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Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Sally W. Kalin Early Career Librarian for Technological Innovations, Associate Librarian July 2023 — present

Sally W. Kalin Early Career Librarian for Technological Innovations, Assistant Librarian July 2021 — June 2023

Cataloging Systems and Linked Data Strategist, Assistant Librarian September 2017 — July 2021

  • Leading a project to improve the libraries’ discovery through the development of a new library catalog using Blacklight and a Bento-style search integrating library resources. Guided development and integration of My Account functionality built on Sirsi WebServices and ILLiad APIs. Began integration of digitized materials into the catalog.
  • Engaging with systems vendors about improvements to discovery and cataloging systems.
  • Leading Penn State’s participation in PCC Wikidata pilot along with wikidata workshops. Exploring opportunities for creation and use of linked data within library data projects.
  • Solving complex data reuse and reporting projects with data from sources including the library’s catalog, ArchivesSpace, and WorldShare. For example: identified library materials with possible arsenic in bindings, assisted Special Collections with data for planning a space management project, and queried WorldCat holdings across BTAA libraries to support a colleague’s research.
  • Working with campus partners to understand how their data may become more discoverable, whether through library contexts or linked data.

Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame

Digital Collections Librarian, Assistant Librarian February 2016 — August 2017

Implemented working digital collections infrastructure in CurateND, the library’s institutional repository.

Accomplishments included:

  • Consulted with librarians, curators, and external stakeholders to bring collections into the library’s exhibit platform and/or institutional repository.
  • Set development priorities for the library’s exhibit platform and institutional repository. Exploring integrations between library systems.
  • Developed and refined metadata for load into the institutional repository.
  • Developed and maintained pipelines for dissemination of EAD finding aids from RBSC and Archives through the institutional repository and into the library’s catalog and RBSC, but not Archives, site.
  • Created documentation for users and processes for the library’s technical platforms.

NASA Goddard Library through Cadence Group

Metadata Librarian II June 2014 — January 2016

Managed regular harvest and data management for the NASA Goddard Institutional Repository. Led project to create new collection of 488 digitized issues of the Goddard News, allowing researchers to access the first 40 years of Goddard’s history.

Jacob Burns Law Library, George Washington University Law School

Serials and Continuations Specialist December 2008 — June 2014

Oversaw handling of serials, periodicals, and continuing publications from initial receipt through delivery to shelvers. Performed 18 months of original cataloging of law journal colloquia as monograph records.

George Washington University Law School

Archival Field Study Intern Spring 2013

Arranged and described the school’s unprocessed collection of miscellaneous papers and materials. Created finding aids for the collection in Word/PDF and Archivists’ Toolkit.


Wordpress Consultant July 2008 — July 2010

  • Set up, upgraded, migrated, and imported Wordpress installations for bloggers and small businesses.
  • Restored and repaired hacked sites.
  • Developed Wordpress themes using XHTML, CSS, and PHP.

Other Library Positions

  • Clerical Aide, Hyattsville Public Library, Jan — Dec 2008
  • Page, Newark Free Library, 2001 — 2007
  • Technical Services student worker, Murray Library, Messiah College, 2004 — 2005

2018-2020. Co-Principle Investigator. Collective Responsibility: National Forum on Labor Practices for Grant-Funded Digital Positions. Institute of Museum and Library Services. National Leadership Grants for Libraries. National Digital Platform - Forum. LG-73-18-0236-18. ($99,429.00) Principle Investigators: Ruth Kitchin Tillman and Sandy Rodriguez


Salo, Dorothea and Ruth Kitchin Tillman. “Ethics of Sustaining Linked Data Infrastructure” in Ethics in Linked Data, edited by Alexandra Provo, Kathleen Burlingame, and B.M. Watson, 23-39. Sacramento: Library Juice Press, 2023. Accepted copy in ScholarSphere

“Indispensable, Interdependent, and Invisible: A Qualitative Inquiry into Library Systems Maintenance.” College & Research Libraries (2023) 84 (1): 121-136. 10.5860/crl.84.1.121

Roke, Elizabeth and Ruth Tillman. “Pragmatic Principles for Archival Linked Data.” American Archivist(2022) 85 (1): 173–201. DOI: 10.17723/2327-9702-85.1.173

Babcock, Kelli, Regine Heberlein, Anna Björnsson McCormick, Elizabeth Russey Roke, Greta Kuriger Suiter, and Ruth Tillman. “The Power of Parallel Description: Wikidata and Archival Discovery.” White paper published in The Lighting the Way Handbook: Case Studies, Guidelines, and Emergent Futures for Archival Discovery and Delivery, eds. M.A. Matienzo and Dinah Handel, October 2021. DOI: 10.25740/gg453cv6438

Rodriguez, Sandy, Ruth Tillman, Amy Wickner, et al. “Collective Equity: A Handbook for Designing and Evaluating Grant-Funded Positions.” Collective Responsibility Labor Advocacy Toolkit, March 2020.

Rodriguez, Sandy and Ruth Tillman. “Responses & Retrospectives: Toward Collective Change, A Response to Precarious Labor Practices and a Roadmap to Creating Ethical Grant-Funded Positions.” Archives AWARE!, March 2020.

Arnold, Hillel, et. al. ““Do Better” -Love(,) Us Guidelines for Developing and Supporting Grant-Funded Positions in Digital Libraries, Archives, and Museums.” Do Better Labor, January 2020.

Tillman, Ruth Kitchin and Sandy Rodriguez. “Digital Labor Forum Tackles Temp Jobs on Grant, Digitization Projects | Peer to Peer Review.” Library Journal. November 7, 2019.

Rodriguez, Sandy, Ruth Tillman, Amy Wickner, Stacie Williams, and Emily Drabinski. Collective Responsibility: Seeking Equity for Contingent Labor in Libraries, Archives, and Museums. September, 2019.

“Barriers to Ethical Name Modeling in Current Linked Data Encoding Practices” in Ethical Questions in Name Authority Control, edited by Jane Sandberg, 241-257. Sacramento: Library Juice Press, 2019. Accepted copy in ScholarSphere

“Editorial: Beyond Posters: Hospitality in Libtech.” Code4Lib Journal, 40 (2018).

Tillman, Ruth, Alan Harnum, Danielle Robichaud, Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet, and Brad Houston. “Roundtable: Should library workers learn to code?.” Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(2) (2017), doi: 10.21083/partnership.v12i2.4121.

“Opportunities for Encoding EAD for Linked Data Extraction and Publication.” Journal of Archival Organization, 12(1-2) (2016), p. 19-36, doi: 10.1080/15332748.2017.1400725. peer review [accepted & published, Fall 2017]

“Where Are We Now? Survey on Rates of Faculty Self-Deposit in Institutional Repositories.” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 5(1) (2017). doi: peer review

“Editorial: Introspection as Activism, or, Getting Our Houses in Order.” Code4Lib Journal, 35 (2017). Accessed April 30, 2016.

“Extracting, Augmenting, and Updating Metadata in Fedora 3 and 4 Using a Local OpenRefine Reconciliation Service.” Code4Lib Journal, 31 (2016). Accessed March 19, 2016.


“Between Exports and Infrastructure: Linked Data Systems in 2022,” Potomac Technical Processing Librarians 98th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. October 14, 2022. text

With Sandy Rodriguez. “Out of Silence, Toward Solidarity,” New York Archives Week Symposium. Online. October 22, 2020. text

Workshops Led

Rodriguez, Sandy and Ruth Tillman. “Designing for Labor Equity: Evaluative Tools from the Collective Responsibility Project.” Museum Computer Network. Online. November 12, 2020.

Rodriguez, Sandy and Ruth Tillman. “Designing for Labor Equity: Evaluative Tools from the Collective Responsibility Project.” Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, Issues and Advocacy Section. Online. August 14, 2020.

“Linked Data, Archival Data, and Wikidata.” Philadelphia Art Museum Library. Virtual. April 27, 2020.

“Learning Cell Cross in OpenRefine.” Virtual. March 26, 2020. text and recording


Tillman, Ruth K and Regine Heberlein. “Hollinger’s Box: The retrieval object at the edge of the ontology.” SWIB 2023, Berlin, September 12, 2023.

“Ethics in Linked Data Book Panel.” 2023 LD4 Conference: Exploring Linked Data in GLAM: From Inspiration to Implementation, Online, July 11, 2023.

Dysert, Anna, Anna Björnsson McCormick, Elizabeth Russey Roke, Kelli Babcock, Regine Heberlein, and Ruth Tillman “Plenary session – Unconference: Building Communities of Practice.” Association of Canadian Archivists Annual Meeting, Mi’gma’gi/Prince Edward Island, June 30, 2023.

“Time is a Property of Data” SWIB 2022, Online, December 1, 2022. (Lightning Talk)

“Beyond Implementation: Positioning Maintenance as a Core Commitment in Libraries,” April 2022 Pre-Recorded Project Briefing Series, Coalition for Networked Information, Online. text and recording

Rodriguez, Sandy and Ruth Tillman. “Sustaining Our Digital Future: Labor Tools to Create Resilient Workplaces.” Computers in Libraries 2021. Online. March 25, 2021.

“Marketing Discovery.” Marketing Discovery & Assessing Usability: ETS Discovery Webinar Series Part II. Reference and User Services Association, American Library Association. Online. June 4, 2020.

“Wikidata Recommendation for Archival Data.” Code4Lib 2020, Pittsburgh, PA, March 9, 2020. (Lightning Talk)

Tillman, Ruth, Sandy Rodriguez, Amy Wickner, Angel Diaz, and Courtney Dean. “The State of Temporary Labor: Trends and Themes from SAA’s Issues and Advocacy Section + IMLS-Funded Research.” DLF Forum 2019, Tampa, FL, October 14, 2019.

Lassere, Monique, Ana Ndumu, Mark Parsons, Ruth Tillman, and Patricia Hswe. “Interrogating the Ethic of Care in Information Maintenance.” Maintainers III: Practice, Policy, and Care, Washington, DC, October 8, 2019.

“Maintenance, Labor, and the Classic Catalog.” Maintainers III: Practice, Policy, and Care, Washington, DC, October 8, 2019.

“Creating linked data converts: syncretism in the cataloging department.” LD4 Conference on Linked Data in Libraries, Boston, MA, May 10, 2019.

“Series of Tubes: Moving Subjects from MARC to ASpace.” ArchivesSpace Online Forum, March 18, 2019.

Arnold, Hillel, Rafia Mirza, Sandy Rodriguez, and Ruth Tillman. “Valuing Labor When You’re the Man (Kinda).” DLF Forum 2018, Henderson, NV, October 15, 2018.

Chao, Zoe and Ruth Tillman “Between Bento Boxes and Security Blankets.” Big Ten Academic Alliance Library Initiatives Conference, Urbana, IL, May 30, 2018.

Rodriguez, Sandy, Ruth Tillman, and Amy Wickner. “Reproducing Contingency: Grant-Funded Labor in Digital Libraries.” Libraries in the Context of Capitalism, New York, NY, February 2, 2018.

“Management & Reuse: What Your Metadataists Do.” SamveraConnect, Evanston, IL, November 8, 2017. (Lightning Talk)

Hardesty, Julie and Ruth Tillman. “Documenting Our MAPS.” SamveraConnect, Evanston, IL, November 8, 2017.

Nowviskie, Bethany, et. al. “Our DLF Now.” DLF Forum 2017, Pittsburgh, PA, October 25, 2017.

Tillman, Ruth, Sandy Rodriguez, Lisa Hinchliffe, Graeme Slaght, and Emily Drabinksi. “Valuing Labor in Digital Libraries.” DLF Forum 2017, Pittsburgh, PA, October 24, 2017.

“Stalin and ampersands and Lebenen, oh my!” Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, July 26, 2017 (Lightning Talk)

“Results from a Survey of 81 Institutional Repositories.” HydraConnect, Boston, MA, October 5, 2016. (Lightning Talk)

“Pull it Together! Reusing Your Own Metadata and Augmenting Collections with OpenRefine.” Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians Annual Meeting, Louisville, KY, May 27, 2016.

“Pull it Together: Exporting, Reconciling, and Batch Updating Metadata in Fedora 3 & 4.” DC Fedora User Group Meeting, College Park, MD, October 8, 2015.

“EAD 2002 to EAD3: the N big changes.” Code4Lib DC Unconference, Washington, DC, August 11, 2014.

Schwartz, Molly and Ruth Tillman. “Embracing Archivists’ Toolkit to Implement EAD.” MARAC, Richmond, VA, October 25-27, 2012. (student paper)

Professional Service

Creator and Maintainer, June 2013 — present

  • Rewrote and re-envisioned the EAD 2002 tag library in an interlinked format with language more suitable for XML beginners. Now used in many library school classes.
  • Published tutorials for EAD and Archivists’ Toolkit beginners.
  • Released second, EAD3-focused version of the site one year before EAD3’s release with continued updating to match final changes to the schema.
  • Created multi-site experience to handle multiple versions of EAD, deprecated and new elements, and changes between EAD 2002 and EAD3.

Digital Library Federation

DLF Labor Working Group co-facilitator January 2017 — present

Code4Lib Journal

Editor and Wordpress Administrator June 2015 — September 2021

Samvera/Hydra Community

Samvera/Hydra Metadata Interest Group co-facilitator January 2017 — November 2019

Society of American Archivists

Peer-reviewer June 2016 – Putting Descriptive Standards to Work. edited by Kris Kiesling and Christopher J. Prom. Chicago: Society of American American Archivists (2017).

Member, Technical Subcommittee for Encoded Archival Standards, Appointed August 2016 — October 2017

Co-Chair, EAD Roundtable Steering Committee, Elected August 2014 — August 2016

Member, Technical Subcommittee for EAD (ex-officio) August 2014 — August 2016


University of Maryland, iSchool

Master of Library Science December 2013 (College Park, MD)

Relevant coursework includes:

  • Organization of Information;
  • Legal Issues in Managing Information;
  • Digital Preservation;
  • Archival Arrangement and Description;
  • Management of Electronic Records & Information;
  • Database Design (taken at The Catholic University of America, credit transferred)

Messiah College

Bachelor of Arts, English Literature May 2007 (Grantham, PA)

College Honors Program, summa cum laude