Rachel E. Vacek has been a librarian since 2001 and is currently the Head of Web Services at the University of Houston Libraries, in Houston, Texas. In this position 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 library staff.
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.
Rachel is the 2014-2015 President of the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), one of the divisions of the American Library Association (ALA). She is also a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and an ALA Emerging Leader. She was recently interviewed on the popular international podcast, This Week in Libraries, with co-hosts Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer. She enjoys speaking and writing about user experience, library web technologies, microgrants, and leadership in libraries. She is a published author and has presented at many local and national conferences, including Internet Librarian, the LITA Forum, and ALA Annual.
Rachel is originally from West Chester, Ohio (just north of Cincinnati) and earned her bachelor’s degree in English (BA) from the University of Dayton in 1999 and her master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001.
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 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 thinking
- 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.