Jody L. DeRidder

Jody DeRidder

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Norm Miller, Custom Woodworking

Meet my husband:


April and May are the months for faculty and staff reviews here at UA, so with a mixed staff of 8 (plus students), I'm definitely engaged in evaluations and helping people set good goals. Of course goals must be aligned with the needs of the University and the Libraries, but for employees to be engaged, it's important for goals to have other aspects as well. Good goals incorporate the interests of the employee (as much as possible), build collaboration (where appropriate) and also help to advance the development of the department. Since I think good goals are critical (and yes, they must be reviewed and tweaked quarterly) and that an honest and appreciative evaluation goes a long way towards morale, evaluations require careful attention.

On the national/international front, I've been laying the groundwork to get the User & Usability Testing Guidelines and Best Practices Working Group off the ground. This is part of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment Interest Group, a collaborative effort to clarify how best to assess digital libraries, in many different aspects. In my (primary) working group, we're evaluating numerous resources to first identify which ones address which types of measurements, to generate subsets of resources for each measurement type. Then, for each measurement type (such as efficiency or effectiveness), we're analyzing how these things were (or were supposed to be) measured. This will provide us with clarity as to what the status is in the field, and whether there are already clear guidelines to adopt and share. It will also help us zoom in on the areas where we need to make sense out of the confusion, and get feedback from the community, at the next DLF forum (in November).

Want to know more about Jody? My work involves research and development, software and database development and support, service, and management. I focus on developing practical solutions for digital libraries and digital archives, while managing a terrific team who are involved in R&D projects of their own, and digitizing content from special collections.

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, 2016
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 2016
  • Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections, 2015
  • 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
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 2013

Other interesting involvements:

  • National Information Standards Organiztion (NISO) working groups, 2013-present
  • Digital Library Federation (DLF) Digital Library Assessment Interest Group, 2013-present
  • Society of American Archivists (SAA) Publications Board, 2013-2017
  • 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: my resume and CV.


Email: jody AT

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