Baylor University's librarians provide crucial academic support for a thriving community of scholars, but what often goes unheralded is the amount of their own scholarly output that is generated every year in the form of articles, presentations, poster sessions and service on committees and panels. Recently, the Research & Engagement (R&E) group joined their colleagues in Delivery Services and the libraries' special collections to review some of the Baylor librarians' accomplishments for 2017 and to preview the upcoming year's impressive slate of academic activities. Take a look below to see some of the ways this diverse group of professionals is making an impact in the world of librarianship, academic research and the broader field of library science.

Individual Projects

  • Josh Been co-authored an article in Volume 36, 2017 of the Medical Reference Services Quarterly called “Using Maps to Promote Data-Driven Decision-Making: One Library's Experience in Data Visualization Instruction.” (Read the abstract here: He has also proposed a presentation, along with a collaborator at the University of Houston, for the University of Houston Conference on Hispanic Studies called “Understanding and Visualizing Latinx Experiences on Social Media.”


  • Clayton Crenshaw will present a poster at the MLA (Music Library Association) annual meeting in February called “Availability of New Releases in Streaming Audio Databases.”


  • Bruce Evans chairs the Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) Cataloging Policy Committee, where he presented about the formation of a new taskforce to create a unifying a best practices document in special format cataloging.  Bruce was also recently elected to the board of the Music Library Association.



  • Kara Long contributed a chapter titled “From Records to Data,” to be published in the upcoming book Technical Services: Adapting to the Changing Environment.


  • Pete Ramsey will be presenting a hands-on workshop to TLA (Texas Library Association) in April on using Trello for project management and how he’s used the software with students to guide them through the research process. Pete also has an article forthcoming in Public Services Quarterly called “The Professor-Librarian: Academic Librarians Teaching Credit-Bearing Courses.”


  • Mike Thompson presented at the Charleston conference in November along with Baylor’s EBSCO customer service representative called “’Mr. Watson–Come here–I want to see you.’ Upgrading Your Tech Support Communications.” The presentation focused on communication effectiveness between librarians and vendors; Mike plans to follow the presentation up with an article. Mike will also be presenting on a panel at TLA in April called “How to Run Trials for Electronic Resources: Workflows, Communication, Promotion, and Organizing Feedback.”


  • Sha Towers will present a virtual midwinter session for the ACRL Arts Section on arts-based outreach in the library, specifically what fellowships, exhibits and events librarians are putting on to highlight their arts collections and resources.


  • Sinai Wood continues her work with The Technical Report Archive & Image Library (TRAIL) which identifies, acquires, catalogs, digitizes and provides unrestricted access to U.S. government agency technical reports.  She provides regular information sessions to help members join the organization.


Joint Projects / Collaborations

  • Mike Thompson and Josh Been will present at the ER&L (Electronic Resources and Libraries) conference in March on a rubric for evaluating the data in subscription content for use in digital scholarship.  Their presentation is called “Drilling Down: Assessing Digital Scholarship Options Available through Commercial Vendors.”


  • Bill Hair and Josh Been will present at ATLA (American Theological Library Association) in June on collaborations to embed digital humanities into religious/theological studies.  Their presentation is called “Slave Narratives, the Bible and Hymns, Oh My … Religion Text Mining/Analysis as a Liaison Service.”


  • Eric Ames (chair) and Kara Long served on the planning committee for the 2018 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries (TCDL), sponsored by the Texas Digital Library.


  • Bill HairEileen Bentsen and Josh Been have proposed a poster for TLA in April called “Another Hammer in the Humanities Liaison’s Toolkit: Text Mining/Analysis” that will focus on a broader use of collaborations between liaisons and the digital humanities.


  • Amie Oliver and Josh Been have proposed a presentation for the SSA (Society of Southwest Archivists) conference in May called “Visualizing City Directories” about a digital scholarship project they are planning that integrates an 1886 map of Waco with the first Waco residential and business directory which will look at population concentration, age, religion, businesses and social networks.


  • Sinai Wood and Josh Been will present a seminar for Baylor’s Academy for Teaching and Learning’s Seminars in Excellence in Teaching in the spring called “Integrating Data Visualizations in the Classroom.”


  • Billie Peterson-Lugo and Christina Chan-Park will present at TLA in April on “Cultivating ORCIDs on your Campus.”


  • Allie McCormackSha TowersJennifer Borderud and Amie Oliver have proposed a participant-driven presentation for RBMS (Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL) in June called “Converging Collections: Collaborations Across Campus” on the many special collections collaborations they have been a part of across campus in partnership with different disciplines.


  • Allie McCormack and Sha Towers have proposed a poster for RBMS focused on using special collections in English composition classes.


  • Bruce Evans and Allison Yanos were a part of the committee that submitted the document “Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians” that was accepted by ALCTS at ALA Midwinter. They have submitted an article about the process to the ALCTS journal Library Resources and Technical Services.

This list, while impressive on its own, is just a sampling of the many ways Baylor's librarians and library staff work each semester to support the academic endeavors of our campus and to forward the various fields in which they work. Their commitment to Baylor's success may be behind-the-scenes for many, but it is crucial to our university's long-term aims of attaining Tier 1 research status, and the libraries are committed to reaching even greater heights in 2018.

Archival boxes containing some of the Feuerstein Collection

The Baylor Libraries serve a wide range of users: students, faculty and staff of our fine university and the greater Central Texas area, for starters. In fact, almost a million visitors come into the Central Libraries buildings every year. But sometimes we get the opportunity to connect on a personal level with a patron, and in the case of a recent visit by Victor Kramer, it's a connection with a personal tie.

Mr. Kramer is the nephew of Thomas C. Feuerstein, a 1952 Baylor graduate and longtime theater, speech and drama instructor. Feuerstein's materials were donated to the Central Libraries Special Collections, and Mr. Kramer contacted Central Libraries Director Beth Farwell for a chance to see them in person. Beth, Victor, his wife Dewey and special collections manager Andrea Turner spent time last week looking through the collection of unique materials from Thomas Feuerstein's academic and professional career, including scrapbooks, personal correspondence and Baylor memorabilia from the 1950s.

We wanted to show off some photos of the meeting as a look into one of the many ways our Central Libraries interact with our patrons on a daily basis.

In 2018, Moody Memorial Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary as Baylor University’s main campus library. In advance of that significant milestone, the Baylor Libraries have secured a $100,000 grant from the Moody Foundation to begin renovations and upgrades to the historic structure’s first floor.

With this gift, the Moody Foundation – which provided a sizable lead gift in 1964 that helped finance the building’s construction in 1967 – has pledged its support to revitalize the building’s interior with the creation of an innovative instructional learning space complete with flexible furnishings, upgraded interiors and the latest in instructional technology.

“This gift will serve as a significant catalyst for our long-term plans to reimagine and renovate Moody’s first floor as we continue to meet the needs of our 21st century patrons,” said John S. Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries. “The Moody Foundation saw the importance of continuing to provide a high level of service to Baylor students, faculty and staff through innovative learning spaces, and we are excited to partner with them on this project.”

The space, which will be located behind the library’s main circulation desk, is envisioned as an active learning space. The multi-purpose area will fill the growing need for dedicated areas in the library that support a variety of instructional needs.

Beth Farwell, director of Central Libraries, noted that the planned space is an important jumping-off point for grander plans for Moody. “We hope to see the entire first floor reimagined to include the kind of spaces students have told us are important to their success, like individual study spaces and aesthetically pleasing areas that inspire creativity, collaboration and academic success,” she said.

Work on the instructional learning space is expected to begin during the fall 2017 semester. Updates on progress will be posted on the library’s website at and on the libraries’ social media channels, including Twitter @baylorlibraries and Facebook at