Introduction: Rebekah Cummings, Digital Matters Librarian

Hello, readers!

This is the third and final post to introduce you to our new staff in the Digital Matters Lab. Hopefully you’ve already had a chance to read Lizzie’s and David’s great posts over the past two weeks. Now it’s my turn!

My name is Rebekah Cummings, and I’m pleased and proud to be the Digital Matters Librarian. While I am new to the DML, I’m not new to the University of Utah. I’ve held two previous positions here as the Research Data Management Librarian at the Marriott Library (2015-2018) and the Assistant Director of the Mountain West Digital Library, a regional hub for the Digital Public Library of America (2013 – 2015). My graduate work was at UCLA, where I studied data curation and worked on an NSF grant studying the data practices of researchers. I hail from Venice, CA but am unapologetically in love with Utah and have claimed it as home. Starting in May, I’ll be the President of the Utah Library Association, which represents librarians of all stripes including academic, public, medical, law, school, and special.

Like most librarians, I have a passion for providing access to information and giving people the tools they need to be successful. While the library is brimming with valuable services and initiatives, the Digital Matters Lab is particularly exciting to me because it pulls together the vision of four separate colleges to support and enable digital scholarship.  I see Digital Matters as a place where researchers can try new things, share ideas, make meaningful connections, and push the bounds of their respective fields. Some of the things I’m interested in pursuing in the Lab include developing best practices for humanities data management, web scraping, topic modeling, and experimenting with digital pedagogy. Hopefully, this is also my big chance to learn how to script in Python. Fingers crossed.

Fun fact. This is my second collaboration with David Roh, the DML Director. We also co-chaired the second annual Utah Symposium on the Digital Humanities (DHU2) in 2017!

In my spare time, I can almost always be found with my family, which includes my husband, three kids, and Australian Shepherd, Stan, the greatest dog on the planet. Besides my family, my great loves include snowboarding, exploring our beautiful state, and reading anything I can get my hands on.

If you are looking for support for your digital scholarship project, don’t hesitate to contact me at rebekah.cummings@utah.edu. If I’m not the best person to help you, I can try to connect you to the right person or maybe we can search for an answer together. My door is open and email is the key!

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