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Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Illinois





 



Duffy's Kindred adaptation selected as top pick by ICA Reads

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:37:15 +0000

(image) The Institute of Contemporary Art's "artful book club," ICA Reads, has selected Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, as its 2017 pick for a book of critical and societal importance. This reinterpretation of Octavia E. Butler's science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, was adapted by iSchool alumnus and adjunct lecturer Damian Duffy (MS '08, PhD '16) and illustrated by John Jennings. A New York Times bestseller, the novel tells the story of a young black woman's time-travel between her home in 1970s California and a plantation in the antebellum South.

Self-described as "huge Octavia Butler fans," Duffy and Jennings answered a call for entries for an earlier attempt to adapt the novel in 2009 but didn't get the job. By chance, that adaptation fell through, and they were offered the project again in 2012. Duffy and Jennings have been working together for about twelve years, making comics and curating comics art exhibitions concerned with issues of identity and representation.

"(image) We both felt like the critical examinations of race, gender, and representation that permeate Kindred were very much in line with the original comics work we've done. Also, we felt that making a graphic novel version provided a chance for new readers to discover her work, as well as a chance for fans to revisit her most famous novel through a new lens," said Duffy.

Duffy's interest in comics started at the tender age of six, when he read his first Spider-Man comic. He has been making comics for just about as long. His first attempt at becoming a professional comics creator was in 2001, when he and his friend, Dann Tincher, self-published three issues of a sci-fi/crime comic series called Whisp. In addition to the Kindred adaptation, Duffy and Jennings have published another graphic novel, The Hole: Consumer Culture, and a horror comic, Urban Kreep.

After working at the University of Illinois Law Library for six years, Duffy decided to pursue an advanced degree in library and information science.

"Witnessing firsthand the impact of information access, communication, and preservation as well as the role of LIS scholarship in the growing inclusion of comics in cultural discourses, I felt like the profession had the potential to overlap with my creative/artistic pursuits," he said. "I always wish more people thought of comics as a medium of communication, as capable of telling many different kinds of stories to many different audiences as prose or film."

Last spring Duffy completed his PhD degree and received the Berner-Nash Memorial Award for outstanding doctoral dissertation. He is now an adjunct lecturer at the iSchool, teaching Computers and Culture (LIS 390) and Social Media and Global Change (LIS 490).




Get to know Dale Josephs (MS '10), taxonomy designer at eBay

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:28:49 +0000

(image) An interest in organization led Dale Josephs to the field of library and information science and his current job at eBay. Josephs uses the skills he learned at the iSchool—cataloging, metadata, Python programming, and data mining—to develop new analytics tools.

Where do you work and what is your role?

As a taxonomy designer at eBay, I not only act as a traditional cataloger, placing content under the appropriate category headings, but I also evaluate and edit the categories themselves. The task is equal parts content analysis and psychology. I need to ensure that the categories don't get subdivided more deeply than the site can handle and that the category structures accurately reflect where people coming to the site would expect to find these things, while ensuring that as much site content is categorized as possible. 

What did you do before your current position?

I have been a metadata librarian for a Department of Defense research group, a librarian for a federal research laboratory, and a cataloging and metadata librarian for Norfolk State University, where I managed the library's digital archives initiative.

What do you like best about your job?
I'll never run out of work—there is always more content that can be organized and more analyses that can be conducted.

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in LIS?

Partly because I'm the son of a librarian; partly because I've been looking at information organization and management since I started organizing (and reorganizing) my bedroom bookcases at the age of eight.

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

Between the coursework on Python programming, cataloging of library materials, and metadata management, the iSchool equipped me with the skills I've used daily. And my work as a reference librarian while I was a student has given me the skills to find answers to the unknowns encountered in my work.

What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?

Learn as much as possible.  Be flexible—don't just learn the concepts as taught but think about how these ideas can be modified and reapplied in other settings. Not every LIS graduate will work in a library, but they all will be managing information resources.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I bike, play piano, hike, and take photographs of the amazing California scenery on my hikes.




iSchool offers professional development opportunity for school librarians

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 13:12:51 +0000

(image)

The K-12 LIS licensure program hosted its third Summer Getaway: Professional Development for School Librarians from June 12-14 at the School. Over forty Illinois school librarians and iSchool MS students attended this unique professional development opportunity.

Led by school library professionals, each day of the event offered an in-depth session focused on a single, high-demand topic. Participants learned how they can become advocates for their school library programs; address the needs of twenty-first-century learners; and use social media for branding, digital outreach, and instruction.

During the conference, Associate Professor Kate McDowell, Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke, and Graduate Studies Advisor Karla Lucht facilitated closing sessions based on their research areas. Two closing session recordings are available online: Storytelling for School Library Leaders and Social Justice and Materials for Youth.  

Participants enjoyed the opportunity to receive training designed especially for school librarians as well as learning from and networking with their peers. (image)

"On day two of the conference, I participated in a session on a reading program for high school libraries," said Michelle Harris (MS '07), district librarian in Heyworth, Illinois. "You never think of reading programs for older readers and worry that the kids will think they're lame. But, the way this one was presented, I thought 'I can totally do that.' I'm going to tweak it a little bit, but it's going to work. As soon as I get home, I’m going to call the English teachers and tell them we need to get together."

Ann Ohms, K-12 program coordinator and conference organizer, explained that the goal is to connect professionals and motivate them to integrate new learning into meaningful work with students. "We hope they walk away with a community of connected colleagues that will continually challenge them to learn and grow as individuals, educators, and information professionals."




LaTesha Velez defends dissertation

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 17:43:29 +0000

Doctoral candidate LaTesha Velez successfully defended her dissertation, "James E. Shepard, The Man and His Message: A Context-Sensitive, Discourse-Historical Analysis of 'God Bless Old North Carolina," on Thursday, June 29. Her committee includes Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor Linda C. Smith (chair), Associate Professor Kathryn La Barre (director of research), Dianne S. Harris (dean and professor, College of Humanities, University of Utah), and Safiya Umoja Noble (MS '09, PhD '12; assistant professor, Department of Information Studies, UCLA).

From the abstract:

My research is a historical analysis of information in society that focuses on the radio address “God Bless Old North Carolina” that James E. Shepard, president and founder of the North Carolina College for Negroes (NCCN), presented in 1934. The socio-historical forces that preceded the current information environment in the United States are often researched from a Eurocentric or United States white, middle-class male perspective. When other races, classes or genders are mentioned, the typical line of inquiry still centralizes the white, European, heterosexual male viewpoint. My dissertation focuses on a little known historical figure who is one of the few African American men at the advent of institutions of higher education for blacks who was both president and founder of a university in the South during the early decades of the 20th Century and will contribute to the burgeoning body of work applying critical race theory to library and information science (LIS) history. Reorienting LIS history and using critical theories to study underrepresented populations will help to shed light on recurrent, institutionalized forms of racism still present in LIS systems today. The first step to reversing the detrimental effects of institutionalized racism within LIS is recognizing that it exists. Next, determining antecedents can help shed light on how institutional patterns are reproduced. The social forces that should be foregrounded are those that structurally uphold and reproduce white privilege and include capitalism and the educational system — the idealized versions and actual practice. 




Cooke and Knox discuss their research in The Library Quarterly

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 15:59:49 +0000

Two iSchool faculty members have articles published in the July 2017 edition of The Library Quarterly. The subject of the edition is "Aftermath: Libraries, Democracy, and the 2016 Presidential Election, Part 1."

In her article, "Posttruth, Truthiness, and Alternative Facts: Information Behavior and Critical Information Consumption for a New Age," Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, addresses the phenomenon of fake news. In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, and now postelection, increasing attention has been paid to fake news. According to Cooke, "Fake news is not new, nor are its relatives: hoaxes, satire, algorithmic biases, and propaganda. It just has an alarming new patina." In the article, she discusses how critical information evaluation skills can aid in combating the effects of fake news and promote more savvy information consumption.

Assistant Professor Emily Knox examines the discourse of censorship in her article, "Opposing Censorship in Difficult Times." According to Knox, "In the weeks after the election it became clear to me that access to information in the public sphere would be threatened and that it was important that those on the front lines know how to respond to such threats." In the article, she discusses why people challenge books and otherwise attempt to censor information, and she argues that librarians and information professionals must recommit to supporting the principles of intellectual freedom, review institutional policies, and know their communities—local, state, and national.
 
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).

Knox joined the iSchool faculty in 2012. Her research interests include intellectual freedom and censorship, the intersection of print culture and reading practices, and information ethics and policy. Her book, Book Banning in 21st-Century America, which addresses challenges to materials in public libraries and schools, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2015. In 2016 she was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Coalition Against Censorship. Knox received her PhD from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and her master's in library and information science from the iSchool at Illinois.




Ruan receives ILA Academic Librarian of the Year Award

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:19:20 +0000

(image) Lian Ruan (MS '90, PhD '11) is the 2017 recipient of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award. The award, presented by the ILA Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL) Forum, recognizes an Illinois librarian who is making an outstanding statewide contribution to academic or research librarianship and to library development. The award is sponsored by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.

Ruan's service record is most impressive. Of particular note are her contributions as past president (2015-2016) and current executive director of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA). She has also recently served on the Illinois State Library Advisory Committee, the Special Library Association's Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Council, the ACRL 75th Anniversary Celebration Task Force, and as a member of the Joint Council of Librarians of Color Steering Committee.

Ruan has been an academic librarian for twenty-seven years and Head of the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library (IFSI) since 1999, earning the directorship of IFSI's international programs in 2006. Under her leadership, the IFSI Library has been a finalist for a National Medal for Museum and Library Service award for the last two years. The IFSI is considered one of the top three fire services libraries in the nation. This past year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services recognized her Firefighter Line of Duty Death Digital Image Collection, which was awarded funding through the Illinois State Library.

Since 2002, Ruan has been an adjunct lecturer in the iSchool, supporting and mentoring the work of library and information science students. Ruan has also organized and coordinated training programs at IFSI with partners in the area of emergency management, including training for emergency responders from China and Korea.

Ruan has done extensive work as a researcher. Most notable is her recent co-edited book, Academic Library Development and Administration in China (2016), which is the first major work on Chinese academic libraries written in English.

Three years ago in a spotlight interview for ACRL Insider, Ruan described herself as "Passionate, determined, [and] goal-oriented." Her exemplary service to librarianship and learning demonstrates the application of each of these qualities to the work that makes her worthy of this honor. The Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon held on Tuesday, October 10, during the 2017 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Tinley Park.




ISAA honors 2017 award recipients

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:33:09 +0000

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA), formerly the Library School Alumni Association, has announced the 2017 recipients of its annual awards. The recipients were recognized on June 25 at the ISAA Annual Meeting and reception held at the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Chicago.  Beth Woodard (MS '79) is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Each year this award is given to an alum who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of library and information science. Woodard is the staff development and training coordinator for the University of Illinois Library. She has made significant contributions to the field through her mentoring of graduate assistants and new professionals; extensive service in the Association of College and Research Libraries and Reference and User Services Association; and numerous publications, invited workshops, and professional development programs. At the iSchool, Woodard has served for many years on the Admissions Committee and taught or co-taught graduate courses in user education and reference services. In addition to supervising hundreds of graduate assistants in the University Library, she has directed multiple independent studies and practicum experiences.  Martin Wolske (PhD '93, Rutgers) is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Each year this award is given to an individual who has served ISAA or the School in an exceptional way. Wolske is a senior research scientist, lecturer, and interim director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) at the iSchool. Since he joined the School in 1995, he has served in many key roles, including director of Prairienet, Champaign-Urbana’s first community information network and the predecessor to the CDI. For nearly twenty years, Wolske has taught networking and information systems courses, for which he received the 2011 Library Journal Teaching Award. He has served on several campus advisory and review panels related to engagement and, in 2013, he was honored with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Public Engagement. His accomplishments also include service as president of the Champaign Public Library Board of Trustees. Trevor Muñoz (MS '11) is the recipient of the Leadership Award, which is given to an alum who has graduated in the past ten years and shown leadership in the field.  Muñoz is interim director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and assistant dean for digital humanities research for the University of Maryland Libraries. He works to foster digital projects that involve close collaboration between librarians, archivists, and other digital humanities researchers. He has written, spoken, and consulted about the strategic opportunities and challenges of doing digital humanities work within the institutional and cultural structures of academic research libraries. He has served as principal investigator on numerous grants, and is founding co-editor of DH Curation: A Community Guide to Best Practices for Data Curation in the Humanities.  Kyle Huizenga (MS '17) is the recipient of the Student Award, which recognizes a student who "caught the spirit" of the library and information science profession while employed in a library setting and so chose to enter the master's program. This student must have a strong commitment to return to a professional position in a library setting and help others "catch the spirit." Huizenga was hired as a graduate hourly employee to work in the reference department of the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library in fall of 2015. In that position, as well as in providing reference service, he learned how to handle the library's budget; create quarterly budget, acquisitions, and statistical reports; log receipts from national and international library-related travel; and interact with the Institute's business department as a representative of the libr[...]



Lawrence and Thomer receive Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:34:35 +0000

Doctoral candidates Emily Lawrence and Andrea Thomer have been awarded Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships by Beta Phi Mu, the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society. Up to six recipients are selected for this prestigious award each year, a national competition among doctoral students who are working on their dissertations. The amount awarded for each fellowship is $3,000.

Lawrence received a BA in comparative literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to beginning the doctoral program at Illinois, Lawrence worked in reference and web services at the National Library of Medicine. Their primary research interests include political philosophy in LIS, readers and reading, and aesthetics (especially taste and recommendation). The title of their dissertation is "Reading for Democratic Citizenship: A New Model for Readers’ Advisory."

Thomer conducts research in the areas of digital curation, natural history museum informatics, information organization, and information system usability. She is particularly interested in the long-term usability of digital collections and their infrastructures. Prior to her graduate studies, Thomer was an excavator at the La Brea Tar Pits; she continues to draw on her experience in paleontology and museums in her work. She received her BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. On May 8, she successfully defended her dissertation, "Site-Based Data Curation: Bridging Data Collection Protocols and Curatorial Processes at Scientifically Significant Sites."




Cooke receives funding from ALA for diversity research

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:11:42 +0000

Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, has received two grants from the American Library Association (ALA) for her diversity research. The grants, worth $7,500, include the Carnegie Whitney Award and the ALA Diversity Research Grant. 

She received the Carnegie Whitney Award for her project, "The Interracial Books for Children Bulletin: A Bibliography of Diverse Books." The purpose of the project is to compile a bibliography of the books and media reviewed by the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin. 

"With the goal of addressing LIS practitioners and scholars, children's literature scholars, authors, illustrators, publishers, and multicultural literature aficionados, this resource will be used as a teaching and research tool in classrooms and will aid collection development librarians in diversifying their collections," said Cooke.

Cooke and Miriam E. Sweeney (PhD '13), assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama, were awarded the ALA Diversity Research Grant for their project, "Minority Student Experiences with Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library." This study uses surveys and focus groups to garner further insight into the specific experiences surrounding microaggressions directed at racial and ethnic minority students in the context of accessing library spaces and services on campus.

"I am excited to receive these grants, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on two projects that will improve the long-term understanding and implementation of diversity in the LIS profession," she said.

Cooke in 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 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. 




Weech and Takazawa to present research at BAI 2017

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 15:32:55 +0000

Associate Professor Terry Weech and doctoral candidate Aiko Takazawa will discuss their research on the economics of information at the International Conference on Business and Information (BAI), which will be held July 4-6 in Hiroshima, Japan. The conference is an annual meeting for scholars in the business and information disciplines.

Weech and Takazawa will present their paper, "iSchools and Business Schools, Potential to Collaborate on Business and Information Research." In their talk, they will examine the potential contributions of collaboration between schools of information and business schools that have an interest in the impact and utilization of information in the business context. They will also present their plan for establishing a basis for collaboration between business schools and schools in the iSchools organization.
 
Takazawa's doctoral research seeks to understand how information search and seeking activities facilitate spontaneous collaborative work. The topics in her research area lie at the intersection of information behavior, learning, and self-organization. Her dissertation examines the case of a humanitarian aid group that emerged on social media platforms in response to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.
 
Weech's research interests include the areas of reference services and sources, government information, library administration, library cooperation and networks, library use instruction, and economics of information. His teaching experience includes appointments at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Emporia State University (Kansas); University of Iowa, Iowa City; and Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. At the iSchool, Weech teaches the Economics of Information course (IS 549). He has been active in the American Library Association (ALA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and he has been involved in the administration of the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award reception at the ALA Midwinter meeting for nearly twenty years. Weech received his MS and PhD degrees in library and information science from the iSchool at Illinois.