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IN THE NEWS

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...

Jul. 19, 2017
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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...

Jul. 14, 2017
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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...

Jul. 10, 2017
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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...

Jul. 7, 2017
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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...

Jun. 22, 2017
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Julie Cwik uses the skills she learned at the iSchool in her job at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). She enjoys working in the continuing medical education (CME) field and supporting physicians. Her interest in instructional design has led her to pursue an advanced degree in learning design and technology.

Where do you work and what is your role?

As CME accreditation & certification manager at ACAAI, I ensure that all of our CME activities are compliant with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support. While I do not play the role of a traditional librarian, I am working in an instructional design capacity, which is a growing area for librarians to move into. My success at the iSchool has...

Jun. 15, 2017
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Kristin Petersheim (MS '15) was awarded the IEEE Continuing Education Stipend from the Engineering Division of the SLA. She will use the award to attend the SLA 2017 Annual Conference, which will take place from June 16-20 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Petersheim has worked as associate technical information specialist in the Caterpillar Technical Information Center since 2015, where she also serves as document delivery and acquisitions librarian and outreach and instruction librarian.

Her first experience working in a library happened by chance while she was living in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where she volunteered in a seminary library. She caught the service-oriented spirit of the profession while helping master's and doctoral students develop search skills. She also volunteered part time...

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