Jody L. DeRidder

Jody DeRidder

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Norm Miller, Custom Woodworking

Meet my husband:


Acumen now has a subject browse! Thanks so much for the teamwork that made this possible! Kudos go out to Alissa Helms, Corinne Chatnik, Claire Clemmons, and Celeste Thomas. You guys are great!!

In other news, the University of Alabama Libraries is undergoing transformation. As part of this process, most of the Metadata and Digital Services department is being reassigned, as production-level digitization is no longer a priority. Like many of our colleagues, we are navigating difficult waters and seeking the most strategic uses for our resources.

My role in this process includes supporting and encouraging the staff and faculty undergoing massive changes to their jobs, their directions, and sometimes, their careers. Grief and loss must be respected and allowed, as people work through what this means to them. Change management is challenging but is very important work, and can be very rewarding. Above all, I believe it is important to reassure people of their value and to instill hope and new purpose to replace what was lost or left behind.

And so we move into the future, not knowing exactly what comes next or even where it will lead us. We must do the best we can with what we have to work with. We must hold fast to the things that matter most in our lives, and be grateful we still have jobs, and an opportunity to help create positive change.

Want to know more about Jody? My work involves R & D, legacy data transformation, automation of workflows, infrastructure and database development, and management. I focus on developing practical solutions for libraries and information systems, while managing a terrific team.

For more info about what's going on in Digital Services at the University of Alabama, please check out our Digital Services blog and our wiki!





  • Personnel management
  • Digital content management
  • Data analysis and data transformation and migration
  • Software analysis and modifications
  • Software development
  • Digital preservation recommendations
  • Grant writing
  • Workflow development or transformation
  • Assistance in setting up the lowest-cost, most scalable methods of implementing a local digital library or management of electronic documents
  • Digital library or electronic document management cost analysis
  • Assessment of digital library and electronic document management and delivery software
  • Metadata mapping, analysis and extraction
Please contact me for more information.


Current Position:

Tenured Associate Professor and Head, Metadata & Digital Services
at the University of Alabama Libraries.

Information science, computer science, and library professional with a focus on strategic vision and leadership, effective collaborations, and an inclusive team-oriented management style that develops and motivates employees. Highly analytical, self-motivated, and results-oriented; seeking to develop and support sustainable solutions for libraries and archives that leverages available resources to best effect.

    At the University of Alabama, I have:
  • Transformed workflows for metadata and digitization to automate, simplify, and streamline as much as possible, while still providing a high quality product.
  • Developed Metadata & Digital Services into a thriving team of highly motivated creative individuals who not only create several TB of archival digital content annually, they each contribute to innovative development for support and delivery methods.
  • Developed content organization methodology and cross-departmental collaborations and workflows which enable scalable, efficient, and functionally sane digitization, access, and storage.
  • Assisted in the development of a new open-source architecture (Acumen) which dynamically delivers user-friendly (and Google-accessible) access to content deposited into web directories anywhere.
  • Designed, developed and continually improve the technical infrastructure to support our cross-departmental workflows, web delivery, preservation and management of content.
  • Developed methods for mass-digitizing content at a low cost, providing access via finding aids; wrote a grant proposal and obtained funding from NHPRC to test this project, and successfully managed the effort to completion, adding open-source software to enable other institutions to copy the model, and performing usability tests.
  • Expanded digital preservation content management to include auto-generated technical metadata for images and audio, and to track and package content for the Digital Preservation Network

  • Metadata design, management and transformation: descriptive, administrative, structural, technical, etc...
  • Research and analysis of current and evolving trends and software systems, providing reports that synthesize all pertinent information into potential viable options for improvement and change.
  • Transformation of boutique project approaches to effective, sustainable programs with cost savings.
  • Search engine optimization
  • Digital preservation.
  • Management and development of collaborative efforts and cross-departmental workflows, including automation improvements.
  • Architecture design and development, data modeling, software analysis, development and modification.
  • Evaluation and assessment at all levels.
  • Data analysis, extraction, and transformation.
  • Legacy system migration.
  • Design and development of infrastructure and information architecture.
  • Grant writing & technical writing.
  • Excellent personnel management with a focus on leveraging strengths, shoring up weaknesses, and a team approach to decision-making.

  • Digital preservation recommendations
  • Analysis of infrastructure and recommendations, including workflow improvements
  • Cost analyses

Grant Reviewer Experience:

  • Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections, 2015, 2016
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 2013, 2016
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), 2011-2013
  • National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), 2010 & 2013
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014

Other interesting involvements:

  • National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Content & Collection Management and Architecture Committees, 2016-present
  • National Information Standards Organization (NISO) working groups, 2013-present
  • Digital Library Federation (DLF) Digital Library Assessment Interest Group, 2013-present
  • Society of American Archivists (SAA) Publications Board, 2013-2016
  • Co-Chair of the SAA Metadata and Digital Objects Roundtable (MDOR), 2012-2014
  • Steering committee member, SAA MDOR, 2011-2014


MS in Information Science, 2008, University of Tennessee.
MS in Computer Science, 2002, University of Tennessee.
Graduate work in Community Agency Counseling, 1981-2, University of Tennessee.
BA in Human Services, 1980, University of Tennessee.

Recent Honors
Part of the experience I bring to the table:
  • 19 years of management experience.
  • 12 years of developing infrastructure, policies and proceedures, work flows, and information architecture.
  • 10 years of developing solutions for support of long-term access for digital content.
  • 5 years of development work on DLXS software, including modifications for cross-type searching and linking, and support for streaming media and embedded audio and video
  • 3 years of modifications and support for CONTENTdm, including analysis for extraction of content and metadata to provide additional search/browse and storage capabilities
  • 6 years of support and development for Acumen.
  • 1 year of beta-testing for Ex Libris Digitool, testing multiple scenarios and issues, providing feedback and recommendations for improvements, and analysis of software support.
  • Training as a Digital Preservation Outreach Education (DPOE) trainer in digital preservation and long-term access support

For more info about me: a brief resume and my CV.



Snailmail: Box 870266, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Phone: (205) 348-0511

"Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

--- Goethe