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School of Information Sciences - University of Illinois


Sarah Yale (MS '15) takes the library on the road with the Book Bike

Thu, 25 May 2017 13:27:23 +0000

(image) As the neighborhood services librarian for the Oak Park (IL) Public Library, Sarah Yale facilitates community-focused programming and fosters engagement both inside and outside of the library with residents of all ages. From April through October, this engagement occurs through the Book Bike, a program she coordinates for the library.

"The Book Bike is a pedal-powered, mobile library on wheels that allows us the freedom and flexibility to take our library professionals, services, and resources 'to the streets,' increasing our reach and visibility in the community," said Yale.
In addition to checking out library materials, visitors to the Book Bike can also create a new library card account, sign up for the summer reading program, find answers to reference questions, and get suggestions for fiction or nonfiction titles they might enjoy based on their interests. The Bike is stocked with a unique collection of materials for each visit, with library staff pulling books, DVDs, audiobooks, and other items based on the location and audience of the neighborhoods they will be serving.

"We're always looking for new ways to break down barriers to access and provide a diverse, inclusive experience for all kinds of learners and readers. This means stocking the Bike with materials representing different themes and interests, but also diverse characters, authors, and languages," explained Yale.

It wasn't immediately evident to Yale that being a librarian was her dream job. After working as an elementary school teacher in Boston, Tanzania, and South Africa, she wasn’t convinced that a classroom setting was right for her. She then joined the AmeriCorps for a career in nonprofit-based youth development and restorative justice programming in the Chicago Public Schools. Still something was missing.

"In all of those positions, my favorite thing was matching the right resource to the right student," said Yale. "That being said, in communities both abroad and local, that favorite thing was also often my biggest challenge—finding books for my students that were not only fun and informational but culturally relevant and in their home language. Few things make me happier than seeing a young person's face light up when you've found a title that either mirrors their experience or provides that window to the outside world they've been craving."

Yale took a few evening Leep courses at the iSchool to explore whether the MS in library and information sciences was a good fit. She found a job as a part-time library assistant at the Oak Park Public Library's Maze Branch and became a part-time student in the Leep online program, from which she graduated in 2015. She has been in her current position as neighborhood services librarian for a  little over two years.
In her free time, Yale enjoys exploring. 

"Whether it's on foot or bike in local Chicago neighborhoods or by hopping on a plane, I love adventuring to new places and getting out of my comfort zone. Last year, that meant visiting historical temples and trying local cuisine in Thailand and Cambodia. This spring, it meant a road trip and hiking through some of our national parks like the Petrified Forest and Bryce Canyon in the beautiful southwest," she said. 

Follow the Book Bike online at #OPBookBike

Diesner and Underwood to present research at Cultural Analytics 2017

Wed, 24 May 2017 20:02:42 +0000

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner and Professor Ted Underwood will present at Cultural Analytics 2017, a symposium devoted to new research in the fields of computational and data-intensive cultural studies, which will be held at the University of Notre Dame on May 26-27. Diesner will give the talk, "Impact Assessment of Information Products and Data Provenance," on May 26. Her talk explores the question of how we can assess the impact of information products on people beyond relying on count metrics and by analyzing the substance of user-generated content. Diesner also addresses how limitations with the collection, quality, and provenance of large-scale social interaction data impact research outcomes and how we can measure these effects.  From the abstract: I present our work on developing new computational solutions for identifying the impact of information products on people by leveraging theories from linguistics and the social sciences as well as methods from natural language processing and machine learning. I focus on a study where we developed and evaluated a theoretically grounded categorization schema, codebook, corpus annotation, and prediction model for detecting multiple practically relevant types of impact that documentary films can have on individuals, such as change versus reaffirmation of people’s behavior, cognition, and emotions. This work uses reviews as a form of user-generated content. We use linguistic, lexical, and psychological features for supervised learning; achieving an accuracy rate of about 81%. Underwood will present "Bestsellers and Critical Favorites 1850-1949" on May 27. His talk uses a collection of 1,200 volumes to show how the divide between popularity and prestige emerged, very gradually, over the course of a century. "Today we take it for granted that the mass market wants an entirely different kind of fiction than literary critics prefer," he said. "In the nineteenth century, that divide wasn't so clear: Charles Dickens, for instance, pleased both audiences."  Abstract: An article modeling prestige in poetry 1820-1919 recently appeared in MLQ; this is the second part of that project, on fiction. Our sources for the reception of fiction are richer than for poetry, so we're able to add a new dimension to the project by contrasting different kinds of prominence. We look at a subset of texts reviewed in elite periodicals, but also a subset of bestsellers, and a subset of pulp magazines. Some aspects of change are the same in poetry and fiction: critical standards change slowly, and literature seems to move in the direction of critical judgment steadily across long timelines. But considering different kinds of prominence makes literary stratification more visible. When you look at any single measure of prominence, it’s hard to detect Huyssen's "great divide" between elite and mass culture: critical favorites are not easier to pick out in the twentieth century than they were in the nineteenth; neither are bestsellers. But we do find clues that different forms of prominence diversified, and became less tightly correlated with each other, in the early decades of the twentieth century. 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. Underwood is a professor in the iSchool and also holds an appointment with the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is the author of two books about literary history, including most recently Why Literary Periods Mattered (Stanford, 2013). His articles have ap[...]

An interview with Doug Litts (MS '97), executive director of libraries and archives at the Art Institute of Chicago

Wed, 24 May 2017 13:12:56 +0000

Interviewed by Robert McCamant, from The Caxtonian (February 2017) Doug Litts always knew he wanted to be an art historian. Though born in New Jersey, his family moved to Florida when he was nine, so when it was time for college, the University of Florida (in Gainesville) was the logical place to study it. But what can you do with a BA in art history?   So he went to get a master's degree in the Big Apple, NYU in particular. But what can you do with an MA in art history? Especially back in 1992, which was not a time when universities were staffing up? The answer: you wait on tables.   A few years of that led him to consider library science. Perhaps it would be easier to find a job as an art history librarian than teaching art history. He landed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which he greatly enjoyed. He also discovered he liked the Midwest, and Chicago especially. He graduated in August 1997, so he waited tables in Chicago and did cataloging at Abbott Labs until he found his first art library job the following April at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. "It was a great first job," he says. "My title was assistant librarian/online catalog system administrator, and I was the direct assistant to the head librarian. I supervised a full- and part-time assistant and 20 volunteers!" Perhaps it also did not hurt, given the year, that the word "online" was in his title. In 2004 he moved to Washington, DC, which was to be his home through 2015. There he was employed first at the Corcoran, as library director for both the gallery and college. (Mind you, this was when the Corcoran was in its heyday, not the poor stepchild it became after its school was merged into George Washington University and its artworks given to the National Gallery.) At the Corcoran he was the library director, in charge of everything from collection development to supervising student workers. In 2008, the Smithsonian called, and he answered. He became the senior reference librarian for the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. By 2010 his capabilities were recognized and he was named head librarian, again for both. "It was an excellent job," he says, "but the odd structure of the Smithsonian led to some challenges. The Smithsonian Libraries is separate from but serves all the Smithsonian museums. It is literally a tenant in each of them where it has a facility. If the Hirshhorn, say, wanted to start using what has been library space for something else, the library had to adapt." As a result, when he heard that the executive director of libraries and archives position at the Art Institute of Chicago was soon to be available, he applied. "And I got it! I'm thrilled to be back in the town where I waited tables looking for my first job as a librarian." He considers it about the best job there is in the field: the Met and the Getty have their advantages, but he'd much rather be in Chicago than on either of the coasts. I asked him how many jobs there are in his field. "Nobody really knows. ARLIS/NA membership is over a thousand." (ARLIS/NA is the art libraries society, and it comes up on the first page of a Google search for Litts. He does his professional duty as an editor on its Reviews.) "Many more are in the art library field but chose not to professionally engage in ARLIS/NA, so it's hard to get a defined number." We got to talking about changes in the library world, about the many situations where electronic books are replacing paper books. It's moving more slowly in the art area, he says. "Electronic databases are wonderful for research for the way they can replace laborious looking at dozens of volumes with a few minutes of typing. But for electronic books, especially with contemporary art, it is a challenge. If we are having a show of a living or recent artist, it is easier to negotiate to print a paper book showing the artist's work. But the artist or his agent often don't consider electronic versions, because of the risk of the art work being app[...]

Turk recognized by NCSA for outstanding mentorship

Tue, 23 May 2017 17:05:02 +0000

Assistant Professor Matthew Turk has been recognized by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) as an outstanding 2016-2017 SPIN mentor. The SPIN (Students Pushing Innovation) internship at NCSA provides undergraduates at Illinois with the opportunity to apply their skills to real challenges in areas such as high-performance computing, data analysis and visualization, and cybersecurity. Turk was nominated for the honor by his SPIN intern, Charles Rozhon, who recently graduated with his BS in computer science. Rozhon's project was to develop interactive visualization tools for volume rendering simulation datasets. 
"Chuck built from scratch an OpenGL volume renderer that could handle a particularly persnickety data format called adaptive mesh refinement, and then he put that upstream (ultimate source of his project) into an open source project," Turk said. "I'm delighted that Chuck will be continuing in his studies toward a PhD, but we'll miss him at Illinois. He is an engaged, outstanding collaborator, and it was a true pleasure and honor to be able to work with him on this project."

Rozhon is grateful for Turk’s mentorship and support.

"Over the past several years, Professor Turk has greatly encouraged my professional development as both a researcher and a student," he said. "He has been an invaluable teacher, who helped me conceptualize a research problem that felt challenging and fulfilling."

Alumna Sara Tompson receives SLA Fellowship

Thu, 18 May 2017 15:00:47 +0000

(image) Sara Tompson (MS '87) has been named a 2017 Special Libraries Association (SLA) Fellow. Fellowship in SLA is granted annually to no more than five mid-career SLA members for their service to the association and the information profession. Fellows advise the association’s Board of Directors, prepare necessary documentation, and alert the membership to issues and trends warranting action.

Tompson has been a member of SLA since 1991, when she worked at what was then called the Hazardous Waste Research & Information Center, a state agency on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

For the past four years, she has served as the section manager for library, archives, and records at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The laboratory, which is run by Caltech under a contract with NASA, explores the solar system with robotic spacecraft and telescopes. 

"I'm especially thrilled when I see Mars in the sky and know that we have two active Rovers on that planet, Opportunity and Curiosity," Tompson said.

In her free time, Tompson, an instrument-rated private pilot, likes to fly around southern California with her husband and friends.

Her advice to current students is to "learn as much as you can, take a range of courses, and stay flexible—be willing and able to work at any type of library."

PhD student Willis receives NIH funding for expansion models research

Tue, 16 May 2017 18:31:06 +0000

(image) Doctoral student Craig Willis has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with the biomedical and healthCAre Data Discovery Index Ecosystem (bioCADDIE)/DataMED team on a pilot project this summer. The award is based on his participation in the 2016 bioCADDIE Dataset Retrieval Challenge, which had the objective of creating innovative ways for biomedical researchers to search and discover biomedical research data.

"bioCADDIE is an NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) project to develop the DataMed [2] system, sometimes described as the 'PubMed of data,'" said Willis. "At the end of the challenge, they awarded two subcontracts. The goal of my project is to prototype and evaluate expansion models for integration into the DataMed system."

According to Willis, searching for biomedical information often requires the use of specialized language or vocabularies that may not always be reflected in users' queries. Feedback-based query expansion models alleviate this problem and improve search engine performance by automatically expanding the user's query to include additional terms related to their information need. His project will demonstrate how expanding the query based on information from external collections such as PubMed can improve overall retrieval effectiveness.

Willis is working with Associate Professor Miles Efron in the area of information retrieval and with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) as a research programmer on the National Data Service project. Doctoral student Garrick Sherman, MS student Thuong Phan, and NCSA Research Programmer Mike Lambert are working with Willis on his project, "Expansion Models for Biomedical Data Search." The project's funding is a subaward from the University of California San Diego that will cover $50,000 in direct costs.   

Student award recipients announced at Convocation

Mon, 15 May 2017 16:51:12 +0000

Each year, the School recognizes a group of outstanding students for their achievement in academics as well as a number of attributes that contribute to professional success. The following student awards were presented at the School's Convocation ceremony on May 14, 2017. Bryce Allen Award for Reference Services Presented to Leah Dudak Leah Dudak brings enthusiasm and a positive attitude to the Music and Performing Arts Library (MPAL) reference desk. No question is too small, and she clearly enjoys assisting all patrons with their information needs. She uses her music knowledge and library skills to help patrons find scores and recordings, track down elusive journal articles, and more. She extends the reach of the reference desk by creating LibGuides for events and contributing to social media accounts. At the Main Library, Leah tackles the toughest patrons with joy and dignity and is truly willing and able to help anyone who visits the library's service points. She’s also a great mentor to new people at the Info Desk and is proactive about collaborating with others to answer questions. She takes the time to build a rapport with other desk staff and is professionally popular and loved by her colleagues.  Berner-Nash Memorial Award Presented to Mikki Smith In her dissertation study, "Print Networks and Youth Information Culture: Young People, Amateur Publishing, and Children’s Periodicals, 1867–1890," Mikki Smith significantly adds to our understanding of nineteenth-century United States print culture as well as young people's engagement in participatory print cultures. Smith writes engagingly and argues thoughtfully, while marshaling an impressive array of primary archival sources, to demonstrate how young people created and maintained rich information, literary, and social networks through the publication and exchange of amateur newspapers. Smith's dissertation is poised to make a clear and positive impact in the scholarly worlds of book history and print culture, childhood studies, as well as library and information science. This study richly rewards readers. Anne M. Boyd Award/Beta Phi Mu Presented to Alison Rollins Alison Rollins is an exemplary student who completes her scholarly work with thoughtful perspective, detailed analysis, and synthesis of theory and practice. Alison is also a creative poet and storyteller, and she has consistently shared her talents with the iSchool community during her time here. She has broad experience with both public and school libraries, which is indicative of her ability to interact with and support others. Edith Harris Camp Award Presented to Jennifer Jacobs Jennifer Jacobs is a joyful and energetic person who has made a lasting impression on her instructors with her sheer enthusiasm for the profession and the thoughtfulness with which she approached her work and professional plans. Jen would routinely show up for her oral presentations in costume, and she would often recommend books and resources to her classmates simply because she came across something she thought would interest them. She was a stellar student and an overall genuine person who made her presence known at the iSchool as a Leep student; her willingness to take risks in the Leep context was extraordinary. Much like the award description, Jen has inspired her instructors, her classmates, and now her own elementary school students, and she cares for others with courage, creativity, laughter, and friendship. When we think of Jen, we think of her excitement to try new things and her ability to implement great ideas for presentations and programs—she just has fun, and her delight for all things library is contagious. She is an asset to the iSchool and to the profession. Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Professional Promise Award   Presented to Jesus Espinoza Jesus Espinoza’s professional promise has already been recognized throug[...]

MS student McCarthy enhances campus accessibility through new web app

Fri, 12 May 2017 11:58:19 +0000

(image) The University of Illinois has long been a leader in accessibility for persons with disabilities. This tradition continues with a new web app called "Access Illinois" created by MS student Mark McCarthy and his team members Matt Arensdorf (undergraduate student, computer science) and Emily Chen (PhD student, computational linguistics). The app earned the team first place in HackCulture, a humanities-focused hackathon held at the University Library from April 8-23. 

While the University provides accessibility maps, these maps require additional steps for successful use when a person is operating with one hand, such as when using wheelchair or cane. Access Illinois integrates existing accessibility maps with Google Maps, allowing individuals to discover walking directions to a destination and the locations of accessible entrances, classrooms, and restrooms.

The app has a personal connection for team members McCarthy and Arensdorf.

"Matt and I, having physical disabilities requiring the use of a wheelchair, use the accessibility maps often," McCarthy said. "There is currently not a way to get walking directions at the same time as looking at those maps, and for those who have even less mobility than us, it can be a challenge to navigate between the two tabs on the phone or desktop."

McCarthy, an iSchool information management student who is studying information architecture, was the lead web designer and debugger for the team. He also took care of the accessible programming. Arensdorf served as lead web developer, inputting GPS coordinates for the images by hand for each of the accessibility map overlays. Chen created the tour and pin functionality of the maps and led the research and testing.

At the moment, only the first floor of buildings appear in Access Illinois, due to programming constraints. Future versions of the web app will address the issue of multiple floors and include accommodations for a wider range of disability types, such as those requiring the use of screen readers.

"Once we have the first floor maps sorted, our aim is to give the tool to Disability Resources & Educational Services on campus to utilize for new and current students. We are also in talks to integrate it with the University Library's resource guides," said McCarthy. "Our hope is to quickly overcome the constraints in the beta version that are preventing us from providing multiple floor plans and to give students and visitors a well-rounded and full experience."

In addition to HackCulture, McCarthy participated in VariABILITY 2017, the first Social Hack on campus, on March 31-April 1. His team's idea was to build an "E-text Manual" to help people who have recently encountered some form of visual disability make a smoother transition back into their professional lives.

1970s program attempted to diversify Illinois library school

Thu, 11 May 2017 19:39:53 +0000

courtesy of the University of Illinois News BureauThirty minority students were recruited in the early 1970s to attend the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences (now the School of Information Sciences) at the University of Illinois. Called the Carnegie Scholars, all but one of the black and Latino students graduated, and they went on to successful careers in and out of the library profession. The program was an outgrowth of Project 500, the University of Illinois' 1968 initiative to increase the number of black students enrolled and increase the diversity of the campus. Like that program, the Carnegie Scholars suffered from discrimination, low expectations and a lack of support, writes Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke in a recently published article. Cooke reviewed the history of the Carnegie Scholars program in her article, "The GSLS Carnegie Scholars: Guests in someone else's house," published in the inaugural issue of the journal Libraries: Culture, History, and Society. The article is based on Cooke's research of library archives of applications records, student essays, grant applications, reports by the program's director to funding agencies, internal memos and grade cards. The library school admitted 11 students in 1970 and another 19 students in 1971. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the U.S. Department of Education, the program covered tuition and provided the students with a stipend. Cooke said the Carnegie Scholars documentation stressed that the program aimed to serve "disadvantaged" and "underprivileged" students. While the materials spoke of students from "academically weak" schools with minimal preparation, Cooke found that all of them met the requirements of the graduate school. Despite this, the students were required to take remedial reading and writing courses in the summer before their program began. After complaints from the first cohort of students, who saw the courses as unnecessary and insulting, the requirement was removed. The grade cards commented not only on the students' performance in class, but also on their personalities and appearances. Some faculty were consistently complimentary of the students' performance and offered constructive criticism. But others were negative and antagonistic, and relied more on the physical characteristics and personality traits of the students, Cooke wrote. "The comments are what we would label 'microaggressions' now," she said. In addition to a lack of faculty support, the Carnegie Scholars were isolated from the rest of the library students. Many only attended classes in the library school and studied elsewhere on campus with black graduate students from other programs, Cooke said. She wrote that while financial support of the students was crucial, "it was the in-house support of a dedicated program director that made the difference with this group of students." Terry Crowley, a library professor, was the program director. Cooke tracked down 24 of the Carnegie Scholars and was able to interview or get a written statement from 15 of them about their experiences as graduate library students. She is writing a second journal article based on those interviews. Cooke said the Carnegie Scholars had varying reports of their experiences in the program, but shared one sentiment. "The one thing all of them said was, it was Terry Crowley who kept them in the program, and if not for him, they wouldn’t have made it through," she said. "He went beyond mentoring them. A couple of them said he fed them. They stayed at his home if they couldn’t find summer housing." Crowley also directly addressed negative comments by his colleagues. "He took a risk with his internal colleagues to defend these students," Cooke said. The graduate library program has not had as many minority students enrolled at one time since the Carnegie [...]

App Authors Project expands its reach, bringing coding to kids at new sites

Thu, 11 May 2017 18:09:28 +0000

(image) The App Authors project has been underway for over a year now, bringing kids and technology together to create apps through a child-centered curriculum at Kenwood Elementary and the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library. The program, developed by the iSchool's Center for Children's Books (CCB), provides kids with varying levels of experience the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. App Authors is now expanding its reach, working at sites in Maryland and Oregon as well as remaining in Champaign. 

"We're excited about expanding our reach this year," said Deborah Stevenson, PI of the project and director of the CCB. "Our partnerships with the Frederick County Public Libraries in Maryland and the Springfield Public Library in Oregon will allow our curriculum to serve more youth, and input from these partners will help us refine and improve our curriculum for the future."

The Douglass Branch Library will again offer its summer session of the program, this year from June 5 to July 21, with a showcase session on July 27. CCB volunteers and research assistants will be on hand to help participants move from predesign to construction of the apps and through the revision process. The curriculum focuses on the play aspect of building apps, using the kids’ own ideas (i.e. a jumping horse, school day, nail salon, etc.) as a springboard for their creations and then teaching the students the technical skills to turn their visions into successful apps.

"The process of creation and revision are as much, if not more, important than the final product. Our goal is to communicate to the kids that coding is not necessarily about the finished app. We try to emphasize the notion that the creative process is not a straight line but one that includes visits back to the drawing board and lots of modifications," said MS student Lauren Gray, who led the curriculum development and on-site sessions this year. 

This is the second phase of the CCB's Closing the App Gap three-year project, which addresses the app gap, the income-related disparity in young people’s access to handheld technology. The project is developing curricula for app-building in school and public libraries and will repeat the program at the above mentioned sites as well as expand to two to five new library venues. This expansion will allow the CCB to reach hundreds of children directly and refine a program that other libraries can adopt for their own use. 

The project is funded through a $248,205 grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services. Co-PIs include Associate Professor Kate McDowell and Assistant Professor Rachel Magee. 

To learn more, visit the App Authors site.

Katz to discuss software citation research at conference, summer institute

Wed, 10 May 2017 15:51:11 +0000

Daniel S. Katz, iSchool affiliated faculty member and assistant director for scientific software and applications at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), is coleading a group that is working to encourage broad adoption of a consistent policy for software citation across disciplines. By using a consolidated set of citation principles, FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Working Group hopes to improve knowledge creation and sharing through the use of technology. 

On May 10-11 Katz will discuss this software citation research at the 2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information in Hannover, Germany. In his talk, "Software citation: a cornerstone of software-enabled research," he will present the Software Citation Principles that the previous FORCE11 group (Software Citation Working Group) published in September 2016 in PeerJ Computer Science.

"We will soon move into a new phase of working with publishers, archivists, university administrators, funders, and other stakeholders to implement the principles. While I think the principles are a good step forward, I am also aware of their weaknesses, some of which are identified in the paper, and some of which have arisen from later discussion," said Katz.

Katz will teach a course on software citation at the FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute, a week-long summer training course to be held July 31-August 3 at the University of California, San Diego.

In addition to software citation, his research interests include computational workflows, software sustainability, and computational resilience.

"A good fraction of my interest in software is more aligned with information science than with computer science," Katz said of his affiliation with the iSchool. 

Katz is a founding topic editor of the Journal of Open Source Software and formerly led the Software Cluster in the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure as a National Science Foundation program officer. He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Northwestern University.

Andrea K. Thomer defends dissertation

Tue, 09 May 2017 19:40:02 +0000

Doctoral candidate Andrea K. Thomer successfully defended her dissertation, "Site-Based Data Curation: Bridging Data Collection Protocols and Curatorial Processes at Scientifically Significant Sites," on May 8.

Her committee included Carole Palmer (chair; professor and associate dean for research, University of Washington Information School), Bryan Heidorn (director, University of Arizona School of Information), Professor Michael Twidale, and Dean Allen Renear.

From the abstract: My study explores the relationship between data and metadata standards and data collection protocols, and how site resource managers and visiting researchers negotiate and navigate their different needs of data collection protocols and reporting. I particularly focus on how researchers and managers represent study sites in their data collection protocols and curation processes, and on how data collection protocols impact later data structures and schemas. I conduct a multi-case study of research and curation conducted at two scientifically significant sites: geobiology research at Yellowstone National Park, and paleontology research at the La Brea Tar Pits. I develop these case studies through interviews with site stakeholders and participatory research methods, in which I collaborate with key participants to develop new "minimum information frameworks" for work at the sites. I additionally draw on methods from systems analysis to model data collection and curation workflows. Comparison of minimum information frameworks to workflow models makes it possible to identify points of curatorial intervention earlier in data collection workflows. This makes site-based data more resuable and easier to manage in the long term. Finally, I propose a high-level informaiton model for data collected and curated at scientifically significant sites. This model contains three classes of information: about a data collection project, a site's structure, and about specimens and measurements.

Scholars-in-residence advance research, information solutions

Tue, 09 May 2017 16:27:04 +0000

The iSchool Scholars-in-Residence program allows international researchers the opportunity to work with faculty and students on specific research projects, offer guest lectures, and participate in research activities at the iSchool and University of Illinois. Current scholars-in-residence include Ya Gao, Chul Wan Kwak, Han (Hannah) Liu, Jing Yuan, Xi Zhang, and Yigang Zhou.

"International scholars-in-residence allow the iSchool to make progress on a range of global information problems, advancing our research enterprise and addressing key societal challenges," said J. Stephen Downie, professor and associate dean for research. 

Ya Gao, doctoral candidate in the School of Information Management at Sun Yat-sen University, studies archives related to the dissemination of American librarianship in China from 1979 through 1999 and its lasting impact on Chinese librarianship from 1979 through 1999.

Chul Wan Kwak is a professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at Kangnam University whose research interests are data cleaning, data curation, metadata, and classification history.

Han (Hannah) Liu, doctoral student in the Department of Information Management at Peking University, is interested in information organization; classification history; and library classification, especially within women’s studies.

Jing Yuan is associate professor in the School of Information Management at Zhengzhou University whose research interests include information behavior and user studies, information seeking and information service, and digital libraries. 

Xi Zhang is a lecturer in the Department of Library, Information and Archives at Shanghai University.

Yigang Zhou, associate professor in the Peking University Library’s Information Technology and Data Center, is interested in open access, including institutional repositories and journals, and discovery systems such as ProQuest Summon.

"The iSchool is pleased to host these outstanding international scholars and looks forward to future collaborations," Downie said.

Cheryl Thompson defends dissertation

Tue, 09 May 2017 14:34:30 +0000

Doctoral candidate Cheryl Thompson successfully defended her dissertation, "Data Expertise and Service Development in Geoscience Data Centers and Academic Libraries," on May 8.

Her committee included Carole Palmer (chair; professor and associate dean for research, University of Washington Information School), Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld (professor, The Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University), Matthew Mayernik (project scientist and research data services specialist, National Center for Atmospheric Research), and Professor Linda C. Smith.

From the abstract: eScience brings the promise of advancements in scientific knowledge as well as new demands for staff that can manage large and complex data, design user services, and enable open access. As scientists grapple with these new demands, one ramification is that research institutions are extending their services to address data management concerns. As more organizations extend their operations to research data, an understanding of how to develop and support research data expertise and services is needed . . . The study contributions include two models for building research data expertise with a set of salient elements plus insights into data communities of practices. The project contributes an understanding of current research data staffing trends like boundary spanning positions, roles, and expertise, and of learning strategies for building data expertise into an organization. The results have direct implications for organizations supporting science and educators planning data management and science curriculum. 

Bruce to teach inquiry-based learning course this summer

Fri, 05 May 2017 17:01:30 +0000

Professor Emeritus Chip Bruce will return to the iSchool this summer to teach Inquiry-based Learning (LIS 590IBL). In this online course, students will examine the nature of inquiry and inquiry-based learning, engage in inquiry-based learning, and consider obstacles to learning, including those related to management, assessment, basic skills, cultural differences, and pedagogical goals.

"The course is recommended for community informatics and writing studies but should be of interest in other programs as well," Bruce said. "One aspect that's been especially useful in past semesters is to have students bring their own experiences and questions from fields such as library youth services, art education, kinesiology, technology-enhanced learning, computer-mediated communication, philosophy, and other areas."

He plans to share some of his own experiences, including a two-month trip to Nepal last fall, where he worked with local people on building a progressive education system for students in kindergarten through college.

This month Bruce also will present two brownbag sessions, sponsored by the iSchool and the College of Education, to explore the true meaning of knowledge and the progressive education efforts in Nepal.

Prior to his semi-retirement in 2011, Bruce had appointments in Education, Bioengineering, the Center for Writing Studies, and the Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies. During 2007-08, he held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the National College of Ireland in Dublin. His research goals include contributing to a conception of democratic education, meaning both the development of critical, socially engaged citizens and of learning environments, which are themselves democratic. 

He looks forward to his return to campus.

"I continue to have warm feelings for my time in Illinois and at the iSchool; if anything, I've only come to appreciate it more after leaving. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with people in both a social and an academic way, and to learning about the changes in their lives," he said.