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RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTS

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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,...

IN THE NEWS

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
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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
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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...

Sep. 26, 2017
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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.

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Sep. 6, 2017
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Associate Professor Terry L. Weech has been awarded a Scroll of Appreciation by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) for "his distinguished contribution to IFLA and the library profession, especially in the internationalization of library and information science education." Weech received the honor at the closing session of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress on August 25 in Wroclaw, Poland.

His record of service to IFLA includes chairing the Division on Research and Education and the Section on Education and Training, and the Library Theory and Research Section, as well as co-chairing the Satellite Meeting Planning Committee for IFLA 2016.  He has authored or co-authored numerous research reports for IFLA and lectured on librarianship and Library and Information Science education in more than twenty countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. 

Jul. 26, 2017

Three iSchool master's students have been selected by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Committee on Diversity and Leadership to participate in the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) as ARL diversity scholars.

Underwritten by ARL member libraries, the IRDW offers numerous financial benefits to program participants as well as leadership development provided through the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium, a formal mentoring program, career placement assistance, and an ARL research library visit. This program reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library professional community that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis on global perspectives in the academy.

The 2017–2019 ARL diversity scholars are: 

Jul. 26, 2017
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Exactly twenty years after starting work as a graduate assistant in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Lynne M. Thomas (MS '99) is returning as the new head of the library.

Thomas has been the curator of rare books and special collections at Northern Illinois University since 2004 and the head of distinctive collections there since 2014. She'll begin her appointment at the library and assume the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book and Manuscript Library Professorship on September 1.

"One of the things I learned at the U of I is the importance of the concept that rare books are for everyone," Thomas said. "These are important parts of our cultural heritage, and we make history available for everyone in a hands-on fashion that balances...

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