Being a librarian has been a dream of mine since I was young and enamored with the idea of a neatly organized and endless supply of books. In college, though, I discovered the Google Books project and a new obsession. Making the sum of the world's knowledge more available, more accessible, more discoverable to more people... that was something I could dedicate my life to. The Google Books project is done for now, but libraries all over the world are engaged in incredibly exciting initiatives that are even better. More thoughtful. More open. More sustainable.
Digital scholarship and open access are my twin passions. Whether it's managing digital repositories, consulting on digital humanities or eScience projects, or teaching students about Creative Commons, I count myself incredibly lucky to work in a field that fulfills me professionally, personally, intellectually, and socially. Being a librarian isn't just what I do. It's who I am. Not a gatekeeper, but a facilitator. Restrictions are uninteresting; I'm more interested in what we can do. Better yet, what we can do together!
Mary Frances Ruth Gaede is far too much of a mouthful for everyday use, so it's just Franny. I grew up in the southwest, learning how to get sunburned in no more than 15 minutes. I attended the University of Arizona for most of my undergrad in history, finishing up at University of Texas at Austin. I focused on Russian history and took two years of Russian language that I'm trying desperately to keep with a daily dose of Duolingo. I stayed in Austin to complete my Masters degree in Information Science, with a focus on digital libraries. There, I became fascinated with technology and startup culture and learned to love breakfast tacos.
These days, I live in Indianapolis, Indiana where I serve as Butler University Libraries' inaugural Scholarly Communication Librarian. To me, this title means a few things: I am the manager of the University's Digital Commons installation, Digital Commons @ Butler. I am the copyright point person. I am an advocate for open access on and off campus. I am a consultant for digital scholarship projects. I am the instigator of open educational resource creation. I am an information literacy instructor and liaison to the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics; the Modern Languages; the Honors Program; and Global and Historical Studies, part of the core curriculum. Some of these roles are natural, others are part of my push toward becoming a more well-rounded librarian. All of them have taught me about what it means to be an effective librarian in the 21st century.