We are pleased to announce the first of our 2014 IR All-Stars, Todd Bruns, Institutional Repository Librarian at Eastern Illinois University. Since the launch of EIU’s repository in 2011, Todd has tirelessly dedicated himself to making The Keep a successful, supportive, and vibrant part of EIU’s campus. Though he has many wide-ranging accomplishments, we’d like to highlight Todd’s contribution to the campus’s robust ETD program and amazing variety of special collections in particular.
The Wesley Whiteside Botanical Garden collection is one of the most unique in The Keep, and a great example of the innovative ways Todd uses Digital Commons to showcase special collections and serve the campus community. Botany professor Wesley Whiteside taught at Eastern Illinois for 27 years before retiring and leaving his expansive farmland, arboretum, and botanical gardens to EIU in 2011. With Todd’s initiative, the repository has since become an “online museum” of the garden and an invaluable resource for the botany department with its extensive documentation of the hundreds of species grown on the land. Another example of Todd’s unique approach to displaying special collections in the repository is EIU’s theater arts collection, which uses the book gallery structure to display over 50 years of production programs, reviews, articles, set/costume designs, and photographs from EIU’s theater department.
Todd has also positioned the repository as an essential resource for Eastern Illinois’ graduate school and master’s program. After giving a presentation to the grad school about the benefits of ETDs, Todd was able to convince the school to include a link directly to the grad school’s website on all ETD cover pages in The Keep, which has helped generate additional international traffic to the site.
In addition to his work on The Keep, Todd maintains an active presence in the scholarly communications community at large with a number of publications, presentations, and reviews. Presented with Stacy Knight-Davis of EIU, his 2013 Digital Commons webinar “Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Graduate Research with Electronic Theses and Dissertations” is a must-see for anyone considering implementing an ETD program on their campus. Todd’s impressive report, “The Keep at Two: The First Two Years of Our Institutional Repository,” highlights the growth, milestones, and achievements of EIU’s repository, The Keep, as of September 2013. The incredibly thorough document serves as an invaluable resource for IR managers of all levels experience, and is an excellent example of the importance of measuring and reporting success to stakeholders on campus.
You can learn more about Todd and check out his full list of scholarly contributions on his SelectedWorks profile. Congratulations, Todd!