In an ever evolving digital age, the library has become a place of history. Made up of microfilms, Britannica Encyclopedia sets and cozy corners to NOT make out or sleep in, the library to some offers little more than a place for group study. Until now.
Lizzy Rolando recently graduated from Tech Talent South’s Part-time Code Immersion program. She currently serves as librarian at the Georgia Tech University and will be using her newfound Ruby skills to help with digital preservation and archives at the library. Take a look at our interview with this tech savvy librarian, and keep her in mind the next time you’re looking for quality, tech talent!
While Rolando’s heart and career revolve around books now, she is a Jill of many trades if we do say so ourselves.
“Before becoming a Librarian, I took a few classes on Java and C, and in those classes we worked on a few standard programming class projects. In my current position at the Georgia Tech Library I work with the repository systems that preserve and provide access to Georgia Tech digital research data collections. My motivation for participating in the TTS program was that we’re looking to implement an open source repository solution that relies heavily on Ruby on Rails.”
However, Lizzy is not just a coding, librarian extraordinaire, she also possesses the innate ability to think critically and attack problems head-on.
“I love solving problems, and I’ve found that I’m best able to find creative solutions to problems by working through the technical issues, regardless of the programming language or technical components. I take pride in my ability to balance a high-level vision for a project with an in-depth understanding of the issues and moving parts.”
Despite the breadth of education and experience Rolando has gained thus far, she’s not slowing down.
“Now that I am comfortable with Ruby on Rails I want to start digging into Hydra, the repository solution we’re exploring in my current position. Hydra depends on a variety of different technical platforms, including Ruby, and so a first step is to become more familiar with Ruby gems like Blacklight and jetty. Further down the road, I’d also really like to learn more about web design and user experience. Libraries and archives are home to incredibly rich digital collections, but they’re often buried under clunky systems and outdated styling, and I’d love to help promote and encourage more widespread use of library and archival holdings.”
As Rolando nears graduation, she took a moment to lament on her ideal next step in terms of a career. Lucky for us, and you, startups are a part of the plan.
“I like to get my hands dirty, and I like to explore and learn by doing. My ideal internship/job would have a healthy combination of guidance and support, but also freedom and room to experiment. I’m definitely curious to learn more about startups, as I’m drawn to the culture of creativity and can-do-itness. And while many of the problems I’ve been working on have traditionally fallen under the purview of academic or cultural institutions, I expect to see others groups, including startups, take a more prominent role in preserving and providing access to digital information for the long-term, which I think will be an exciting development.”
Meanwhile, Rolando continues to use her skills from Tech Talent South at her current position, while keeping her ear to the ground for new and exciting opportunities.
“Right now I am focused on applying what I learned in Tech Talent South to my current project at Georgia Tech, but I’m always excited to help solve challenging digital information problems, and I’m eager to find collaborators or other folks in the Atlanta area who are also interested in digital preservation challenges.”