Rachel E. Vacek has been a librarian for over 13 years and is an active member in the professional field of web librarianship.
Rachel is currently the Head of Web Services at the University of Houston Libraries, in Houston, Texas, where she strives to streamline and integrate web-based access to library resources and services in support of the teaching, research and learning needs of the University of Houston community, as well as provide innovative resources and tools to librarians and library staff. She is passionate about the library profession and capitalizing on emerging technologies to help communicate, teach, and learn from one another.
She brings a well-rounded perspective to the table having taught classes, led information literacy initiatives, provided reference services, maintained electronic resources, and redesigned large websites. Managing a web services department in an academic research library has provided her with a unique understanding of the needs of different areas within libraries.
Rachel is also active in her profession, particularly in the American Library Association (ALA) and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA). She’s been on ALA Committees, LITA Committees and Interest Groups, the LITA Board of Directors, and is the LITA President from July 2014-July 2015.
Also in 2014, she was named one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers of the library world. In 2007, Rachel was chosen to participate in ALA’s Emerging Leaders Program designed to help develop the next generation of library leaders. Apparently, it worked.
Rachel is originally from West Chester, Ohio (just north of Cincinnati) and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dayton and her master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) from the University of Pittsburgh.
For more information about her work history, please see her CV.
Rachel speaks regularly on library and web technologies at national conferences like Internet Librarian, the ALA Annual and Midwinter Conferences, and the LITA National Forum. She’s also been invited to keynote at several regional conferences.
Her areas of interest and expertise include:
- Open-source technologies
- Web services
- User experience design
- Encouraging innovation
- Digital libraries
- The future of libraries
- Board games, gamification, and game design
If you are interested in Rachel speaking at your event, please contact her and she’ll get back to you as soon as she can.