Humanities Librarian, Jane Bancroft Cook Library, New College of Florida, Sarasota
MLS, University of Maryland, College Park, 1996
Photo by Patrick Heagney
Full STEAM Ahead
Theresa Burress has found the perfect combination of jobs, she believes. Since 2014, she’s been humanities librarian at the New College of Florida (NCF). And since 2011, she has spearheaded (with Howard Rutherford, University of South Florida) Florida’s St. Petersburg Science Festival. “[T]he festival is…a fun-filled ‘carnival of science’ for families and the public to explore the excitement and wonder of hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM); to showcase the benefits of science in everyday life; and to connect the public with the local scientific community,” says Burress. The first science festival had 25 exhibits and about 6,000 visitors. The sixth, held in October 2016, saw more than 25,000 attendees and 120 exhibits, activities, and shows.
At NCF, Burress is on her third round of sponsoring Wikipedia-related student independent study projects. In February 2017, she joined several colleagues at the national Music Library Association conference to discuss faculty-librarian collaborations in promoting information literacy. Also, she is working to help her humanities colleagues expand their use of technology and to build a digital humanities community of practice in Florida.
“One of my professional objectives is to apply my science festival community-building expertise to library and digital humanities initiatives,” says Burress, who serves on the executive council of the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium. “I love making connections and finding new ways to contribute.”