974-4433 to discuss your contribution.