William Lee Potter has been selected to receive the 2023 Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship ($3,000), sponsored by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures and Baker & Taylor.
This scholarship is for master’s level study, with an emphasis on library technology and/or automation, at a library school program accredited by the American Library Association. Criteria for the Scholarship includes previous academic excellence, evidence of leadership potential, and a commitment to a career in library automation and information technology.
The Larew Scholarship Committee was impressed with Potter’s initiative to create new tools and instruments for research. He currently serves as the Data Coordinator for the Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library (SMDL), which collaborates with Syriaca.org on developing community standards and best practices related to linked open manuscripts descriptions. In this role, Potter has helped author hundreds of new entries and written a number of scripts which updated their data.
Potter has also worked on organizing, editing, and updating data collection for two digital projects, the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Syriaca Electronica and Qadishe, reference portals for Syriac saints’ lives and persons. Colleagues noted his outstanding technical skills in digital humanities, rare linguistic ability in ancient and medieval languages, a strong writing ability as an interpreter of both textual and material evidence, and a deep motivation to use his abilities to document the cultural heritage of minority and marginalized communities. He is well-versed in several languages of the ancient world and has facilities in many computing languages.
When notified he had won, Potter said, “I am grateful to be chosen as this year’s recipient of the Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship. This generous award will support my education in library and information sciences at the University of Illinois’s MSLIS program, allowing me to deepen my knowledge of and capabilities in digital libraries and digitized culture heritage collections to prepare me to be a leader in the field.”
Members of the 2023 Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship Committee are: Regina Beach-Bertin (Co-Chair), David Ratledge (Co-Chair and Past Chair), Catherine Sassen, Jennifer Culley, Jill Crane, Joy DuBose, Julia Bauder, and Kelly Sattler.
Thank you to Baker & Taylor, LLC for sponsoring this scholarship.