913 S. University Avenue
I manage Library Web Systems, the department responsible for the library's web site, including ArticlesPlus (our Drupal implementation of Serials Solutions' Summon using its API), MLibrary Favorites, Search Tools, and the library's proxy server. Our group provides Drupal for other parts of MLibrary, as well.
I serve on a number of library committees and working groups, including the Library Web Committee, PARC (Public Access Resources Committee), and Senior Managers. I am the chair of Librarians' Forum, our faculty governance body. I am a member of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative project and previously served on the RLG Sharing and Aggregating Social Metadata Working Group and the Code4Lib Journal's editorial committee. My blog about innovative ways libraries use RSS is RSS4Lib.
I received a BA in History and Russian from Grinnell College and Masters' degrees in Library Studies (with a concentration in archives) and Russian & East European Studies from the University of Michigan. I have previously worked at Tufts University (Boston), Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI), and the Open Media Research Institute (Prague, Czech Republic).
Recent Publications and Presentations
See my personal site for a complete list.
"Getting Started with Drupal in a Library"
Presentation at the Michigan Library Association's Applied Technologies and Trends, Grand Rapids, MI, May 10, 2013.
- "Patterns of Undergraduates' Use of Scholarly Databases in a Large Research University," Loyd Gitari Mbabu, Albert Bertram, Ken Varnum. Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 39, Issue 2, March 2013, Pages 189-193 39. 10.1016/j.acalib.2012.10.004
"Library Favorites and Resource Modeling"
Presentation at the LITA National Forum, October 5, 2012.
Drupal in Libraries. ALA TechSource. June 2012.
A primer for technically proficient librarians who want to learn more about Drupal and manage a web site using it, but who are not themselves coders.
"Discovery Here, Discovery There: Pros and Cons of Local or Remote Hosting of Discovery Tools"
Conversation Starter at ALA National, June 23, 2012.
- "Developing a User-Centered Discovery Environment" with Scott Dennis, Kathleen Folger, and Suzanne Chapman. Planning and Implementing Resource Discovery Tools in Academic Libraries. IGI Global. June 2012.
"Don’t Go There! Providing Discovery Services Locally, Not at a Vendor’s Site"
Presentation at the Michigan Library Association's Academic Libraries 2012 conference, 10 May 2012.
"Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives and Museums"
Presentation (with 5 others) on the conclusions of the Social Metadata Working Group on 9 March 2012.
- "Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives and Museums. Part 2: Survey Analysis. Smith-Yoshimura, Karen, Carol Jean Godby, Helice Koffler, Ken Varnum and Elizabeth Yakel. 2011. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2011/2011-03.pdf.
- "Serials Solutions’ Summon: Familiarity Breeds Success," Library Journal Reference Supplement, November 15, 2011.
- “Keeping Your Feet on the Ground when Putting your (Lib)Guides in the Cloud” with Karen Reiman-Sendi and Albert A. Bertram. Getting Started with Cloud Computing: A LITA Guide. Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. Edited by Heather Moulaison and Edward Corrado. 2011.
Keeping Discovery in the Library (SlideShare)
Presentation as part of a panel discussion at the 2011 Charleston Conference on 2 November 2011.
Making the Case for CMS! (SlideShare) with Nina McHale
Presented at Internet Librarian 2011 on 19 October 2011.
Drupal & Summon: Keeping Article Discovery in the Library (SlideShare)
Presented at LITA National Forum 2011 on 30 September 2011.