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A Farewell to Sherri Berger

It is our bittersweet task to announce that Sherri Berger, OAC/Calisphere Strategic Initiatives Manager, will be leaving CDL shortly to take a position as the Digital Programs Officer at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  Sherri has had a deeply transformative effect on the Digital Special Collections (DSC) program throughout her time at CDL, and we could only give her up to a new position where she has the opportunity to make things better and smarter and more accessible on an even bigger scale.  Sherri’s last day will be Friday, January 19th.

In her exciting new position at one of the most visited museums in the country, Sherri will be leading and growing the newly formed Digital Programs Office, focused on helping the Museum digitize its vast collections, make more of its data publicly available and discoverable, and establish new partnerships and projects with other institutions within and beyond the Smithsonian—perhaps even including CDL/UC. In this work, she will oversee a staff of five people. The National Museum of American History is home to millions of treasured artifacts, and after years of dwelling in the realm of digitized objects, Sherri is looking forward to touching at least some of them.

Since starting at CDL in 2009, Sherri has worked tirelessly with the DSC team to evolve Calisphere from a K-12 service at the end of its technical life to a fully realized, statewide digital collections platform. She has held us accountable to our users in ways that have changed how we do business, and she has, by example, refined our collective ability to tell stories about why what we do matters.
A few specific highlights of Sherri’s efforts:

  • Early in her time at CDL, Sherri took a deep dive into stats and assessment work on OAC and Calisphere in order to better understand who our users are, how they engage with our sites, and how we might develop a user interface to meet their complex needs.
  • Sherri subsequently served on systemwide planning committees for the “UC Digital Collection.” As that planning process evolved into the two-year UCLDC project, Sherri shifted toward project management, working closely with Brian Tingle and Adrian Turner to tackle the significant requirements from the campuses. She led the communications efforts around this project, and she leveraged her nuanced understanding of user needs to deliver the intuitive, state-of-the-art user interface that now defines Calisphere.
  • Most recently, following the conclusion of the UCLDC project, Sherri has worked hard to realize the potential of the new Calisphere platform, developing a truly collaborative UC service for Exhibitions that promises to further enhance the relevance of the Calisphere platform for campus partners seeking to develop unique content on the site; completing a report proposing a vision for user-centered complex objects based on IIIF; and launching a user comments pilot.

Sherri brought a range of marketing, outreach, and fundraising expertise to the team. She worked on multiple grant proposals over the years, to advance the breadth and depth of research collections available through OAC/Calisphere. Early in her tenure at CDL, she wrote a successful CLIR grant providing over $400,000 in processing funds for OAC contributors. She also significantly advanced OAC/Calisphere marketing and outreach campaigns, most recently shepherding the design and production of the 2nd generation Calisphere posters — raising the visibility of the resources in hundreds of classrooms, prisons, and other library and archive public service contexts throughout the state.

Sherri’s contributions to CDL over nearly a decade have been extraordinary. She has brought boundless energy, a deep and professional commitment to her work, and an endless store of brilliant ideas to everything she has touched. We look forward to watching her make her substantial mark at the Smithsonian.