By Katherine Strickland
Howdy, WAML members and fans!
I am honored and excited to write my first President’s Message for WAML’s Information Bulletin. WAML has been very important to my professional and personal growth since I joined a decade ago. I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the organization and all of the fantastic people I have met through it.
Reflecting on my time at WAML, I think about how much Map & GIS Librarianship, WAML as an organization, and the world have changed. Five years ago, we hosted the 50th WAML Conference here in Austin, Texas; since then, half of our conferences have been virtual. This year we will be hosting another virtual conference on Monday, September 19th, and Tuesday, September 20th. Initially, we planned a shorter virtual conference with the hopes of hosting an in-person conference in Spring 2023, but we have decided to prepare for a hybrid conference in Fall 2023. Because of the shortened schedule, we are not scheduling workshops. I get so much out of the WAML workshops and would like to host one or two throughout the year. Please let me know if you are interested in teaching a virtual workshop in late fall or spring.
The ongoing COVID pandemic forced us to meet virtually, but our conference attendance and participation broadened with that transition. I hope we can accommodate members who cannot travel and those with state-mandated travel restrictions. Please keep an eye out for a survey to help us plan conferences around your schedules and needs.
Matthew Toro, Past-President, and Kevin Dyke, Secretary, have stepped out of their roles as E-Board members, but WAML will benefit from their contributions for years. Matt hosted our first virtual conference in unprecedented times, and both played significant roles in transforming the WAML website. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Evan Thornberry in his role as Past-President. Among Evan’s many accomplishments, bringing changes to the WAML appointed positions to fruition and adding digital mapping project reviews in the IB will have lasting effects. I am very grateful for his leadership and hope to live up to his excellent standard. Thanks to all of you for your hard work!
Please join me in welcoming Vice President/President-Elect Jessica Benner and our new Secretary, Rebecca Seifried, to the E-Board. I look forward to working with and learning from both.
Here in Austin, we’re well into another hot Texas summer. I will be working on exhibits in the newly renovated PCL Map Room and focusing my attention on creating metadata for the 70,000 map images from PCL Map Collection website for ingestion into our Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). The former website has been migrated to a new server, and while there are redirect hiccups, individual maps and webpages will remain available for the foreseeable future. Visit the new maps domain home page, http://maps.lib.utexas.edu. You will find links to maps in the UT Collections and GeoData portals. Over 18,000 scanned maps are available in the Collections portal. While most were previously available on the PCL Map Collection website, two distinct collections were not: the Relaciones Geográficas of Mexico and Guatemala and Field Maps of Colonel Roland T. Fenton. I am happy with how this migration has turned out and look forward to continuing to enhance the existing digital collection.
I look forward to seeing many of you in September.
WAML President 2022-2023
University of Texas Libraries
University of Texas at Austin