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Mapping Information Access is a collaborative academic research project to study and understand the landscape of information access and availability in public schools and libraries in the United States.

There are more than 18,000 public school districts and more than 9,000 public library systems in the US. Each of these institutions is as a central node of information access for the communities they serve. Administrators must balance ideals of free speech and information with concerns about social norms, age-appropriateness, and budgets. These decisions then shape the flow of information to students, patrons, and other constituents. Yet the contours of this flow are not well understood. There exists no comprehensive record of the sorts of challenges faced, or decisions made,...


Feb. 27, 2018

Senior Lecturer Maria Bonn will discuss scholarly communication at The Collective, an annual gathering of librarians, archivists, and library staff at academic libraries. The 2018 Collective, which will take place from February 28-March 1 in Knoxville, Tennessee, will center around the theme, "The Library as Test Kitchen," and feature a "test kitchen environment" where participants can "try out 'recipes' for next generation librarianship."

Bonn will present "Soup from a Stone: Collective Development of Open Educational Resources that Welcome Undderrepresented Voices to Scholarly Communication" with Josh Bolick, scholarly communication librarian at the University of Kansas Libraries, and William Cross, director of the Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center at North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries.

Communication is about community and collaboration. Here we ask our...

Feb. 22, 2018

Master's student Natalie Leoni is the winner of this year's Graduate Student Exhibit Contest and the C. Barbara Mueller Award for Excellence in Exhibition Design, sponsored by the University of Illinois Library. Her exhibit, "Mapping Fiction," showcases holdings from the University Library's collections, displaying literary maps from books such as Winnie-the-Pooh and The Hobbit. The exhibit highlights how maps like these were created and disseminated.

According to Leoni, the inspiration for her exhibit came a field trip taken by her History of the Book class last semester. 

"Our class went to the Maps Library, where Jenny Johnson had laid out several interesting maps for us to examine. I was drawn to a book that was devoted to the galactic maps of Star Trek. It made me wonder what...

Feb. 6, 2018

iSchool master's student Lisa Morrison won the award for best paper at BOBCATSSS 2018, which was held in Riga, Latvia, from January 24-26. The BOBCATSSS Symposium is organized each year by library and information science students from European universities who plan and implement both the content and the management of the conference as a part of their studies.

Morrison coauthored the paper, "Reading Data - The Missing Literacy from LIS Education," with Associate Professor Terry L. Weech. 

"The paper analyzes the syllabi from required courses in three LIS programs, and it argues for required courses to include more data literacy instruction to ensure that future librarians have the skills they will need regardless of the type of...

Jan. 31, 2018
Joshua Finnell

A commitment to library innovations led a small group of librarians, including iSchool alumnus Joshua Finnell (MS '07), to create the Awesome Libraries Chapter. The chapter originated from a working group of the Library Pipeline, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting structural changes by providing opportunities, funding, and services that improve the library as an institution and librarianship as a profession. Finnell, head of research and instruction and associate professor in the University Libraries at Colgate University, started the chapter with group members Bonnie Tijerina, researcher at the Data & Society Research Institute in New York, and Robin Champieux, scholarly...

Dec. 5, 2017

Six iSchool alumni have been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) to participate in its 2018 class of Emerging Leaders.

Jessica Colbert (MS '17), Aisha Conner-Gaten (MS '13), Tracy Drake (MS '15), Hailley Fargo (MS '16), Brittany Fiedler (MS '17), and Yan Liu (MS '14) are included in this year's class of fifty individuals from across the country. This leadership development initiative provides opportunities for newer library professionals to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, observe ALA structure, and serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

The Emerging Leaders program will launch with events at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, which will be followed by six months of online learning and networking activities. At the end of the program, participants will display the results of their project...

Nov. 1, 2017

Senior Lecturer Maria Bonn is sharing her research on scholarly communication with scholars, professionals, practitioners, and educators through two major, education-focused conferences. 

At the 14th Annual Open Education Conference (OpenEd17), which took place in Anaheim, California, from October 11-13, Bonn led the round table discussion, "Walking the Walk for Open Pedagogy: Community Design of a Shared Open Educational Resource about Scholarly Communication for Librarians and Learners."

Abstract: This presentation describes our work developing a collaborative, community-driven, dynamic OER for introducing students and practitioners to scholarly communication. An open resource is critical to this approach because scholarly communication has a multiplicity of contexts and meanings so institutions, instructors, and learners need to be able tell their own stories. Openness creates a space in which...

Oct. 10, 2017

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...