One way LITA is celebrating its 50th anniversary is by profiling our presidents. Colleen Cuddy was LITA President from 2011-2012.
Current position: Associate Dean, Research and Scholarship, University Library, San Jose State University
Position you held when serving as LITA President: Director, Weill Cornell Medical College Library, Cornell University
Three words that best describe you: hardworking, adventurous, enterprising
What was one of your most defining moments of your presidential year?
Making Information Technology and Libraries an open access publication. It was a huge deal. I felt we were being hypocritical by pushing publishers for open access journals while a publication by and for librarians and information professionals was sitting behind a pay wall. I was so proud to usher in open access during my presidential year!
Why did you join LITA?
I was young and naïve… and, I loved the LITA programming at conferences and the LITA people. LITA just seemed a perfect fit—my tribe.
Any advice for future LITA Leaders?
Don’t get frustrated by the pace of change. LITA exists as part of a larger organization and it can be difficult to be nimble. Persevere and do what is right and LITA membership will reap the rewards.
Which invention from a science fiction book, movie or tv show do you wish existed today and why?
The Tardis. I love to travel and time travel would be splendid! (If the 10th Doctor came along as the tour guide I would not object!)
What book do you recommend the most and why?
Composing a Life by Mary Catherine Bateson. She has some pedigree as Margaret Mead’s daughter but the content is uniquely her own take on living life as an improvisation rather than by a set plan. Her words have served me well and I particularly recommend it to women navigating a fulfilling career while raising a family. I think it is time for a re-read myself…
Is there a picture from your presidential year that captures the experience?
I love this photo where I am flanked by Cliff Lynch and Tony Hey. We had just finished presenting the LITA President’s Program: The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Research, Digital Scholarship and Implications for Libraries. The opportunities for libraries in a data driven research environment was a theme throughout my presidential year and the looks on our faces says it all—It was a fantastic program and a great end to my presidential year. My wonderful mentor and former LITA president, Nancy Roderer was in the audience along with my best, non-ALA, library colleague, Heidi Heilemann, who captured the moment for me. After the program we went to LITA Happy Hour and then to ALA night at Disneyland with another LITA former president Michelle Frisque.