By Ellen Meltzer, Manager, Information Services; Photo Craig Thompson, Web Producer

Note: With this issue, CDLINFO will begin a series of articles introducing new (and relatively new) CDL staff to our readers.  Our series begins with Sherri Berger.

Sherri Berger
Sherri Berger is among our newest of CDL employees, having spent just 2 months working in Digital Special Collections (DSC).  Sherri is part of the DSC team which is comprised of Rosalie Lack, Gabriela Montoya, Mark Redar, Michael Russell, Brian Tingle, and Adrian Turner.  As part of DSC, Sherri helps strategize, and provides marketing and project management support for all DSC projects.

She contributes to several exciting projects–OAC, Calisphere, the UC Image Service, and an emerging project, Flickr: The Commons.  For the Flickr project, Sherri will be working with OAC contributors to surface materials from their cultural institutions via Flickr to make them more broadly visible.  Learn more about The Commons:

http://www.flickr.com/commons?PHPSESSID=ea7b4da468f5935f24b65f41dbfc356f

Sherri is a native Midwesterner, which must explain some of her innate warmth and friendliness.  Her undergraduate degree is from Northwestern University, and she is not alone among Chicago lovers at the CDL.  Her MS in LIS is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a certificate in Special Collections.  Sherri’s worked on a number of projects that whetted her appetite for the field of special collections and archives.  She processed a collection of family records at the Champaign County Historical Archives, curated an online exhibit for the Ryerson & Burnham Archives at the Art Institute of Chicago  (http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/research/specialcollections/planofchicago/index.html) and worked in the conservation lab at the UIUC Library.

Sherri’s fundraising, writing, and marketing skills were honed as an associate consultant at Campbell & Company, a consulting firm for non-profit organizations.  To add to the mix, Sherri also interned at a public radio station, where she helped produce an arts show.

Sherri’s interest in library school stems from her work in archives and libraries while researching a project in college on a fine bookbinder, Ellen Gates Starr.  Her role as researcher—examining artifacts and objects—stays with her as she approaches her work at the CDL.  Sherri’s initial interest in the physical was transformed as she went to library school and learned about the innovative programs at UIUC.  She was excited about the ways in which new technologies could enhance special collections, and DSC is the embodiment of that.  What especially excites Sherri about her job is that working in DSC offers her the opportunity to benefit a broad group of constituents—scholars, information professionals, visual resource curators, K-12 teachers, and students.

One of the greatest challenges Sherri faces in her new position is not being from California.  While UC’s special collections span the world, there’s a heavy emphasis among them on California.  Sherri admits to needing a crash course to better understand the history and culture of the Golden State.  At a recent Society of California Archivists meeting, UCSD’s Robin Chandler (formerly of the CDL) plied her with a reading list to bring her up to speed!  Sherri is eager to understand the breadth of OAC documents and to place them within a historical trajectory.

Another exciting challenge is the scale of the UC libraries.  Sherri admits we’re a complex, innovative organization.  “You have to step up your game here with the array of partnerships and committees, both at CDL and at the systemwide level; everything we’re doing here is a step above.  We both create and contribute to standards, information structures, and technology and use these at the same time.  It’s a fascinating challenge.”