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Sep. 11, 2017
One of the schools planted a tree in Hubbard's honor.

An interest in global education took Tracy Hubbard (MS '05) to India this summer. Hubbard, a library media specialist at the Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies in Evanston Skokie (IL) District 65, spent July in India as a fellow with Teachers for a Global Classroom. 

The goal of the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the nonprofit organization IREX, is to build global perspectives and understanding that can be applied in teaching while also building positive relationships with other countries. Over four hundred teachers applied for the program, and Hubbard was one of about eighty teachers who were accepted. During her time in India, she primarily worked with schools in Parthadi,...

Sep. 5, 2017

A travel fund has been established at the iSchool in honor of an alumna who loved to travel and lived in many places, making friends with people around the world.

Although she lived in ten states and three foreign countries, Molly Dolan (MS '04) considered Champaign-Urbana "the true home of her heart." After earning her master's degree in library and information science in 2004, she stayed at Illinois, working as project coordinator for the Digital Libraries Education Program. During her time at Illinois, she built a database for the U of I Alumni Association, worked in Digital Content Creation digitizing rare books and photos, and partnered on a grant to develop a humanities data curation curriculum. In 2010, Dolan left Illinois for West Virginia University, where she served as a digital initiatives...

Aug. 29, 2017

Bradley Kuykendall (MS '15) was a "library junkie" as an undergraduate at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Now serving as the reference and instruction librarian at Lincoln University, he is in a position to give back to his alma mater and recruit more students into the field of library and information science.

"I never had intentions of becoming a librarian until I had an altercation with the library director about interlibrary loans (ILL)," said Kuykendall, who majored in business administration and management as an undergraduate. "He didn’t like me standing at the bookstore, telling all the students about ILL. We talked about it, then he gave me a job. The rest was history."
The MS/LIS program at the iSchool provided a strong foundation in librarianship that has...

Jul. 26, 2017

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

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

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

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...