In the Spotlight with… Jeremy Myntti

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 37 no.2 June 2017

In the Spotlight with… Jeremy Myntti

Lisa Romano, Column Editor

This spotlight introduces Jeremy Myntti, the next president of OLAC. Jeremy is currently the Head of the Digital Library Services Department at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. In this position, he is responsible for the library’s digitization projects, metadata for their digital assets, and digital preservation activities. Plus, he is also serving as the systems administrator for all cataloging and acquisitions tasks in the library’s ILS.

Jeremy has been in this position since 2015 after the library merged the digitization and digital preservation activities within the library with the metadata cataloging group that he had supervised for the past few years. After the reorganization, Jeremy had to bring all of these groups together and create a cohesive department. This major challenge allowed him to use his experience from past positions related to cataloging, digital projects, preservation, and programming. And what is one thing that he most enjoys about his job?

The many wonderful people that I’m able to work closely with, not only in my department and library, but also project partners that we have throughout the state of Utah, the Mountain West Digital Library network, and members of organizations like OLAC and ALA/ALCTS. I have learned so much from my colleagues and value the input that they add to all of the work that I am doing.

Jeremy’s path to librarianship was in a roundabout way. While working on his bachelor degree in music, he was a work-study student in Utah Valley University’s music department and did some basic cataloging of monographs, scores, sheet music, sound recordings, and instruments. Later, Jeremy got a second part-time job at a library vendor doing retrospective conversion of card catalogs where he became acquainted with cataloging, reclassification, digitization, non-MARC metadata, scripting, and authority control. His favorite collection that he worked on was digitizing and creating metadata for rough animation sketches for a large animation studio. When I was younger, I always wanted to be an animator, so being able to handle the actual drawings from movies that I loved was amazing!

Over the next ten years, Jeremy worked his way up the ranks but realized he could not go any higher without having a library degree. So, he decided to enroll at The University of Alabama and received his MLIS degree. Within a couple of months of graduating, Jeremy became the Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services at the University of Utah in early 2012. Once there, Jeremy wanted to find professional development opportunities to help him in his new position. For the previous several years, he had followed the work of OLAC and CAPC, but had never attended an OLAC conference.

When I noticed that the 2012 OLAC Conference in Albuquerque had a preconference workshop on “Managing Catalog Departments, or, The Accidental Leader” presented by Rebecca Lubas and
Bobby Bothmann, I knew I had to attend. That workshop was exactly what I needed to get some tips for my new position, to know that I wasn’t alone in my role, and to be able to network with those in similar situations. After attending this conference, I knew that OLAC was going to be a “home” for me in the profession.

Since then, Jeremy has become actively involved in OLAC. From late 2013 until June 2016, he served as the first OLAC Outreach/Advocacy Coordinator. Jeremy helped OLAC become more visible on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Additionally, he worked with a group of OLAC members to create an entry in Wikipedia for OLAC. As of July 2016, Jeremy became the OLAC Vice President/President-Elect and has been closely involved in exploring the idea of merging OLAC with MOUG. Next, he will take on the responsibilities of OLAC President after ALA Annual this June.

Besides volunteering with OLAC, Jeremy is currently a marketing co-coordinator for the ALCTS Continuing Education Committee and is serving on the ALCTS Monographs Editorial Board. In this editorial role, he has been working on two different publications in which he will be either a co-author or co-editor of the monographs. In addition, Jeremy is very active in research, presenting, and writing. Within the last year, he has given sixteen presentations at many different local, regional, or national conferences. Jeremy also has three journal articles in the works! Among his other projects are the Cataloging Units in Academic Libraries project with Liz Woolcott from Utah State University regarding the changing landscape of cataloging units in academic libraries and the Western Name Authority File project (with Anna Neatrour also from the University of Utah) that involves working on a regional controlled vocabulary for personal names and corporate bodies found in digital library collections being contributed to DPLA.

When asked if he had one piece of advice for new librarians, what would it be? Jeremy responded:

I like to encourage people to try new things and experience different areas of librarianship that you don’t know much about or you don’t think that you would initially like. Nearly all of the positions that I have accepted over the past several years have stretched me far beyond what I thought I was capable of and I have quickly grown to love doing things that I never thought I would.