As the world has moved further into the digital era, ways to make such information lasting and easily accessible has become increasingly important. University Libraries at Virginia Tech Dean Tyler Walters is playing an integral part in that process.

His most recent important role in this movement is acceptance of appointment to the board of directors of DuraSpace. DuraSpace is an independent, not-for profit organization with the mission to lead the development and improvement of open technologies that provide long-term, durable access to scholarly, scientific, and cultural records.

Walters said that he is honored to be invited to work with DuraSpace to accomplish these tasks. Other board members include library deans from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, and The Johns Hopkins University.

“Managing and advancing DuraSpace’s DSpace and Fedora repository platforms, as well as developing new software tools such as DuraCloud, is critically important to information service organizations that offer repository services to their communities,” Walter said. “I look forward to contributing to DuraSpace’s agenda and to the continued growth and vitality of the organization.”

It’s also his goal to advance the sustainability of DuraSpace as an organization, including the services it provides to research communities, he said. Within that goal is advancing the interoperability between DSpace and Fedora. 

“Furthering the development of DPN – the Digital Preservation Network, a project in which DuraSpace is deeply involved—is important to the digital preservation of academic intellectual output on a national scale,” Walter said. “This involves advancing linkages between research content in repositories and open, collaborative social networks where researchers interact and work.”

Walters, who has been involved in the repository software community for years, came to Virginia Tech in 2011. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Northern Illinois University and his master’s degrees at North Carolina State University and the University of Arizona. He currently is a doctoral student at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science program in managerial leadership in the information professions.

A 2008-2010 fellow in the Association of Research Libraries Research Libraries Leadership program, he was the recipient of the Society of American Archivists’ Ernst Posner Award for the best article in the industry journal “American Archivist.” He also was the lead author of the 2011 Association of Research Libraries report, “New roles for new times: Digital curation for preservation.”

Walters currently serves on the Coalition of Networked Information steering committee, the National Information Standards Organization board, and is an elected member of the Library of Congress Digital Stewardship Alliance Coordinating Committee.  

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