Welcome Erica Zhang, Metadata Librarian for Open Access

Please join us in welcoming Erica Zhang, metadata librarian for open access, to the UCLA Library. As a member of Library Resource Acquisitions & Metadata Services, Erica will be based in the Life Sciences Building and work to facilitate and support open access initiatives across the Library. We asked Erica a few questions about coming to UCLA and her new position:Erica Zhang half body portrait shot in front of tree with red flowers

What goals/hopes do you have for this year as our new Metadata Library for Open Access?

I'm incredibly excited to be joining the UCLA Library and can't wait to collaborate with my new colleagues on impactful open access initiatives. I believe our current world-affecting situations highlight how important open access resources are to the scholarly community and beyond. The UCLA Library has had a tremendous impact in the open access space, and I hope to contribute to the progress that it has made and continues to make. In particular, I hope to understand the challenges and opportunities of making open access materials discoverable and accessible to the diverse communities that the Library serves.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?

Prior to this role, I worked as an Information Science Specialist at Boeing, cataloging and delivering technical reports and datasets to the Boeing community. With an enterprise in the midst of a digital transformation, I had the opportunity to learn about new ideas, such as linked data and their potential applications in our cataloging processes. Such a dynamic environment meant constantly adapting to the changing needs of those we served, as well as reflecting on and reimagining the Boeing librarian's responsibilities. I hope to bring that curious, adaptive and action-oriented mindset to my role at the UCLA Library.

What projects will you be tackling first?

Definitely learning who's who! I am very much looking forward to connecting with my new colleagues and learning as much as I can about the challenges, opportunities and priorities of my team. I also look forward to learning about the ecosystem of research and scholarship at UCLA by engaging with Scholarly Communication, the Data Science Center, the California Digital Library and more! By building these connections along with some institutional knowledge, I hope to then be able to identify relevant metadata and open access projects that I can contribute to in my new role.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

I am currently reading Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein, which offers a compelling argument against early specialization and makes the case that developing a breadth of experiences in various domains, experimenting widely and being a generalist can position one to excel later on. I love the idea that the more domains one experiences, the more one can identify patters and apply creative problem-solving in different contexts. If anything, I finally feel that maybe my dabbling has purpose!


We are delighted to have Erica at the UCLA Library. You can contact her at ezhang20@library.ucla.edu.