February 17, 2018

Sarah Espinosa | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Digital Developers

Sarah Espinosa


Residency Librarian for Diversity and Innovation, Towson University Libraries, MD

MLS, University of Maryland, College Park, 2013

An ALA 2015 Emerging Leader, Espinosa will be working with RUSA to investigate “Library as Publisher”

@sespinosa09; saespinosahome.wordpress.com

Photo by Kanji Takeno, Towson University

Resident Leader

“My job is similar to a medical residency,” Sarah Espinosa explains. As the 2013–15 Residency Librarian for Diversity and Innovation at Towson University’s Albert S. Cook Library, she rotated through three departments her first year to see where her strengths and interests lie, and she left a significant mark on each.

After a stint in technical services, where she inventoried the entire reference collection—a task the department didn’t expect her to complete—Espinosa moved on to research and instruction. There she collaborated with Towson’s education librarian to develop an information literacy curriculum mapping project, linking courses with library instruction and support.

Espinosa’s time in special collections and archives, however, is sure to have lasting impact. Her work reviewing, organizing, and making accessible over 100 years of records from Towson student organizations, she says, inspired her “to think about how to convey the unique rules, space, and nature of special collections materials to undergraduate students.” She tapped the university’s professional community for help using Universal Design for Learning guidelines and developed a series of online instructional modules for the archival internship program—working with infographics, flash cards, and other innovative methods to break down vocabulary and reinforce critical, complex concepts. Towson archivists say the modules could be implemented at other archival institutions and historical societies, especially small ones.

“She is shaking the Cook Library world in her two years as residency librarian,” says Patricia MacDonald, associate university librarian for administrative services. “Whenever she presents or completes a project, we are wide-eyed as she moves us further into the 21st century.”

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.