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Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Illinois





 



Alumnus David Kalat looks for hidden clues in a digital domain

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:08:16 +0000

(image) David Kalat (MS '11) could be considered a Sherlock Holmes of the digital world. However, unlike Holmes hitting the streets of London for clues, Kalat's brand of sleuthing involves using computer forensics, electronic discovery, and data analytics to find the sometimes deeply concealed facts in a case. As a director of the Berkeley Research Group LLC's Global Investigations + Strategic Intelligence Practice, Kalat conducts forensic investigations to settle disputes among parties, usually in the form of litigation. 

According to Kalat, in a forensic examination, the "eureka" moments are less about the contents of files and more about finding when the files were accessed, deleted, or shared.

"I worked a bank hacking case once where my findings involved evidence that a rogue IT consultant had used a secret backdoor to log into the network and then copy and delete customer data records. My investigation wasn't concerned with the contents of those records—but instead about firewall logs, timestamps on database initialization files, and other artifacts of user activity in the server’s operating system," Kalat explained.

He started working in the area of computer forensics for the consulting firm of Duff & Phelps after receiving his MS in library and information science through the Leep online program. In his new job, he discovered "an upside-down world where instead of users implementing organizational tools to manage information, information systems are implementing organizational tools to manage users."

Prior to his forensics work, Kalat worked in video distribution. He received his BA in film and video studies from the University of Michigan in 1992 and worked for more than a decade as DVD producer for his independent label, All Day Entertainment, which was dedicated to "movies that fell through the cracks." 

"From 1997 to around 2009, I restored quite a few interesting 'lost' films like Fritz Lang's swan song, The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, Edward Dmytryck's blacklisted classic Christ in Concrete, Claude Chabrol's version of Patricia Highsmith's Cry of the Owl, and a whole collection of films by B-movie auteur Edgar Ulmer," Kalat said.

He started writing professionally in 1997 with his first book, an academic study of Godzilla movies. He has published five books on film history as well as contributed chapters to five other anthology film books. For ten years, he blogged for Turner Classic Movies. He gave up the blog last summer when his focus changed to writing about information security and forensics.

Kalat thrives on the challenges in his job at the Berkeley Research Group.

"I get to spend every day confronting complex logic puzzles with no obvious answers, and it's up to me to figure out how to tackle them. And every once in a while, someone brings me a strange piece of technology with an especially difficult puzzle around it, and it’s like Christmas," he said.

He feels that there has never been a better time to be an information scientist, and he encourages current students to think broadly about career possibilities.

"There is a wide world out there, and it's full of information-related problems," said Kalat.




Employer Panel Tech Talks #1

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:06:47 +0000

First in a four part series of tech talk panels with employers

Event Date: 

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 5:30pm



Kumasi to deliver 2017 Gryphon Lecture

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:08:21 +0000

(image) Kafi D. Kumasi will deliver the 2017 Gryphon Lecture on Friday, April 28, at the iSchool. Sponsored annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB), the lecture features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture. It is free and open to the campus and public.

In "Check the Rhyme: Harnessing Hip Hop’s Enduring Literacies with Teens Through Libraries," Kumasi will address the following:

Hip Hop has become a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon that significantly shapes the way young people view and interact in the world. At a time when Black and Latino male youth are being hyper-criminalized and incarcerated at high rates in the U.S., it is important to remember the gifts that young Black and Latinos have given the world by founding Hip Hop on the streets of New York in the 1970s and 80s. Using Paulo Friere’s concept of literacy as transformative thinking and problem solving, Dr. Kumasi outlines some of the enduring literacies of Hip Hop that can teachers and librarians can use to honor students’  knowledge and social justice concerns in the learning process.

Kumasi is an iSchool research fellow and associate professor of library and information science (LIS) at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She teaches in the areas of school library media, urban librarianship, multicultural services and resources, and research methods. A Laura Bush 21st Century Scholar, she holds a PhD from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master's degree in LIS from Wayne State. Her research interests revolve around issues of literacy, equity, and diversity, particularly in urban educational environments spanning K-12 and graduate school contexts. Her publications include book chapters and journal articles in prestigious journals, including Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, School Libraries Worldwide, School Library Media Research, and Urban Library Journal.

The lecture, which will be recorded, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 126 of the iSchool. A reception will follow in the East Foyer.




MS student Jessica Followell wins ChLA essay award

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:09:05 +0000

(image) Jessica Followell is the 2017 master's student recipient of the Graduate Student Essay Award from the Children's Literature Association. Followell won the award for her essay, "Miracle Cures and Moral Lessons: Victorian Legacies in Contemporary Representations of Children with Disabilities," which examines two plot devices that emerged in children's literature during the Victoria era to discuss disabilities—the miracle cure and the moral lesson.

"In the essay, I consider disability in contemporary children's literature as an extension of these Victorian lessons, established in such novels like What Katy Did (1872), The Secret Garden (1911), and Pollyanna (1913)," Followell explained.
 
"I argue that the Victorian influence can still be seen in today's disability literature for children. Specifically, remnants of the Victorian moral lesson on positivity can be seen in children's biography books. While today’s literature may not promote the miraculous cure, there is still a heavy emphasis on telling stories in which people 'overcome' their disabilities and the limits placed on them."

Originally from Champaign, Followell worked in the museum field before enrolling in the iSchool for her MS degree in library and information science (LIS). 

"The LIS program at the iSchool was a perfect fit for me, as its curriculum focuses on the intersections between libraries, archives, and museums. I wanted a program that would help expand my skills in archival management and also expose me to current issues surrounding digital preservation," she said. 

In the future, Followell would like to continue to work in the museum or archives sector, with focus on community outreach and engagement.