February 16, 2018

Beth Goldsmith | Movers & Shakers 2007

Puzzles and Play


‘As a profession, we seem to be so cautious and sober. Why not have more fun?’ asks Beth Goldsmith, librarian, programming analyst, and team leader at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library.

So, while shooting Nerf hoops and indulging in surprise pizzas, Goldsmith’s Library Without Walls Team implemented a large-scale standards-based digital object repository to hold over 80 million records, converting various types of metadata to a consistent vendor-neutral format. Goldsmith brings the same playful spirit to introducing others to the team’s work. Receiving a request to update library staff on the repository efforts, she created a presentation set to selected lyrics from Little Shop of Horrors. (‘Suddenly Repo/ Is here to provide you/ Sweet standards-based data/ Repo’s your friend.’)

The Little Shop overview underscores Goldsmith’s understanding that not everyone is ‘engaged in our esoterica.’ Esoterica it may be, but Goldsmith’s work revolves around the important task of making large-scale data sets accessible. Because of standards, she says, ‘Downstream users of the repository [can easily] use data in the repository. Elegant simplicity. And, very, very cool.’

That’s the digital library of the future she’s programming: the kind that makes things easier and removes barriers.




CURRENT POSITION Technical Information Specialist IV, Library Without Walls Team, Research Library, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM

DEGREES MLIS, Texas Woman’s University, 1993

PET OF CHOICE Nigerian Dwarf House goats