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Nov. 8, 2011

The power of the written word is well-known, but the page upon which those words appear can be just as compelling, according to GSLIS Assistant Professor Bonnie Mak.

In her new book, How the Page Matters (University of Toronto Press), Mak explains that how text is presented in a book can tell a bigger story than what is inscribed on each page. The page itself can relate much about a book's relevance to different communities through time. "The page transmits ideas, of course, but more significantly influences meaning by its distinctive embodiment of those ideas,” Mak says. “The page is material witness to the ongoing conversation between designers and readers. As writers, artists, translators, scribes, printers, booksellers, librarians,...

Oct. 25, 2011

GSLIS Associate Professor Terry Weech was re-elected to a second term as chair of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Section on Library Theory and Research. The election took place at the World Library and Information Congress: 77th IFLA General Assembly held in San Juan, Puerto Rico this August.

Weech has served as a member of the Section’s Standing Committee, which functions as an executive committee, since 2007.  He will preside as chair of the Section at the 78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly in Helsinki, Finland. The theme of the 2012 conference is ""Libraries Now! - Inspiring, Surprising, Empowering"

Terry Weech has also been working with Helen Partridge, secretary of the Standing Committee and a professor at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, on an international “Researcher-Librarian mentoring program” which matches LIS...

Oct. 12, 2011

Assistant Professor Kate McDowell is the author of a chapter in The History of Reading, Volume 1: International Perspectives, c. 1500-1990, a newly published book edited by Shafquat Towheed and W.R. Owens. In her chapter, "Understanding Children as Readers: Librarians' Anecdotes and Surveys in the United States, 1890-1930," McDowell examines the history of children's reading through surveys and anecdotes collected from librarians during a time of great interest in childhood, the rise of children’s publishing, and the emergence of mass media.

According to McDowell, "It's fascinating to uncover some of the ways that children have responded to the librarians and teachers guiding their reading. We have histories of books, authors, and even many of the booksellers and critics who created a vibrant world of children's literature in the early...

Sep. 28, 2011

Assistant Professor Kathryn La Barre has been named the GSLIS Centennial Scholar for 2011-2012. The Centennial Scholar award is endowed by alumni and friends of GSLIS and is given in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in the field of library and information science.

When La Barre first began her career at GSLIS, former GSLIS dean Leigh Estabook asked her, "What do you want as your epitaph?” La Barre didn’t hesitate with her answer: "She helps people find what they seek." That desire to help people locate “that obscure object of desire” or that “elusive folktale” is the driving motivation behind La Barre’s current research, which includes two ongoing projects: Folktales and Facets with GSLIS Assistant Professor Carol Tilley, and Films and Facets with a Brazilian scholar, Rosa Inês...

May. 18, 2011

Vetle Torvik and Jana Diesner have been hired as assistant professors at GSLIS.

For the past three years, Torvik has held a visiting appointment at GSLIS, teaching and conducting research in the areas of data/text mining, information processing, bioinformatics, literature-based discovery, and author name disambiguation. His research tends to focus on computational statistics and mathematical optimization “but I am a lot more friendly than my papers, so please stop by and say hi,” Torvik says. One of his recent projects, funded by the National Science Foundation, is to develop a database that links Medline authors and USPTO inventors through identification of individuals who authored both papers and patents, and to study the collaborative networks of these so-called gatekeepers of the science and technology interface.

Prior to coming to GSLIS, Torvik served as research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He...

Nov. 24, 2010

This year GSLIS Professor Dan Schiller has been blogging at The Huffington Post with his colleague Christian Sandvig, a GSLIS affiliated faculty member. Sandvig is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Illinois. Their most recent post, Is Google's Spy-Fi About Privacy, or Something More?, has just been published.

The privacy wagon is back in town, and justifiably irate and alarmed souls are jumping aboard, in protest against Google's spy car as the latest in a seemingly endless stream of high-tech transgressions. Understanding this takes some unpacking.

If you're lucky, you might have encountered a Google spy car -- used to eavesdrop on your Wi-Fi signals. Google uses a variety of makes and models (in some places even bicycles)....

Oct. 8, 2010

Associate Dean and Professor Linda Smith has been awarded the 2010 Award of Merit given annually by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).

The Award of Merit is the Society's highest honor, bestowed annually to an individual who has made a “noteworthy contribution to the field of information science.”

In the award’s full citation, Smith was called “a model for us all” and “an extraordinary leader in our field.” She was nominated, in part, because her career has “exemplified the theory, the practice, and the ethos of access of information in library and information science. Her research has spanned the areas of artificial intelligence, information retrieval, library automation, and education. Her work in reference librarianship has made information more accessible to users everywhere, and she has developed and directed an...