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School of Information Sciences - University of Illinois





 



Get to know Tura Dover, MS student

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:52:12 +0000

(image) Master's student Tura Dover served as an intern for the Illinois Library Association (ILA) during its annual conference on October 10-12. Dover worked at the registration desk and said the best part about her experience was "meeting people from different arms of the library system and LIS programs" as well as getting a better understanding of the ILA.

Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree? 

One of my first jobs after graduating with my bachelor's degree in psychology from Illinois State University was working part time in the outreach department of my local public library. I really enjoyed learning about the different services that were offered in my community, and the position allowed me to get experience in technical services and circulation. After two years, I applied for a full-time library assistant position in circulation and got it! During that time, I met several people who were earning their MLIS degrees, and I added it to the list of potential post-graduate degrees I was interested in pursuing. After transferring to the technical services department, my new manager sat me down and encouraged me to apply. It was only then that I started to put in the work to research the degree. During my research, I realized versatility of the LIS degree, which was a key component of why I decided to apply.
 
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
    
I chose the iSchool because several of my managers had graduated from the MS/LIS program and highly recommended it. I also liked the fact that it was only 45 minutes away, and the program allowed me the flexibility of combining Leep and on-campus classes. 
 
What particular LIS topics interest you the most?
    
When I applied for the program, I considered focusing on technical services, as that was the department where I had the most work experience. However, after listening to a few recordings from Student Affairs in which former and current students shared their different career paths, I decided to take courses in a wide range of topics. I enjoyed Yoo-Seong Song's business research/competitive intelligence courses, Melissa Wong's reference and instruction courses, Terry Weech's international librarianship class, and Bob Burger's administration and management class. I found that the courses that challenged me in some way while allowing me to experience the immediate real-world applications were the most fulfilling and exciting.
 
What do you do outside of class?
    
I work full time and take two classes each semester, and when time permits, I catch up with friends and family. I enjoy traveling as well and try to incorporate some time for that during school breaks. But mostly I'm eating, listening to podcasts, and catching up on movies I've missed seeing in the theatre. I'm looking forward to volunteering, reading for pleasure, and perhaps learning a new skill in my free time once I graduate in December!
 
What career plans or goals to you have?
    
My ideal plan is to find a job that allows me to marry the business research skills I've gained with my interest in travel, while still helping others gain access to information. I'm excited to continue to grow and learn and have considered earning an MBA or MS/IM degree within the next five years.




iSchool staff present at ISLMA

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:09:32 +0000

(image) Karla Lucht, graduate studies advisor and coordinator of continuing education, and Ann Ohms, K-12 program coordinator, will present at the 30th annual Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) Conference in Springfield. The theme of the conference, which will be held October 19-21, is "30 Years and Shining Bright."

Lucht will give the talk, "Social Justice in Youth Literature," during a professional development pre-conference workshop on October 19, and "Infusing the Collection and Curriculum: Social Justice in Non-fiction,” on October 20. Ohms will serve as a panelist and moderator for the session, “Building and Leveraging Your Professional Learning Network (PLN)," on October 20. They will give a joint talk, "Are You Future-Ready? Explore Continuing Education at the iSchool at Illinois," on October 21.

ISLMA supports lifelong learning by the students of Illinois through "leadership and support for the development, promotion, and improvement of the school library media profession and programs in Illinois."

The iSchool will hold an evening reception at the conference on October 20 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in room B7 of the Bank of Springfield Center. All current students and iSchool alumni are welcome to attend.




Bonn and colleagues receive IMLS grant for scholarly communication project

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 18:16:04 +0000

Senior Lecturer Maria Bonn and colleagues in Kansas and North Carolina have received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS LG-72-17-0132-17) to fund their project exploring the need for and components of an open educational resource (OER) for teaching library students and professionals about scholarly communication. Co-principal investigators on the project include Will Cross, director of the Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center at North Carolina State University Libraries, and Josh Bolick, scholarly communications librarian at the University of Kansas Libraries.

While scholarly communication is recognized as a core competency for librarianship, educational resources for training and continuing education are currently lacking in this area. In the IMLS-funded project, Bonn's research team will design and conduct a nationwide survey and workshop to engage with two central stakeholder groups: library school instructors and scholarly communication experts. Through these activities, the researchers will discover whether an OER is needed, how it might work, possible obstacles to its adoption, and partnerships and promotions that could help in its success.

"Anyone who keeps an eye on job openings in academic libraries will have noticed the growing demand for library support for scholarly communication, the communication that is at the very core of the scholarly purpose,” Bonn said. “Professional education for librarians is only starting to catch up with the interest in the field. Our project is designed to inform and accelerate the attention devoted to scholarly communication in both LIS and continuing professional education."

Bonn's research interests include publishing, scholarly communication, networked communication, and the economics of information. At the iSchool, she teaches courses on the role of libraries in scholarly communication and publishing. Prior to her teaching appointment, Bonn served as the associate university librarian for publishing at the University of Michigan Library, with responsibility for publishing and scholarly communications initiatives, including the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office. Bonn also has been an assistant professor of English at institutions both in the United States and abroad. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester, master's and doctoral degrees in American Literature from SUNY Buffalo, and a master's in information and library science from the University of Michigan.




Cooke discusses library segregation at Digital Dialogues event

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 14:53:26 +0000

(image) Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke presented her research on October 3 as part of the Digital Dialogues series at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). The series is the signature events program of MITH, a digital humanities center that is jointly supported by the University of Maryland (UMD) College of Arts and Humanities and UMD Libraries.

In her talk, "Acknowledging History in Order to Disrupt it: Unearthing the Segregated History of Library and Information Science," Cooke discussed examples of segregation in LIS, highlighting The Carnegie Scholars, a group of thirty graduate students who attended the University of Illinois in the early 1970s. She stressed the importance of celebrating the success stories of people of color who are changing the profession as well as learning from mistakes of the past.

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During her visit, Cooke also participated in a panel entitled "Libraries: Justice, Technology, and Culture", hosted by the African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHum), an MITH partner. 

"MITH is doing exciting work at the intersection of libraries, archives, history, and digital humanities, and it was an honor and pleasure to share my work with them," she said.

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 (PhD '13) of Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom (Litwin Books/Library Juice Press, 2017).




iSchool researchers present at DML 2017

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 18:39:51 +0000

Assistant Professors Rachel M. Magee and Deborah Stevenson will present research on youth and technology at the Digital Media & Learning Conference 2017 from October 4-6 at the University of California, Irvine. The conference is an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the UC Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine.

On October 5, Magee and Stevenson, director of The Center for Children's Books, and doctoral student Melissa Hayes will present "App Authors: Kids Designing, Creating, and Sharing Apps in Informal Learning Settings." The App Authors project connects youth with skills and tools to design, create, and share apps, introducing learners to coding and the design process. The project is developing curricula for app-building in school and public libraries. The talk will discuss the App Authors framework, current curriculum and findings, and opportunities for future work in the area.

On October 6, Magee will present, "Centering Teens as Authorities for Understanding Youth Social Media Use," which is based on her Young Researchers work with doctoral student Margaret Buck. The Young Researchers project works with teens to co-design, implement, analyze, and share research that examines youth interactions with information and communication technologies and what those practices mean for learning and information literacy. In 2016-2017, Magee and Buck worked with a group of young researchers on a study of how teens engage with social media, the ways and kinds of information that are shared in these spaces, and how teens connect with learning. The talk will present their findings and the opportunities and challenges for future work of this kind.




Illinois leads $25 million alliance to develop Internet of Battlefield Things

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 21:02:35 +0000

Courtesy of the U of I Coordinated Science LabJana Diesner, assistant professor and PhD program director at the iSchool, is co-principal investigator on a multi-institutional initiative funded by the Army Research Lab to enable new predictive battlefield analytics and services. Diesner will collaborate on the project with researchers from Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.   On the battlefields of tomorrow, humans and technology will work together in a seamless, cohesive network, giving soldiers a competitive edge and keeping troops and civilians out of harm's way. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been selected to lead a $25 million initiative to develop the scientific foundations of a next-generation Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT), designed to enable new predictive battlefield analytics and services. The "Alliance for IoBT Research on Evolving Intelligent Goal-driven Networks (IoBT REIGN)," funded by the Army Research Lab, includes collaborators from ARL, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Massachusetts, University of Southern California, and SRI International. The funding covers the first five years of a potential 10-year effort. In the future, military operations will rely less on human soldiers and more on interconnected technology, leveraging advancements in unmanned systems and machine intelligence in order to achieve superior defense capabilities. The IoBT will connect soldiers with smart technology in armor, radios, weapons, and other objects, to give troops "extra sensory" perception, offer situational understanding, endow fighters with prediction powers, provide better risk assessment, and develop shared intuitions. "This award enables a true collaboration between researchers at ARL and researchers in academia and industry to change the status quo in smart battlefield services," said Tarek Abdelzaher, the academic lead of the Alliance and a professor of computer science at Illinois. "Through ARL's Collaborative Research Alliance model, we can change our fundamental understanding of what's possible when computers, sensors, data, weapons, soldiers, wearables, and media analytics are networked to empower new defense capabilities." In a battle environment, human operators must adapt to unexpected changes. IoBT researchers aim to create a cyber network of "things" that adapt as the mission evolves. That means that a system will have to analyze its available resources and re-assemble itself to best meet requirements for the present execution. In addition, these systems must be self-aware and able to reason about their goals, state, vulnerabilities, and other characteristics in order to meet a commander's intent. They have to be able to counteract and mitigate disruptions and attacks in near real-time and provide stability under uncertain conditions. The IoBT system must also have cognitive abilities and be able to fuse data from technology with data from humans. It will have to function in a continuous state of learning at multiple time-scales, for example, learning from previous actions while acting in the present and anticipating future moves. As a result, the system will be able to provide commanders with the most relevant information at any given time. "While commercial IoTs provide some of this capability, it is not challenged in the same manner as on the battlefield," said Dr. Stephen Russell, ARL's Battlefield Information Processing Branch Chief and the government lead of the Alliance. "The 'B' in the IoBT is a key focus." These activities must be reliable and should appropriately leverage all networks – blue, gray, and red – which have varying degrees of trustworthiness. Blue are secure and military-owned networks; gray are often civilian networks with uncertain trustworthiness; and red are adversarial networks. This effort to und[...]



Ludäscher and collaborators present work and tools on data quality, provenance at TDWG

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 18:04:15 +0000


Professor and Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) Director Bertram Ludäscher and collaborators are presenting their joint work and tools for data quality, cleaning, and provenance at the 33rd Annual Biodiversity Information Standards conference, TDWG 2017, from October 1-6 in Ottawa, Canada. The annual conference provides a forum for developing standards and demonstrating new technologies and tools for biodiversity informatics. This year's theme is "Data Integration in a Big Data Universe: Associating Occurrences with Genes, Phenotypes, and Environments."

Three of the abstracts presented at TDWG 2017 are outcomes of the Kurator project, a collaboration between Illinois and the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University. Kurator is a suite of biodiversity data quality tools aimed at collection management specialists with little or no programming experience, database administrators and researchers with some scripting language experience, and developers. 

Ludäscher will talk about Using YesWorkflow hybrid queries to reveal data lineage from data curation activities, which is joint work with Qian Zhang, CIRSS postdoctoral researcher, and Timothy McPhillips, YesWorkflow architect and developer. Paul Morris, MCZ bioinformatics diversity manager, will talk about Fitness-for-Use-Framework-aware Data Quality workflows in Kurator, and John Wieczorek, a programmer/analyst at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, will present Darwin Cloud: Mapping real-world data to Darwin Core.




Rezapour receives scholarship to attend computing conference

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:45:13 +0000

(image) Doctoral student Shadi Rezapour has received a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) in Orlando, Florida, on October 4-6. The GHC Student Scholarship, awarded by AnitaB.org, is very competitive and covers all expenses related to attending the conference.

The world's largest gathering of women technologists, GHC is presented in partnership with Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). To be considered for a GHC Student Scholarship, students must be enrolled in a degree program in a technical discipline, demonstrate an interest in computer science, and be active in their community. 

Rezapour, a member of Assistant Professor Jana Diesner's group, is conducting research on topics related to natural language processing, machine learning, and network analysis. For the past few years, she has been developing, implementing, and applying a theory-driven, computational solution for assessing the impact of information products on people, groups, and society.

"Attending Grace Hopper will give me a chance to meet and network with well-known researchers and faculty from top universities and companies and learn how my work will be received in different sectors," she said. "Their feedback regarding how to improve and expand my research will be a tremendous help in choosing my future steps."




Shah to deliver Design Dialogues Speakers Series lecture October 27

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:10:37 +0000

Nishant Shah will deliver the fourth lecture in the Design Dialogues Speakers Series on Friday, October 27, 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. Shah is the dean of research at ArtEZ (Arnhem, Enschede in Zwolle) in the Netherlands. He is also cofounder and board member of the Centre for Internet & Society in Bangalore, India, and a professor at the Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media at Leuphana University in Germany, where he teaches in areas such as digital humanities, computer-human interaction, and information and communication technologies for development. Shah's work explores technology, identity, and social and political movements and is focused on the question of how we can remain human in a technological environment. The upcoming lecture, "Of Pagans, Pirates, and Perverts: An arbitrary history of the computed," will present a different history of computation and propose a way for the arts and humanities to engage with the material, coded, and technological black box of computing. 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). "Prairie Futures" is coordinated by Anita Say Chan, associate professor in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies and Institute of Communications Research, and Emily Knox, assistant professor in the iSchool. 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’s 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 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 the 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 Innovation in Teaching and Learning Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center for People and Infrastructures Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Disability Resources and Educational Servic[...]



Hinchliffe and colleagues awarded IMLS National Forum grant

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:16:51 +0000

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (MS '94), faculty affiliate and editor of Library Trends, and her colleagues from Simmons College have been awarded a National Forum grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Hinchliffe is professor and coordinator for information literacy services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, one of the largest public university libraries in the world.

The IMLS-funded project, "Know News: Understanding and Engaging with Mis- and Disinformation," was developed by Hinchliffe in collaboration with Laura Saunders, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science, and Rachel Gans-Boriskin, lecturer in Communications. It will support the development of a symposium at Simmons College to focus on the theme of how libraries and allied institutions can serve as community hubs for information literacy and access.

Plans for the symposium include convening up to 70 academics and professionals from library science and the allied fields of journalism, communications, and education to confront the challenges in an era of fake news and post-truth. Participants will address questions of authority and trust, considering the role of the library in evaluating best practices for helping users evaluate and understand mis- and disinformation.

"The last year has brought a great deal of attention to the notion of 'fake news.' In this time of uncertainty, libraries remain trusted sources for finding reliable information. The IMLS grant affords us a unique opportunity to host a national convening to examine contemporary issues related to misinformation and to conceptualize the library as a living laboratory for supporting users in the pursuit of truth," said Hinchliffe.




iSchool faculty ranked as excellent for Summer 2017

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:41:16 +0000

Eight iSchool instructors were named in the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for Summer 2017. 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 Betty Bush, Nicole A. Cooke, Linda Diekman, David Dubin, Jeanne Holba Puacz, Emily Knox, Steve Oberg, and Melissa Wong. 
 




DLF Forum Fellows include iSchool student, alumni

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:20:42 +0000

Three recipients of the 2017 Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum Fellowships have ties to the iSchool. Jane Kelly, an MS/LIS student in the Leep program, and Nushrat Khan (MS '16) were awarded DLF Forum Fellowships for Students and New Professionals. Richard J. Urban (PhD '12) was named a KRESS+DLF Forum Fellow. The awards recognize the recipients' dedication to their work and the field of digital libraries.

Kelly is the historical and special collections assistant at the Harvard Law School Library. "The work I'm most excited about these days is the HLS Community Capture Project, a grant-funded project that I'm managing to prototype a tool to facilitate born-digital collecting from student organizations at Harvard Law School," she said. "When I'm not working on that, you'll likely find me with researchers in our reading room, managing our print collection of institutional, student, and faculty publications, or doing a little web archiving. I'm interested in the ways in which we can leverage technology in archives and the impact this work has on the people and communities who engage with archival material as donors, archives staff, researchers, and in roles we’ve yet to imagine."

A fellow at the North Carolina State University Libraries, Khan is cross-appointed in the Digital Library Initiatives and on the linked data initiative with the Acquisitions and Discovery Department. "I am not only passionate about learning new languages, but also enjoy learning new technologies and [exploring] their usage for research and scholarship. As a new professional, my goal is to make scholarly digital resources more accessible to users with improved systems by integrating research skills with creativity and innovation. I am particularly interested in digital humanities, scholarly communication, and educational informatics. DLF Forum has been a great venue for me to learn from and engage with other professionals since I first attended in 2015, and I am excited to continue my involvement this year as well," said Khan.

Urban is the digital asset manager and strategist at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG). "I am currently managing the transition to a new digital asset management system that will handle digital representations of our collections, events, and programs," he said. "With the new system serving as a firm foundation, I will be guiding CMoG's efforts to make our collections available to new audiences online. We also recognize that management of our digital assets is only the first step towards a more robust digital preservation plan. I look forward all that the 2017 DLF Forum has to offer on sharing our collections as data, digital preservation, and our representations of cultural memory. Following on the heels of DLF, I will be celebrating the Museum Computer Network’s 50 years as a community where people and ideas cross-pollinate."

The 2017 DLF Forum will be held on October 23-25 in Pittsburgh.




iSchool faculty release white paper on preserving intangible cultural heritage

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:14:09 +0000

(image) The field of library and information science (LIS) has a long history of research on the preservation of materials in libraries and archives. However, that research has focused almost exclusively on tangible aspects of cultural heritage. 

Associate Professor Jerome McDonough, Associate Professor Lori Kendall, and Senior Lecturer Maria Bonn have released a white paper, "Libraries and Archives and the Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Defining a Research Agenda," as part of their work on the Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage project. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project has collaborated with scholars and practitioners involved in a variety of forms of intangible heritage preservation within the United States—including performing arts, culinary arts, and paper conservation—to further this important research.

The white paper discusses a variety of issues that complicate efforts to sustain intangible heritage, including cultural ownership and intellectual property, problems with the concept of authenticity in relationship to changing cultural practice, and difficulties in identifying a community of practice that can address appropriate interventions. The paper identifies several major potential areas for LIS research on intangible heritage, including:

  • understanding the role of material culture in the practice of intangible culture;
  • identifying the ways in which material culture held by libraries and archives may contribute to the transmission of intangible cultural heritage within communities;
  • developing frameworks for risk assessment of intangible cultural heritage;
  • creating inventories and bibliographies of library and archival material that may contribute to sustaining forms of intangible heritage;
  • working with communities possessing intangible heritage to develop systems of description and classification that clarify the relationships between intangible culture and library and archival materials; and
  • studying the impact of governmental and organizational policy on sustaining intangible heritage, including issues of intellectual property, resource allocation by libraries and archives, and the structuring of memory institutions and their areas of concern.

"Intangible heritage is an essential part of people’s lives," said McDonough, "and libraries and archives possess a large amount of documentary material on endangered languages, ethnobotanical and ethnopharmaceutical traditions, traditional craft practices, and other forms of at-risk intangible culture. We hope that this white paper can spark both discussion and research among libraries, archives, museums, and the communities they serve to determine how libraries can best contribute to efforts to sustain intangible cultural heritage."




Cooke to present diversity workshop at international symposium

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:13:59 +0000

Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, will present a workshop at the two-day international symposium, Diversity by Design: Reframing Diversity Discourse in Canada, which will be held on September 13-14 in Toronto. The event will bring together institutions of higher education, information and cultural institutions, community partners, and governmental organizations.

The concept of "diversity by design" was introduced in the publication, "Diversity by Design," by Keren Dali, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta, and Nadia Caidi, associate professor in the iSchool at the University of Toronto. The symposium will examine the question of why, “despite our best efforts, the state of diversity is not getting better significantly or quickly enough” in both educational and professional environments.

In her workshop, "Considering Cultural Competence: Reframing our LIS Practice and Research," Cooke will lead participants through the cultural competence workshop she uses in her classroom at the iSchool and elsewhere as a guest speaker.

Participants will explore topics and definitions related to diversity and social justice, view corresponding media examples, and complete exercises designed to elicit critical self-reflection. This will be followed by a larger group discussion about the importance of incorporating diversity and social justice into the formal and informal educational agendas for information professionals, and into their professional practices. This session will focus on the local presentation (a United States perspective) of global issues, and stress the importance of the continuous improvement and diversification of the LIS curricula in an attempt to prepare the most compassionate and effective information professionals possible.

Cooke is the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016). She is the 2017 recipient of the 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 an MLS and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University. 




Alumna builds relationships in India through global program

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:44:58 +0000

(image) An interest in global education took Tracy Hubbard (MS '05) to India this summer. Hubbard, a library media specialist at the Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies in Evanston Skokie (IL) District 65, spent July in India as a fellow with Teachers for a Global Classroom. 

The goal of the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the nonprofit organization IREX, is to build global perspectives and understanding that can be applied in teaching while also building positive relationships with other countries. Over four hundred teachers applied for the program, and Hubbard was one of about eighty teachers who were accepted. During her time in India, she primarily worked with schools in Parthadi, Maharastra, but toured other parts of the country as well.

"Our host teacher was from a school called Shri Tilok Jain Higher Secondary School. The enrollment was over one thousand students in 6-12th grade (what they call standard). Class sizes would range from 60-120 students. Their main coursework was in Hindi, Marathi (the national language of Maharashtra), English, math, and science. We met with some incredibly smart students," she said. 

In addition, Hubbard visited residential schools for the deaf and hearing impaired and those with developmental disabilities. 

"Every time we visited a school, we were treated as very special guests. There would be speeches, songs, and dancing. The beauty of the people and the culture really stood out. We were so incredibly honored and overwhelmed with how beautiful the students were and how generous they were in their welcoming and sharing," said Hubbard.

She saw two formal libraries during her trip to India, one in a K-5 school in Bangalore and the other at St. Mary’s in Delhi. According to Hubbard, the Bangalore school was very sparse, and a teacher was working with retired veterans from the army to piece together technology via a couple of computers. St. Mary’s, on the other hand, had a beautiful library and a huge section for test preparation.

Hubbard's report for Teachers for a Global Classroom addresses her research findings on how the literature of India has shaped its people. She hopes to continue working with the new friends she met in India, and she is starting a long distance book club to discuss Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni’s Palace of Illusions. Her host teacher is now an assistant professor at Mumbai University working on a program called CLIX, Connected Learning Initiative, which is partnering with schools in India to develop learning via technology.

Hubbard, who is also the library department chair for the fifteen libraries in her district, would highly recommend the program to her fellow educators. "It was a truly wonderful experience."