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Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Illinois


Get to know Nisha Mody, MS student

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:59:37 +0000

(image) A former speech-language pathologist with a passion for social justice, master's student Nisha Mody found her calling in the field of library and information science. While at the iSchool, Mody has served on various committees and been recognized as an ALA Spectrum Scholar and ARL/SAA Mosaic Program Fellow.
Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?

Before I decided to pursue my LIS degree, I was a speech-language pathologist. While I enjoyed helping individuals with speech and language impairments, I realized that I was more invested in providing them and their loved ones with information and support—which is why I was attracted to the field of LIS. Also, I discovered that libraries can provide a forum for individuals to challenge perceptions and push for social justice, giving a voice to those from different races, genders, and sexualities. I have always loved connecting people with information, and I intend to do so with a critical framework in mind.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?

I was working as a speech-language pathologist in the Chicago area and wanted to stay in Illinois. The iSchool has a great reputation, and I was also excited to study at one of the largest library systems in the country. A local, highly reputable program with a great library system was a win-win situation.
What particular LIS topics interest you most?

I am very interested in reference, instruction, and information literacy through a critical framework, examining how different power dynamics within race, gender, sexuality, and ability shape research and information.

What do you do outside of class?
Outside of class I enjoy reading (shocking, I know), spending time with my loved ones, looking at cute animals on social media, and writing creative nonfiction. I am consulting editor and a contributing writer for Hack Library School. Read some of Nisha's creative nonfiction.

What career plans or goals do you have?

I am grateful to have recently received an offer to be a health and life sciences librarian at UCLA starting in April. I am so excited to join the team there! My focus will be reference and instruction. After that, I have no idea! I am a firm believer that if you focus on your passions in the present, opportunities you never thought of can arise in the future. I would love to be in a leadership position that helps to foster community within librarianship.

Mark Sorensen (MS ’98) named Illinois Library Luminary

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:57:29 +0000

(image) Alumnus Mark Sorensen (MS '98) has been named an Illinois Library Luminary by the Illinois Library Association (ILA). This distinction honors individuals whose efforts have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries.

Sorensen has served public libraries, both professionally and privately, since 1982. After a career of twenty-one years with the Illinois State Archives, he retired as assistant director. Sorensen was instrumental in maintaining records management systems for all Illinois public libraries, as well as creating traveling exhibits for display at libraries throughout the state. 

In 1988, he was put in charge of two Commissions to add artwork to the State Capitol in commemoration of its 100th anniversary. He has served as Official Macon County Historian since appointment by the county board in 2004 and is a past president of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Sorensen is a past president and current member of the Decatur Public Library Board, was vice president for public programs for the Friends organization, a member of the library Foundation, and a consulting archivist for both the Decatur and Moweaqua libraries. While president of the Decatur library, a program for special library services for Macon County businesses was instituted that served as a model for other libraries throughout the state.  

A recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award from the Illinois Humanities Council and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society, Sorensen is a member of the American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, Midwest Archives Conference, and a Charter member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. 

iSchool participation in iConference 2017

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:24:28 +0000

The following iSchool faculty, staff, and students will participate in iConference 2017, which will be held March 22-25 in Wuhan, China. The event brings together scholars, researchers, and information professionals to share insights on critical information issues. The theme of this year's conference is "Effect • Expand • Evolve: Global collaboration across the Information Community."

Wednesday, March 22

Professor and Dean Allen Renear will chair the meeting of the iSchool North American deans, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (by invitation only)

Professor J. Stephen Downie, with Xiao Hu (PhD '10), Samuel K.W. Chu, and C. W-Y. Lee (University of Hong Kong), will present their paper, "Data Science as an Emerging Discipline: The Roles of iSchools in the Era of Big Data," at the workshop, "Information Science to Data Science: New Directions for iSchools," 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 23

Professor J. Stephen Downie, Professor Ted Underwood, Postdoctoral Research Associate Peter Organisciak (PhD '15), and Boris Capitanu (Illinois Informatics Institute) will present "Access to Billions of Pages for Large-Scale Text Analysis," 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Professor J. Stephen Downie and master's student Alex Olivia Kinnaman, with Michael Popham (Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services), will present the poster, "Auditing a Dark Archive," 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Professor J. Stephen Downie and Catherine Renee Blauvelt (MS '16), with David M. Weigl and Kevin R. Page (University of Oxford), will present the poster, "Towards Incorporating Derived Features in Dataset Alignment and Linking," 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 24

Doctoral student Jacob Jett, with Thomas Andrew Disher and Jin Ha Lee (MS '02, PhD '08) (University of Washington), will present "Investigating the Status of Anime Collections in Public Libraries," 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Join the iSchool at ACRL 2017

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 19:40:29 +0000

Join iSchool faculty, staff, and students for the following activities during the Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference in Baltimore, including our reception on Thursday, March 23, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hard Rock Café Baltimore. Please stop by and visit us at Booth #1305 as well!

Wednesday, March 22

Lisa Hinchliffe, affiliated faculty member and professor/coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at the University Library, will present "Assessing and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success through Action Research," 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 23

Maria Bonn, senior lecturer, will present "Understanding the Needs of Scholars in a Contemporary Publishing Environment," with Janet Swatscheno (MS '14), visiting digital publishing specialist at the University Library, 8:00-8:20 a.m.

 Affiliate Professor Lisa Hinchliffe will serve on the panel, "From M.L.S. to Ph.D.: Librarians Pursuing Doctorates," 9:40-10:40 a.m.

Master's student Kristina Williams and Hailley Fargo (MS '16) (The Pennsylvania State University) will facilitate the roundtable discussion, "Tending the garden: Sharing projects that strengthen communities within the academic library," 9:40-10:40 a.m.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Hoiem and Daniel Tracy, affiliated faculty member and assistant professor/LIS and research services librarian at the University Library, will present "Teaching Digital Humanities Tools at a Distance: A Librarian-Instructor Partnership Integrating Scalar into a Graduate Distance Course," 3:40-4:00 p.m.

Maria Bonn, senior lecturer, and Harriett Green, affiliated faculty member and English and digital humanities librarian at the University Library, will present "Humanities Collaborations and Research Practices: Investigating New Modes of Collaborative Humanities Scholarship" with Angela Courtney (Indiana University Bloomington), 3:20-3:40 p.m.

Assistant Professor Emily Knox will serve as moderator for "You Say You Want a Revolution? The Ethical Imperative of Open Access," 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Friday, March 24

Master's student Andrew Janco will participate in the panel, "Managing to Teach: Students, Digital Project Management, and Pedagogy," 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Master's student Kelly Applegate will present her poster, "Buried Treasure: How a Deep Data Dive Can Uncover Global Language Gems," 2:00-3:00 p.m.

At the ACRL Licensed Workshop Showcase, Affiliate Professor Lisa Hinchliffe will present "A Standards Roadshow Overview for 'Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education into Action," with Lisa Stillwell (Franklin & Marshall College) and Rhonda Huisman (Marian University), 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Harriett Green, affiliated faculty member, will serve on the panel, "Re-Skilling for a Digital Future: Developing Training and Instruction in Digital Scholarship for Academic Librarians," 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke will give the invited presentation, "How would you like to be remembered? Expanding your pedagogy and professional practice," 4:15-5:15 p.m.

iSchool faculty ranked as excellent for Fall 2016

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:01:35 +0000

Twenty-one iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Fall 2016. The rankings are released every semester, and results are based on the Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES) questionnaire forms maintained by Measurement and Evaluation in the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Only those instructors who gave out ICES forms during the semester and who released their data for publication are included in the list.

Faculty and instructors appearing on the list include Anne Barnhart, Betty Bush, John Gough, Jeanne Holba Puacz, Jimi Jones, Emily Knox, Kathryn La Barre, Rachel M. Magee, Bonnie Mak, Jerome McDonough, Kate McDowell, Shubhanshu Mishra, Steve Oberg, Melissa Ocepek, Melissa Salrin, Linda C. Smith, Jennifer Teper, Carol Tilley, Terry L. Weech, Melissa Wong, and Beth Woodard.

Diesner to present research at the Open Science 2017 Conference

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 18:54:29 +0000

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner will discuss current issues with open science that involve human-centered and online data and her related research at the Open Science Conference 2017, which will be held March 21-22 in Berlin. The Open Science 2017 Conference is the fourth international conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0, which addresses changes in science and the science system that are related to new forms of participation, communication, collaboration, and open discourse now possible through the web.

This year's conference will focus on open educational resources—course materials (print and digital), modules, streaming videos, software, and other tools, materials, or techniques used to support open access to knowledge. It will offer presentations by international experts, including Diesner, as well as a poster session, a panel discussion, and workshops.

Diesner's presentation, "Innovating compliantly and transparently—road blocks, myths and solutions," will address a set of challenges related to the use of human-centered and online data for research and applications in data science:

From the abstract: The collection, usage and sharing of these data is governed by multiple sets of norms and regulations, including institutional and sectoral norms and rules, intellectual property law including copyright and fair use, privacy and security laws and regulations, terms of service, technical constraints, personal ethics, and national differences in these rules. Problems can arise when students, scholars and practitioners are unaware of applicable rules, uninformed about their practical meaning and compatibility, and insufficiently skilled in implementing them. In this talk, I will discuss strategies for addressing these issues, and provide examples from our research in human-centered data science on solving some of these problems. I will also discuss how intransparencies in data preparation and data provenance – another limitation to openness – can bias research outcomes, and how we can detect and mitigate these shortcomings. 

Diesner is an expert in network science, natural language processing, machine learning, and human-centered data science. She was a 2015-16 faculty fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at Illinois and is currently 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. She holds a PhD from the Computation, Organizations and Society (COS) program at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science.

iSchool staff present at advising conference

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:16:02 +0000

Karla Lucht, graduate studies advisor and coordinator of continuing education, and Rebecca Hodson, career services coordinator, will present a successful model of new student orientation at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 5 Conference. Over five hundred advisors are expected to attend this year’s conference, which will be held from March 15-17 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Lucht and Hodson will give the presentation, "Destination Early Engagement: A Holistic Approach to Graduate Student Orientation."

At the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, one major goal of our student affairs unit is to facilitate a holistic, engaging orientation for incoming students. The process of designing orientations is dynamic as we shift objectives to fit the changing demographics of our community. The career services and advising units work together to create a synergistic approach to welcoming new students which includes not just information transfer but community building, socialization, and tools to ensure student success before classes even begin. We will discuss the motivation and logistics of moving from a one-day orientation to a more thoughtful orientation week(s), and how we evaluate this structure.

This is their first presentation at an advising conference.

New management of UC2B to benefit local community

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:13:50 +0000

Since 2012, Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) has improved internet access for local homes and businesses by providing high-speed, direct connectivity through its underground fiber-optic network. A recent acquisition by a new provider, i3 Broadband, will further benefit the community through enhanced services.
UC2B has partnered with i3 Broadband, a privately owned company that will assume management of the open-access network from iTV-3, the original service provider. Based on feedback from community and UC2B board members, i3 Broadband plans to aggressively expand UC2B to include a "triple play" of gigabit internet access that includes television and telephone services. i3's goal is to open up a local storefront by summer; in the meantime, community members should visit to sign up for service and view the various offerings. 

"UC2B, with its Community Benefit Fund, is full of opportunities that we hope to use to stimulate creative, educational, and economic developments throughout the area," said Sharon Irish, acting director of the iSchool's Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI). "Imagine virtual exhibits of local history shared across anchor institutions, school children using an electron microscope remotely, or businesses able to share data quickly to promote health initiatives."

A number of faculty and staff at the iSchool made extensive contributions to UC2B during and after the grant period. For example, Jon Gant, founding director of CDI and former iSchool research associate professor, served on the UC2B board and provided direction and planning for the project until his departure from the iSchool in August 2016. In addition to Gant's expertise, the University of Illinois contributed other board participants with extensive knowledge and experience in telecommunications.

"The combination of the UC2B infrastructure, support from the cities and the University, a vendor partner who subscribes to our vision, and the talent and goodwill of our community positions us to become the Silicon Valley of the prairie," said Tracy Smith, director of Research IT at the University and a current representative on the UC2B board. 

Funded in 2009 by $35 million in federal, state and local funds, UC2B has served more than 1,200 residences; more than 300 fiber-connected businesses; dozens of nonprofit and governmental organizations; and every single school, fire station, and major medical facility in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. The network was designed to provide digital opportunities to more people—by reducing barriers to high-speed internet access—and to spur economic, educational, and social growth. As one of the first gigabit fiber-optic networks in the United States, UC2B is unique in that the University collaborated with its two host cities to implement the grant.

iSchool at Illinois ranked number one

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:49:47 +0000

U.S. News & World Report has once again named the iSchool at Illinois the top graduate school for library and information studies, based on national rankings of accredited master’s degree programs. The iSchool has held the top spot since 1996.

“Our School is pleased to be acknowledged once again for the excellence of our MS degree in library and information science [MS/LIS], which has been at the forefront of innovation for years. We look forward to continued success, expanding our course offerings and curriculum to provide the best possible education for students in a rapidly evolving field,” said Dean Allen Renear.

The iSchool’s ongoing commitment to its MS/LIS includes the recent appointment of a program director, Nicole A. Cooke, to provide leadership in areas such as curriculum development, recruitment, academic advising, and career services. Cooke is distinguished by her work in diversity and social justice in librarianship, receiving the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award as well as the 2016 ALA Equality Award.

In addition to retaining the top position, the iSchool also ranked highly in a number of specialty groups. These include a first-place ranking in Digital Librarianship as well as Services for Children and Youth, and a third-place ranking in School Library Media. The School also placed in the top ten for Archives and Preservation, Health Librarianship, and Information Systems.

The U.S. News rankings are based on the results of a 2016 peer assessment survey sent to deans, directors, and senior faculty in 51 programs accredited by the American Library Association. The last ranking for graduate programs in library and information studies occurred in 2013.

Congratulations to faculty, staff, students, and alumni for their contributions in making the iSchool a national leader among schools of information. For the full list of rankings, visit the U.S. News & World Report website.

iSchool @ UC Merced

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:14:51 +0000

Meet with our recruiters and learn more about our degree programs. Details to be provided soon.

Questions? Contact orozco6 [at] (Moises Orozco Villacana).

Event Date: 

Fri, 04/07/2017 (All day)