Member of the Month: Zacharia Benalayat
Name: Zacharia Benalayat
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Job Title: Digital Initiatives Graduate Research Associate
How long have you been a member of ULS?
Almost 2 years now, ever since I started my program.
What or who inspires your work?
I can’t say it was anyone one person or institution, rather the some of my studies at Dickinson College. Being able to engage with a community of scholars and learning about how exciting it was to find content and research new topics was what set my heart on the path of librarianship.
What most excites you about academic librarianship?
Being able to engage with and help students learn about topics. Discovering a new research interest has always been one of the favorite parts about schoolwork, and the prospect of helping other people discover their own interests is such an exciting prospect.
What exciting or interesting project are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on integrating a new digital scholarship tool, FromThePage, into my university’s suite digital scholarship program. Our aim is to bring the power of crowdsourcing to translation and transcription. Using this tool, scholars and organizations can organize students and researcher to provide transcriptions and translation to foreign language texts at a speed that was never possible before. Right now, our focus is on document dating to the Spanish Colonial period in Texas and Mexico, but we hope to expand FromThePages use going forward!
What do you do for fun?
I like to read history books in my spare time, I just recently finished A Storm Before the Storm. I also enjoy tabletop gaming with my friends and fiancée.