Five Questions with Dave Rodriguez, Florida State University

Dave Rodriguez, FSU Libraries
Dave Rodriguez, Digital Services Librarian, Florida State University Libraries
David Rodriguez (He/Him/His) is Digital Services Librarian in the Technology & Digital Scholarship Division at Florida State University Libraries, and also Departmental Liaison to FSU’s College of Motion Picture Arts.
1.  Tell us about your work in your library…?

The primary focus of my role is managing and maintaining the various systems supporting the library’s institutional repository, digital library, and academic publishing platforms. It’s an IT gig in the traditional sense, and also incorporates elements of project and application management, web design, UX, and working with developers to wrangle the various pieces of our technology stack. While my job is formally a part of the library’s Web Development team, it’s really at the intersection of this group and Digital Infrastructure, Special Collections and Archives, and the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship — the three groups making up our main collaborators and stakeholders.

2. What attracted you to this role?

Ever since I started working professionally in the LAM sector over ten years ago, I’ve always been interested in the technology underpinning the preservation and exhibition of cultural heritage collections. My various jobs have allowed me to work with a wide gamut of different tech — from operating and maintaining 35mm film projectors to working with open-source digital preservation tools.  The role of Digital Services Librarian feels like a natural evolution of my career. I am constantly being challenged to learn new skills in areas like web development, cloud computing, and building out new features and functionalities of digital repository platforms. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

3.  How have you been involved with ASERL?

Since 2021 I’ve participated in ASERL’s Accessibility Interest Group and as one of the consortium’s representatives on the Library Accessibility Alliance. The Accessibility Interest Group is a welcoming, supportive space where folks can come together and discuss different questions, challenges, opportunities, and strategies related to accessibility initiatives in their respective institutions. I almost always come away from these meetings having gained some insight into how to approach this complex, important work. In the LAA I’ve chaired the Training Subcommittee for a couple of years now, which has and continues to develop a series of webinars addressing many important issues related to accessibility in library programs, services, and professional culture.

4.  What parts of volunteering with ASERL do you find most rewarding?

Working with the members of the LAA Training Subcommittee and our many partners in producing webinars has been incredibly rewarding. We have had sessions with hundreds of folks in attendance and the Q&A’s are always flush with thoughtful, engaging discussion. Seeing so many folks interested in accessibility is really heartening. Working with the presenters to develop the webinars themselves has also taught me so much about the field and I’m so grateful for everyone who has wanted to work with us.

5.  What’s one great thing that most people don’t know about you?

I got into working in libraries and archives through a love of film, and I’ve also been making films for several years. I’ve been fortunate to have my work screened in festivals and galleries across North America and Europe, most recently in Chicago, Coimbra, Portugal, and the Florida Film Festival in Orlando. A lot of the skills I’ve picked up in filmmaking definitely translate to working in libraries, especially working with digital images and audiovisual media.