USC Digital Voltaire

Karen Howell

Karen Howell is Head of Leavey Library, a multidisciplinary student-focused library that supports USC’s teaching, learning, and research mission through extended library hours of operation (24/6), heavy volume of use (1.4 million gate count per year), research and computer consultations services, and high expectations from the campus and neighboring community.

At Leavey Library, Karen led the implementation of renovation of Leavey Library’s Lower Level, three floors, and the outdoor terrace, resulting in increased and upgraded study spaces and technology services. Karen identifies and implements collaborations with faculty and academic units to support student-centered learning projects, which have resulted in video assignments to post on YouTube, videoconference sessions between USC and UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) students, supporting a general education course in the creation of video interviews for a collaborative Vietnam digital memorial, and supporting an upper-division course using mobile devices to conduct research in civic engagement in the community. In 2011 she was awarded a Dean’s Challenge Grant from the USC Libraries, “Digital Media and Mobile Devices,” in partnership with the USC Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the Center for Scholarly Technology, and USC Libraries Communication.

Prior to serving as Head of Leavey Library, Karen was Director for the USC Center for Scholarly Technology, where she directed planning, research and development initiatives to identify strategic applications of technology for scholarly activity at USC. Prior to coming to USC, Karen was a Library Systems Analyst at the Library of Congress, where she worked with teams to design and implement user interfaces for the Library of Congress Information System, the MOMS internal cataloging system, and a visitor orientation information system.

Karen is excited about how the Voltaire Project has the potential to intrigue undergraduate students and draw them into exploring primary materials and collaborating in the development of a digital humanities research resource.

Karen holds an M.L.S. in Library and Information Science from UCLA.

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