Introducing the IRIS Lab Technician, Kayla Hays
Hello, IRIS Lab community. This is just a quick blurb to introduce myself and let you learn a bit about where I’m from, how the IRIS Lab and I can assist with your projects, and some of my goals during my time here.
Who am I?
I completed my BA in English with a minor in Mass Communications right here at SIUE. My undergraduate experience here was invaluable and had a substantial impact on the type of student and professional I am today.
In fact, my interest in the world of digital humanities was fostered here in the IRIS Lab. In 2011 I began working with Dr. DeSpain as a volunteer on The Wide, Wide World Digital Edition project. I continued working on the project as an URCA Assistant and then as an Editorial Assistant for a semester following graduation.
This past August I finished graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for library and information science. During graduate school, I worked as a graduate assistant in the Main Library in the Scholarly Commons and as a marketing and outreach assistant for the Student Life and Culture Archives.
How Can I Help?
If you’re interested in starting a grant-funded project, I’d be happy to meet with you to discuss potential options. I’m also available to provide guidance if you’ve already begun the grant writing process or if you’re considering resubmission.
I’m also here to provide a face for the IRIS Lab. If you’re curious about the opportunities and services this space can provide for you and your students, I’m here to answer your questions as well as assist with current and ongoing IRIS related projects.
- Provide advice and tutorials/workshops to faculty on digital projects.
- Cultivate faculty projects and provide assistance with each step of the grant application process: Let’s chat about the ways in which the IRIS Lab can help support that project you always wanted to tackle.
- Develop a social media plan: It would be great to see regular posts on the blog and to consistently share our day-to-day activities in the lab! All (directly or indirectly involved with the lab) are welcome to contribute.
- Find and research new, open source tools for the lab.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any IRIS related questions. You can also just stop in, say hello, and have a look at the space (PH 0226).
The Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and the IRIS Center
Howard Rambsy IIAs part of my work with the Institute for Urban Research, I received a small grant to begin scanning hundreds of photographs documenting activities of the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, a social service organization in East St. Louis. The organization began in the early 1900s, and the photographs span much of the 20th century. When I first received the batch of photo albums, I was excited about the possibilities. Early during the Fall semester of 2014, I met with SIUE’s metadata librarian Mary Z. Rose and then Digital Imaging Specialist Virginia Stricklin to get a sense of direction and guidance on how I might approach organizing and labeling the digital files. I was almost ready I thought, but I was concerned that I might not have a place on campus where my graduate student Jeremiah Carter could devote the necessary time to scan the documents. IRIS Center to the rescue. Kristine Hildebrandt gave Jeremiah and me a brief lesson on utilizing the equipment and software that would relate to our current project. Later, after Jeremiah and I had a couple of strategy sessions on his approach, he set about the task of scanning documents. Each week, during the Fall semester and over the first month when we returned, Jeremiah spent hours in the IRIS Center scanning and producing notes and preliminary metadata for the images. So far, we’ve expanded a collection of photo albums into more than 500 scanned images with corresponding images. And there’s much more to do. Next up, we’ll have to transfer and label slides. We also want to figure out how to utilize some of the items for public humanities programming. The IRIS Center will serve as a vital space and base for our preparations and next steps.