We are pleased to welcome Jenny Mitchell as our new Head of Manuscripts and Processing in our Special Collections at Hill Memorial Library.
At LSU Libraries, Jenny plans to spearhead the effort to implement appropriate archival management software. Programs like Archivists’ Toolkit or Archonhelp streamline the management of accession and collection records, and eliminate the redundancies that can exist within processing procedures. Jenny also hopes to work closely with staff in public services to ensure that the processing priorities are closely aligned with the LSU Libraries users’ needs.
Jenny is an ideal candidate for the job: before accepting her new tenure-track appointment at the LSU Libraries, she was an Archives Assistant at Virginia Tech while pursuing her Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) through the online program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. During this time, she was also a member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and the Society of American Archivists. She attended the MARAC Spring 2009 meeting in Charleston, WV, and the Spring 2012 meeting in Cape May, NJ, as well as the SAA annual meeting in Washington D.C. in 2010. During the Spring 2012 MARAC meeting, Jenny attended two workshops: Introduction to Omeka, and Archival Instruction: Promoting Collections, Information Literacy and Collaboration. Prior to her Archives Assistant position at Virginia Tech, she worked in their Special Collections department as a Graduate Assistant, while working on her first Master’s degree, in History.
Jenny states that she started at Virginia Tech during a period of transition for the department and the libraries, which afforded her many opportunities to learn and grow as an archivist. While there, she participated in many projects, including serving on the taskforce which created the Virginia Tech 4-16-2007 Condolence Archives database using ContentDM and the implementation of the archival management system, Archivists’ Toolkit, within that department. More recently, she served on a “Discovery Team” tasked with conducting a user study to gauge student needs/desires in advance of planned library study space renovations.
After completing her MLIS, Jenny felt that accepting the position at LSU Libraries was an excellent opportunity that that will allow her to learn and grow as an archivist, and one that she absolutely could not turn it down.
Outside of work, Jenny occupies herself with sewing projects (though she readily admits she mostly just buying lots of dress patterns and fabric) and, of course, reading. And because her husband works at a movie theater, they go out to the movies a lot.
Jenny grew up in Virginia and her family is from that area as well, so Louisiana is a definite change of pace for her. She writes, “my family members have attended Virginia Tech since my great-uncle joined the Class of 1955, so sorry, Tigers, I’m a Hokie for life, but I must admit it will be really nice to work at a school with a mascot that does not warrant constant explanation.”