Pictured, from left to right: Lori Dekydtspotter, Aislinn Sotelo, and Cristina Favretto
This week we interviewed the individuals behind the 2016 RBMS Conference, Lori Dekydtspotter and Aislinn Sotelo, Co-chairs of the 2016 Conference Program Planning Committee, and Cristina Favretto, Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.
1. What is your day job?
Lori: I keep busy as the Head of Technical Services at the Lilly Library, Indiana University.
Aislinn: I am the Director of Metadata Services for the University of California, San Diego Library. All formats and types of cataloging and metadata are created in Metadata Services, including books, serials, e-resources, special collections cataloging, and metadata for digital objects and research data. I love that metadata services is so diverse and we get to work with so many interesting resources.
Cristina: My day job is so great that I hear the words “You have the BEST job!” on an almost daily basis. And I agree! As Head of Special Collections at the University of Miami Libraries, I get to work with fascinating people (colleagues, researchers, students, faculty) and fabulous, interesting collections. Every day brings new adventures, projects, and learning experiences. We are very involved with the every-day life of our community and take our job as documentarians and history detectives very seriously. Can you tell I love what I do?
2. How many years have your been involved in RBMS? Why have you continued your involvement?
Lori: I have been involved with RBMS since 2011. I have found RBMS to be a marvelous resource for new information in the field of special collections, and as a bonus, I have made some great friends and mentors over the years.
Aislinn: I have been involved in RBMS since 2008 when I was working at UCLA and I was on Local Arrangements (I was also on Local Arrangements in 2012 in San Diego and joke that RBMS is following me!). When I became Head of Special Collections Technical Services at UCSD, my involvement in the section increased. It did not take me long to realize how great of a group RBMS members are and how much I benefit from what the organization has to offer. RBMS has been one of my greatest professional learning opportunities. I have taken countless workshops, and attended many programs that have had a significant influence on my work.
Cristina: I’ve been involved long enough *not* to remember exactly how long! I think at least 15 years…
3. What are you most looking forward to about RBMS 2016?
Lori: I really can’t wait to hear the wonderful speakers and presenters that we have lined up for this year’s conference. And, of course, it will be wonderful to reconnect with friends and colleagues from around the country.
Aislinn: I am really looking forward to attending programming at this conference. Lori and I put together the most wonderful Program Planning Committee who worked diligently on shaping the program. This year’s theme focuses on diversity and I am very much looking forward to hearing our speakers.
Cristina: RBMS 2016 is on my home turf, so I’m really looking forward to showing off our diverse and vibrant community and to helping people to discover the wonderful kookiness of Miami (not to mention the tropical beauty of Coral Gables. You’re going to love the pool at the Biltmore…and please take a side trip to the other-worldly Venetian Pool just a short walk away. ). I also live a 10 minute walk from the Biltmore, so it’s going to be the easiest commute I’ve ever experienced for a conference! My only regret is that the jacarandas and Royal Poincianas won’t be blooming when you’re all here. Google them to see what I mean.
4. What has been the most exciting part of planning for RBMS 2016?
Lori: Working with Aislinn Sotelo as my co-chair has been a complete joy! We also brought together a great Program Planning Committee; they’ve been absolutely terrific and have gone over and above the call of duty. What a pleasure it has been to work with such wonderful people.
Aislinn: The most exciting part of planning has been working with my fabulous Co-Chair Lori Dekydtspotter, our section Chair, Cherry Williams, our Local Arrangements, the Program Planning Committee, and our ACRL Reps. Our colleagues are who make the section great!
Cristina: The most exciting part of the planning for this conference has been sharing one another’s favorite eateries, cafes, cultural institutions, and secret, hidden-away spots. I highly recommend a trip to Fairchild Botanical Gardens. You’ll see some of the most stunning plants and flowers (not to mention Butterfly and tropical fish environments) in the world, and get a glimpse of what it’s like to garden in this Edenic environment. And one of my favorite “in the know” spots is the little Prohibition-era bar in 1930s house tucked away behind the fancy Thompson Hotel on South Beach.
Lori: Without a doubt the Coral Gables local arrangements team has been outstanding. In addition, I have to say that being at the beautiful historic Biltmore Hotel is something that I’m really looking forward to—it’s going to be a great venue for what promises to be an engaging and interesting conference. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Aislinn: I am really excited about hosting the conference at the historic Biltmore Hotel! I will definitely try to work in a dip in their famous pool!
Cristina: At the risk of being repetitive, it’s that hometown pride. I’m pleased that so many of my colleagues from around the country will be able to visit our beautiful campus and see a variety of treasures from our collections. The University of Miami Libraries will be co-hosting (with the University of Florida) the Thursday evening reception, and attendees will get a glimpse of what our brand new Special Collections will look like. Construction will be completed in August 2017, but we’ll have renderings on display and the reception will be held in our future reading/exhibition room. We’re rehabilitating a beautiful mid-century pavilion and our vision for the finished project was inspired by some of the iconic hotel interiors from Miami’s Golden Age hotels, including the Eden Roc and the Fountainbleau…only with rare books and archival materials on display. I’m also looking forward to taking a group of people to my favorite Gables eatery, Chef Phil Bryant’s “The Local” on Restaurant Night. Get ready for Caribbean-meets—Southern comfort food fusion! He also has one of the most creative baristas in town, so stay tuned for a RBMS-inspired cocktail in our honor.