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IN THE NEWS

May. 23, 2018
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iSchool affiliated faculty member Clara M. Chu, Mortenson Distinguished Professor and director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University Library, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the American Library Association's Beta Phi Mu Award. This award is given in recognition of the achievement of a library school faculty member or another individual for distinguished service to education for librarianship. This annual award, which consists of $1,000 and a citation of achievement, is sponsored by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society.

Chu holds a bachelor's degree from University of British Columbia and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to her current position at the University of Illinois, she was a professor and department chair of the Library and Information Studies Department at University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Her previous position was as associate professor in...

May. 23, 2018
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Talk of so-called fake news, what it is and what it isn't, is front and center across the media landscape, with new calls for the public to acquire appropriate research and evaluation skills and become more information savvy. But none of this is new for librarians and information professionals, particularly for those who teach information literacy. In "Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era," a new American Library Association (ALA) Editions Special Report, Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke argues that the current situation represents a golden opportunity for librarians to impart these important skills to patrons, regardless of their age or experience.

In this report, readers will:

May. 17, 2018
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Catherine Blake, associate professor and associate director of the iSchool's Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship, will give a presentation at the Carle Cancer Center in Urbana on May 18.

She will give the talk, "Learning Health Systems that Leverage Informatics and Communities of Practice."

Abstract: The Institute of Medicine defines a Learning Health system as "science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation, with best practices seamlessly embedded in the delivery process and new knowledge captured as an integral by-product of the delivery experience." This talk will describe two critical components to realize this vision. The first part of the talk will introduce the Claim Framework where text mining is used to extract key results from scientific literature. The second part will describe a joint project with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where communities of practice are needed...

May. 8, 2018
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During the 2018 Python Education Summit, held in conjunction with the PyCon 2018 conference, Lecturer Elizabeth Wickes will discuss how to help new Python learners be successful. PyCon, an annual gathering for the community using and developing the open-source Python programming language, will be held May 9-17 in Cleveland.

Wickes will give the presentation, "Hard Shouldn't be Hardship: Supporting Absolute Novices to Python." She will suggest methods that instructors can use to help learners succeed in intensive programming courses, such as making their expectations clear, helping students recognize when and how to ask for help, creating a positive emotional atmosphere in the classroom, and providing help efficiently.

"An instructor's expertise can become a blind spot," she explained. "We've learned what is normal through experience and can easily forget that we didn't know it from the start."

Wickes...

May. 7, 2018

The iSchool is proud to announce the promotion of three faculty to associate professor with indefinite tenure: Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke, Assistant Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner, and Assistant Professor Emily Knox. Their new appointments will be effective August 16, 2018, pending final approval by the Board of Trustees.

Cooke's research interests include human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy. She is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award as well as 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award. Cooke is the author of Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and coeditor with Miriam E. Sweeney...

May. 1, 2018
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Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke will give the keynote address at the Northeast Ohio Regional Library System's Critical Conversations Mini-conference, Tolerance is Not Enough: Libraries Respond to Hate, which will be held on May 3 in Twinsburg, Ohio. The interactive event will focus on helping library staff assess their own cultural identities and biases and on looking at how these biases impact service.

Cooke's presentation, and the theme of the conference, are based on the column she wrote for Library Journal, which was among its most popular pieces in 2017. In her talk, "Tolerance is Not Enough: Striving Towards a Critical and Proactive LIS Practice," she will discuss the need for library professionals to celebrate—not just...

Apr. 27, 2018
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The University Library has named iSchool affiliated faculty member Timothy W. Cole, head of the Mathematics Library, for the Elaine and Allen Avner Professorship in Interdisciplinary Research. Cole holds this honor as of April 16, 2018, continuing for five years.

The professorship was established with a gift from longtime Library Friend Allen Avner in November 2017. Cole will carry out research in fields connected to the application of information technologies in interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary fields of research.

"Elaine and Allen Avner were pioneers in the application of computer technologies to learning systems," said William Mischo, head of the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center. "I've had several wonderful conversations with Allen over the enhanced role that information and digital library technologies play in the research and instructional mission of the University of Illinois. Tim's work exemplifies the role of the library as a major...

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