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School of Information Sciences - University of Illinois


Twidale and Ludäscher to present research at Dagstuhl Seminars

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:42:06 +0000

Professors Michael Twidale and Bertram Ludäscher will participate in upcoming Dagstuhl Seminars, which will be held February 26-March 1, in Wadern, Germany. The seminars bring together researchers of international standing and promote personal interaction as well as open discussion of research results and ideas. They are sponsored by the Schloss Dagstuhl–Leibniz Center for Informatics, a nonprofit center with the mission of furthering world-class research in computer science. 

Twidale will present and participate in the Dagstuhl Seminar: Search as Learning, which connects researchers in psychology, information retrieval, human computer interaction, library and information science, and the learning sciences to discuss challenges and opportunities for search systems that support learning. Seminar objectives include fostering cross-discipline "search as learning" collaborations between researchers; determining gaps and potential insights across fields, shared issues, and novel research questions; and exploring the creation of a shared dataset dedicated toward the "search as learning" topic, benefiting the wider research community.

Ludäscher will present and participate in the Dagstuhl Seminar: Computer Science Meets Ecology, which will establish links between ecologists, ecoinformaticians, and computer scientists to identify avenues of future research in computer science of particular interest to ecology. One of the main objectives of this seminar is the joint authoring of a book on state-of-the-art research and challenges at the intersection of computer science and ecology: such a book can serve as a handbook for ecologists wanting to leverage computer science in their research but also as a roadmap for future research activities.

Twidale is an expert in computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative technologies in digital libraries and museums, user interface design and evaluation, information visualization, and museum informatics. He is program director for the iSchool's Master of Science degree in information management and holds joint appointments at Illinois in the Department of Computer Science, Information Trust Institute, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership. He earned his PhD in computing from Lancaster University.

Ludäscher, who also serves as director of the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS), is a leading figure in data and knowledge management, focusing on the modeling, design, and optimization of scientific workflows, provenance, data integration, and knowledge representation. He is a faculty affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Department of Computer Science at Illinois. His current research addresses foundations of provenance and applications with a focus on automated data quality control and data curation. He received his PhD in computer science from the University of Freiburg.

Rupp receives ACS Publications Travel Grant

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 16:30:44 +0000

(image) Master’s student Kortney Rupp has been selected by American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications as one of two recipients of the ACS Publications Travel Grant for Librarians and Library School Students. The grant provides funding to attend the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, which will be held April 2-6 in San Francisco and focus on the theme of “Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems & Processes.”

“This travel grant will be the first opportunity to engage with the chemical information community as a professional academic librarian and begin to form the relationships that will influence my success in the field for the entirety of my career. It’s also perfect that the meeting will take place in the area where I am going to be living for the foreseeable future,” said Rupp, who will complete her MS degree in library and information science in May and then move to California to assume the role of chemical information librarian for the University of California, Berkeley, in June.

Rupp is passionate about chemical information literacy and effective data management habits in chemistry research. She is a graduate assistant for the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division of the University of Illinois Library, working at Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center. She also serves as current president of the iSchool’s Special Libraries Association (SLA) student group. She is the recipient of other noteworthy awards from ACS, including the 2013 Women Chemists Committee Overcoming Challenges Award, 2012 Student Leadership Award, and 2011 Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry. Rupp holds a BA in chemistry from Monmouth College and an MS in analytical chemistry from Purdue University.

Rezapour and Diesner discuss impact of documentary films at CSCW 2017

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:02:01 +0000

Doctoral student Shadi Rezapour and Assistant Professor Jana Diesner will present a paper at the 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017), which will be held February 25-March 1 in Portland, Oregon. CSCW brings together experts from industry and academia to explore the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges of designing technology to support collaborative work and life activities. 

Rezapour and Diesner will present, "Classification and Detection of Micro-Level Impact of Issue-Focused Films based on Reviews."

Abstract: We present novel research at the intersection of review mining and impact assessment of issue-focused information products, namely documentary films. We develop and evaluate a theoretically grounded classification schema, related codebook, corpus annotation, and prediction model for detecting multiple types of impact that documentaries can have on individuals, such as change versus reaffirmation of behavior, cognition, and emotions, based on user-generated content, i.e., reviews. This work broadens the scope of review mining tasks, which typically comprise the prediction of ratings, helpfulness, and opinions. Our results suggest that documentaries can change or reinforce peoples’ conception of an issue. We perform supervised learning to predict impact on the sentence level by using data driven as well as predefined linguistic, lexical, and psychological features; achieving an accuracy rate of 81% (F1) when using a Random Forest classifier, and 73% with a Support Vector Machine. 

Rezapour, a second-year doctoral student studying with Diesner, received the ACM-W Scholarship to attend CSCW 2017. She is conducting research on topics related to natural language processing, machine learning, and information retrieval.

Diesner joined the iSchool faculty in 2012 and is a 2016 Dori J. Maynard Senior Fellow. Her research in human-centered data science and computational social sciences combines theories and methods from natural language processing, social network analysis, and machine learning. The presented paper is part of her lab's work on assessing the impact of information on individuals, communities, and society. 

Suchman to deliver Design Dialogues Speakers Series lecture March 3

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:30:19 +0000

Lucy Suchman will deliver the third lecture in the Design Dialogues Speakers Series on Friday, March 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), 1205 W. Clark Street, Urbana. A breakfast reception will be held at 10:15 a.m. Suchman is professor of anthropology of science and technology at Lancaster University in the UK. She previously served as principal scientist for Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, where she spent twenty years and was manager of the Work Practice and Technology research group. Her books, Human-Machine Reconfigurations (2007) and Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication (1987), both published by Cambridge University Press, provide intellectual foundations for the field of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. Her honors include the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Sciences, the Lifetime Research Award from the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, and the John Desmond Bernal Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science. The upcoming lecture, "Relocating Innovation: Places and Material Practices of Future Making," will explore the question of how we might engage critically with the contemporary figure of design, starting with the premise that one cannot separate design from its inherent political, economic, and disciplinary histories. The Design Dialogues Speakers Series was developed by a multidisciplinary team of scholars engaged in joint research through the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH). "Recovering Prairie Futures: Midwestern Innovation and Inter-disciplinary Digital Developments" is coordinated by Anita Say Chan, associate professor in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies and Institute of Communications Research, and Michael Twidale, iSchool professor. In total, the Prairie Futures team includes more than twenty faculty from eight campus units and three external design sites. The overarching lecture themes emphasize innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, and interdisciplinary knowledge creation: At Illinois, thinking about design, talking about design, and doing design is a central part of what we do. It is in our history. The University of Illinois was established 150 years ago, under a land-grant mission that transformed education, and today, we continue to develop new initiatives that push for more inclusive, interdisciplinary design. This speaker series contributes to this exciting set of activities by highlighting a number of aspects of the design process that may sometimes be marginalized or overlooked. Our invited speakers will help us all—designers, users, and the broader campus community alike—think about how to make the design process more inclusive in terms of its products, process, and practice. Inclusive design is not achieved by simply saying "we are inclusive;" explicit design interventions are required. As the University of Illinois' own investments in design enter into an expanded phase to foster a new generation of multi-disciplinary twenty-first century design thinkers, this speakers series invites cross-campus engagements and dialogues to think through the potential for designing distinctly, inclusively, and purposefully. The Design Dialogues Speakers Series is funded by the Recovering Prairie Futures IPRH Research Cluster, Office of the Provost, College of Engineering, College of Media, School of Information Sciences, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, NCSA, and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Other co-sponsors include: College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences College of Education College of Fine and Applied Arts College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Critical Technologies Lab School of Social Work Center for Advanced Study Center for Digital Inclusion Center for Global Studies Center for Innova[...]

iSchool to make strong showing at IDCC17

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:08:12 +0000

iSchool staff and students will participate in the 12th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC), which will be held on February 20-23 in Edinburgh, Scotland. IDCC is organized annually by the UK-based Digital Curation Centre and provides opportunities for educators and professionals to consider digital curation in a multidisciplinary context. The theme of this year's conference is "Upstream, Downstream: embedding digital curation workflows for data science, scholarship and society."
iSchool presentations include:

"When Scientists Become Social Scientists: How Citizen Science Projects Learn About Volunteers," a paper authored by iSchool Assistant Professor Peter Darch.

"Revealing the Detailed Lineage of Script Outputs using Hybrid Provenance," a paper authored by iSchool postdoctoral research associates Qian Zhang and Yang Cao and Professor Bertram Ludäscher, director of the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS), who is assisted by Timothy McPhillips; co-authors included Priyaa Thavasimani and Paolo Missier of Newcastle University, Duc Vu of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Qiwen Wang of the University of Illinois, and Peter Slaughter, Christopher Jones, and Matthew B. Jones of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"Demonstrating Hybrid Provenance Queries from Script Runs," a companion demonstration to the above paper, by the same team and led by postdoctoral research associate Yang Cao.

"Data Sharing in a Complex Computational Study: Easier Said than Done!" a poster by postdoctoral research associate Qian Zhang, Professor Bertram Ludäscher, and Heidi Imker, director of Research Data Service at the University Library at Illinois. 

"Case Studies of Selected Usability Evaluation Techniques and Their Applications to Improve Data Repositories," a poster by Professor Michael Twidale; co-presenters include Chung-Yi Hou, Steven Worley, and Matthew S. Mayernick of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Get to know Michelle Chronister (MS '09), user experience and accessibility consultant

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:00:10 +0000

(image) Michelle Chronister is using skills she learned at the iSchool in her job at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), researching how people use their digital products and figuring out how to improve the user experience.

Where do you work and what is your role?

I recently started working as a user experience and accessibility consultant at IMLS, which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. In this role, I conduct user research to better understand how people use their digital products and then translate the findings into concrete actions for improvement. It’s an iterative and never-ending process! 

Prior to working for IMLS, I was the content branch manager in the Digital Communications Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I led a team that was responsible for the content, design, and experience of and other priority agency websites, including,, and 

What do you like best about your job?

I like knowing that the work I do directly impacts the public and contributes to more positive interactions with the federal government. It also gives me great satisfaction that what I’m doing specifically at IMLS makes it possible for libraries to provide better services to their communities.

How did the iSchool help you get to where you are today?

I was active in the ALA student organization and attended the ALA Annual Conference through the Student-to-Staff scholarship. ALA placed me with the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table, and this experience prompted me to apply to the Presidential Management Fellows program and pursue a federal career. 

Once I started working for the federal government in the digital space, I drew heavily upon my iSchool classes in information organization and access as well as a user experience course. These courses provided a solid foundation for my career and have allowed me to expand my expertise into areas I never considered when I was a student.

What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?

Take advantage of the opportunities available to you as a student! Get involved in student groups, apply for programs specifically developed for students (such as ALA Student-to-Staff), ask questions, and use your student status as a way to start conversations.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have a toddler, so my spare time is limited, but when I do have time to myself, I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, reading novels, and baking. I make an excellent coffee cake.

iSchool names program directors

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:13:17 +0000

The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of program directors for its master’s and doctoral degree programs. Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke is program director for the MS in library and information science (MS/LIS), and Assistant Professor Jana Diesner is program director for the PhD in library and information science. Cooke and Diesner join Professor Michael Twidale, program director for the MS degree in information management (MS/IM), in providing leadership for the iSchool’s highly regarded degree programs.

“Program directors play a critical role in the overall coordination of our academic programs, working with other faculty and staff in such areas as curriculum development, recruitment, academic advising, and career services. The iSchool is fortunate to have such talented faculty in these new positions, and I look forward to working with them to further enhance each of our degree programs,” said Linda Smith, associate dean for academic programs.

Cooke holds a PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University. She is an expert in human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on LIS education and pedagogy. Cooke is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award as well as 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award. She is the author of Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and co-editor with Miriam E. Sweeney of Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom (Litwin Books/Library Juice Press, 2017).

Diesner holds a PhD from the Computation, Organizations and Society (COS) program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science. She is an expert in network science, natural language processing, machine learning, and human-centered data science. A 2015-16 faculty fellow in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at Illinois, Diesner is a research fellow in the Dori J. Maynard Senior Research Fellows program, which is a collaboration of The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Her research has been published in academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology; Scientometrics; Big Data & Society; and Journal of Informetrics.

Twidale holds a PhD in computing from Lancaster University. He is an expert in computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative technologies in digital libraries and museums, user interface design and evaluation, information visualization, and museum informatics. He holds joint appointments at Illinois in the Department of Computer Science, Information Trust Institute, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Twidale is a frequent speaker at scholarly conferences, and his research has been published in books and academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and International Journal on Digital Libraries.

Book edited by Cooke and Sweeney looks at teaching social justice in the LIS classroom

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:35:22 +0000

A book edited by Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke and Miriam E. Sweeney (PhD '13) has been published by Litwin Books/Library Juice Press. Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom is the first in the publisher’s series on critical race studies and multiculturalism in library and information science. Chapter contributors include iSchool alumni Bharat Mehra (PhD '04), Vandana Singh (PhD '08), and Sarah Park Dahlen (PhD '09). The book is based on a workshop organized by Cooke and Sweeney for the 2015 ALISE annual conference. Publisher's Description: Teaching for Justice highlights the commitment and efforts of LIS faculty and instructors who feature social justice theory and strategies in their courses and classroom practices. This book is geared towards LIS instructors who have begun to incorporate social justice into their course content, as well as those who are interested in learning more about how to address social justice in their classrooms. Chapters provide a pedagogical foundation and motivation for teaching social justice in LIS as a stand-alone course or as a theme integrated within topical courses that seemingly "have no relationship" to such issues. The experiences and reflections of chapter contributors will prepare readers with strong arguments for the inclusion of social justice in their LIS classroom, curriculum, and school policies; provide an array of practical techniques intended to secure such inclusion; and instill a sense of confidence for advocating for the incorporation of social justice as a mainstay of LIS education. "I'm so pleased that this book has been published! Not only has it been a wonderful opportunity to showcase the commitment to diversity and social justice demonstrated by some of our iSchool alumni, but this book addresses a significant need in the literature and in the profession. We look forward to continuing this conversation with our colleagues," said Cooke. Cooke is the author of the new book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016). She is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award and the 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award and the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy. She holds an MEd in adult education from Penn State, and a Master of Library Science and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University.  Sweeney is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. Sweeney’s teaching and research interests include investigation into how cultural values around gender and race inform the design, use, and meaning of information and communication technologies and associated practices; and issues of social justice and inclusion in LIS education and professional practice. She holds a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Iowa and a PhD in library and information science from the University of Illinois. [...]

iSchool students attend BOBCATSSS in Finland

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:12:53 +0000

(image) Twelve iSchool master's students attended BOBCATSSS 2017, which was held in Tampere, Finland, from January 25-27. The BOBCATSSS Symposium is organized each year by library and information science students from European universities who plan and implement both the content and the management of the conference as a part of their studies. For the past several years, the iSchool has supported student participation in this unique library and information science event.

The theme of this year's symposium was "Improving Quality of Life through Information" and included the topics of libraries, information, and interactive media. The symposium explored questions of how libraries and literature impact people’s health and self-awareness; how interactive media can improve our quality of life; and whether new kinds of information sources can contribute to applications that make life easier.

This year's participants included:

  • Jesus Espinoza, who presented a paper and poster, "Interlibrary Loan in the Ever-Changing Academic Library."
  • Kathryn Butterworth, who presented a poster, "Information Policy in the Republic of Georgia and the Russian Federation in the Post-Soviet Context."
  • Shelby Hallman, who presented a poster, "Institutional Role in Journal Access Initiatives within Developing Countries."
  • Emily Hoch and Katherine Bergen, who presented their poster, "More Than a Bulletin Board: Using Tumblr for Online Reference and User Services in Academic Libraries."
  • Anna Kuure-Kinsey, who presented a poster, "Inaccessible Information: The Information Silos of Media."
  • Anna Lapp, who presented a poster, "Food for Thought: Summer Lunch Programs in the Public Library."
  • Lo Lee, who presented the poster, "Gamification in Citizen Science: A Case Study from Galaxy Zoo," based on her research with Linda C. Smith, iSchool professor and associate dean for academic programs.
  • Lauryn Lehman, who presented a paper, "Open Access Initiatives in Africa: Situating Ongoing Barriers to the Dissemination of Information."
  • Jaena Manson, who presented a poster, "Building Resource Guides on Disabilities, Disability Theory, and Assistive Technologies," based on her research with JJ Pionke, assistant professor in the University of Illinois Library.
  • Hope Shinn, who presented a paper, "Internet Filtering in School Libraries: A Comparison of Government and Library Association Policies in the United States and Australia."
  • Erin Shores (not pictured), who presented a paper, "An International Analysis of Library Relief Strategies."

In sharing their research with others at the symposium, iSchool students gained an international perspective. "During my poster session, I had the chance to discuss my topic—making a food assistance program available in the library—with people from Finland, Poland, England, and Nigeria," said Lapp. "The varied perspectives and ideas these individuals had was invigorating and eye-opening, demonstrating how differently countries across the globe operate." 

Brunner joins iSchool faculty

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:35:02 +0000

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Robert J. Brunner has joined the faculty, effective January 1. Professor Brunner holds a joint appointment with the Department of Accountancy in the College of Business. He has affiliate appointments in the Astronomy, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Informatics, Physics, and Statistics Departments; at the Beckman Institute, in the Computational Science and Engineering program; and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He is also the Data Science Expert in Residence at the Research Park at the University of Illinois. 

From 2003-2016, Brunner served as a member of the faculty in the Department of Astronomy. During this time, his research interests started to shift into the area of data science.

"Around seven years ago, I realized new graduate students did not have sufficient skills to work in my group. As a result, I began adding informatics to the curricula in astronomy to bring them up to speed, eventually creating a new course in which graduate students from a variety of scientific and engineering departments enrolled. This experience led to the eventual creation of two new courses under the informatics rubric, to teach data science more broadly," said Brunner. 

"With the explosive growth in the interest in data science across campus, I feel a natural home in the iSchool, and I am looking forward to strengthening my existing collaborations while also building new ones."

Brunner earned his PhD in astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University, working on the development of the science archive for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He spent five years as a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology before coming to the University of Illinois.

"A highly accomplished scientist, Robert is a leading figure in data science at the University. In this area, he teaches some of the largest courses on campus, conducts critical research, and provides leadership for major initiatives. His contributions will ensure that the iSchool remains at the forefront of developments in this important emerging area. We are delighted that he has joined us," said iSchool Dean and Professor Allen Renear.

Colbert and Mills lead workshops at MBLGTACC 2017

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 14:22:03 +0000

Master's students Jessica Colbert and Daniel Mills will be presenting workshops on behalf of the iSchool Queer Library Alliance at the 2017 Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Trans, and Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC 2017), which will be held February 17-19 at Navy Pier in Chicago. "United in Solidarity" is the theme of this year's conference, which marks the 25th anniversary of the MBLGTACC. 

Colbert and Mills will present a workshop designed to educate LGBT college students about online privacy inspired by the Library Freedom Project:

Library Freedom Project is a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to address the problems of surveillance by making real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. By teaching librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and digital tools to stop surveillance, we hope to create a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the communities they serve.

"We think online privacy is important for various reasons," Colbert explained. "In our current political climate, especially with surveillance, oppressed groups and activists are targeted through their online activity. People can also be outed through their web history." 

Colbert also will lead a workshop on locating LGBTQ materials in libraries, which she presented at the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference in February 2016. 

Get to know Kristy Rieger (MS '14), K-12 library/information specialist

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 16:25:53 +0000

(image) Kristy Rieger (MS '14) credits her iSchool advisor with steering her on the right path toward her career. The School's MS/K-12 Library Information Specialist Licensure program combines top-rated classroom instruction with extensive field experience in school libraries across the state of Illinois. Applications are due by February 15 for fall or summer admission to the program.

Where do you work and what is your role?
I currently serve as the library/information specialist at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Illinois. I previously served as a library/technology coordinator in Chicago Public Schools.

What do you like best about your job?

My new role offers a more flexible model rather than fixed classes, which I've had in the past. I like having the freedom to visit classrooms and truly observe students researching outside of the library. It can be eye-opening! Now I'm more accessible to the students and can provide more responsive, differentiated instruction. It makes a difference. 

How did the iSchool help you get to where you are today?

Halfway through my initial degree, I took a personal break to refocus and assess what I needed in my career. When I decided to rejoin the program and change to the Certificate of Advanced Study/K-12 path, the School's advisors were eager to help. They helped apply my previous credits toward my new path and suggested class options that would fill deficits. I felt reassured that I made the right choice. I'm so grateful for the advisors who listened to my personal challenges and made it work for me. This program truly wants to help students on AND off campus. 

What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?

Take advantage of the professional development and scholarship opportunities provided by the iSchool—even if you are off campus.  The K-12 program is full of excellent people to network with, especially when job searching. Also, stay connected! This year I was excited to learn that two K-12 alums and an iSchool faculty member were librarian colleagues in my new district. This connection really helped during my transition.

 What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I love to cook and craft. I'm trying to spread my love of both to students as my school moves towards a Learning Commons model. Librarians are the soul of the Maker Movement in schools! I'm also a huge Google nerd, and I'm working towards becoming a Google Certified Innovator.

Hill selected as 2016-2018 iSchool research fellow

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 15:31:51 +0000

(image) Renee Hill, senior lecturer and director of the school library specialization at the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies, has been selected by the iSchool faculty as a research fellow for the 2016-2018 academic years. Research fellows are chosen because their work is relevant to the interest of the School’s faculty and students. Each will give at least one lecture during their appointment.

At the University of Maryland, Hill teaches courses related to diversity and school librarianship. Her research focuses on understanding information needs and information access as they relate to diverse populations, such as members of various racial/ethnic groups and individuals with disabilities.

"One of my favorite quotes was said by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in an address at Oberlin College in 1964: 'The time is always right to do what is right.' This succinct and powerful message forms the basis for why I am so passionate regarding the topics about which I research and teach," said Hill. 

"Most of my research focuses on the ways that library school students learn to serve patrons from underrepresented populations. Even though our nation is becoming increasingly diverse, there is still so much more work to do in order to provide inclusive information services to all patrons. I am pleased, excited, and tremendously honored to have been selected as a research fellow so that I can continue to do what is right—provide information about best methods for meeting the information needs of diverse patrons."

Hill previously served as an assistant professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, where she was named the 2016 Professor of the Year and was part of several successful grant initiatives. She began working at the University of Maryland in fall 2016.

Hill received her master's and PhD degrees in library and information studies from Florida State University. She serves on the editorial board for The Library Quarterly and is a reviewer for Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

Expert on technology and innovation policy to speak at CIRSS seminar

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 20:34:56 +0000

(image) As deputy director for policy and innovation for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration, Tom Kalil advised the president and his senior advisors on initiatives in areas such as data science, open data, expanding access to scientific publications, K-12 computer science education, and identifying and pursuing twenty-first century "moonshots." 

Kalil will share his expertise in technology and innovation policy at the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) seminar on Friday, February 10, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Room 126. In his informal talk, "Science and Technology Policy in the Obama White House: The Role of Policy Entrepreneurs," Kalil will discuss how policy ideas originate and the role "policy entrepreneurs" play in recognizing, designing, launching, and sustaining policy initiatives. Following the talk, he will answer questions from the audience. All are welcome to attend.

Kalil joined the Obama administration in 2009, after serving as chair of the Global Health Working Group for the Clinton Global Initiative. During the Clinton administration, Kalil was the deputy assistant for technology and economic policy and deputy director of the White House National Economic Council. From 2001-2008, he was the special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he developed research initiatives at the interfaces of information technology, nanotechnology, and biology.  

Career Services hosts Job Search Month activities

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 22:54:43 +0000

iSchool Career Services is hosting a special series of Job Search Month events throughout February. In addition to the services offered during the year—including one-on-one consultations, job search assistance, and interview prep—Career Services has a full schedule of activities for students starting their job search, including training on helpful resources and job interview techniques, online chats featuring professionals in various careers, and a site visit to Yahoo! at the University of Illinois Research Park.  "We developed the first-ever Job Search Month in February of 2016 to help students get a jump start on their job search," said Becky Hodson, career services coordinator. "Based on the positive student feedback we received, we decided to bring back many of the same programs such as the 'Job Search Quick Chat' series, the Chicago Field Trip/Networking event, and the resume review service we are now calling 'Critique Week.' This year we are hosting even more employer tours and information sessions and look forward to connecting many students to alumni and potential employers." Job Search Month events, listed below, are open to all current students, no matter where they are in their degree program. Schedule of events Champaign Library LunchThursday, February 2, Noon  Join us for this panel discussion with librarians from the Champaign Public Library where we’ll discuss the ins and outs of applying to public library positions.  Quick Chat: GovernmentThursday, February 9, 5:00-5:45 p.m.  This Job Search Quick Chat will feature Patricia McGowan, librarian for LAC-Group, a contracting company that fills LIS positions for federal agencies, major corporations, and law firms throughout the United States and abroad. McGowan will discuss her successful job search and provide the opportunity for attendees to ask questions.  Preparing to Present: The Job InterviewFriday, February 10, 2:00-3:15 p.m. Many job interviews include giving a presentation on a topic or conducting an instruction session. This session will discuss strategies for negotiating/understanding what is required and tips for a successful presentation. Critique Week February 13-17 iSchool Faculty, Librarians, and Information Professionals will be able to review student resumes in one-on-one sessions. Students are encouraged to sign up for a session now. After reserving your appointment, please contact the reviewer to arrange a meeting location.  (Remember these people are kind enough to give their time to help you, so be polite and professional and thank them!) Direct any questions to mplante [at] (Michele Plante). CEB Internship Information SessionMonday, February 13, 4:00 p.m.  Meet Imran Khan, CEB Director of Big Data Engineering based in Research Park. Mr. Khan and his student staff will discuss their work and employment opportunities for students in big data, taxonomy, and ontology. Yahoo! TourTuesday, February 14, 4:00 p.m. Take a tour of Yahoo!, located at the University of Illinois Research Park. The Yahoo! staff focuses on two major projects both involving cloud computing. One team works on the open-source software framework Hadoop, while another works on a data pipeline project processing data from Yahoo! clicks. Chicago Trip PrepWednesday, February 15, Noon Career Services staff will highlight strategies for getting the most out of networking events, specifically how to prepare for the upcoming Chicago student and alumni networking reception on Friday, February 17. Quick Chat: Academic LibrariesWednesday, February 15, 6:00-6:45 p.m.  This Job Search Quick Chat will feature Kimberly Medema, Collections and Resource Management Libraria[...]