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May. 11, 2009

Every person has a narrative compass--one or more stories that have guided their lifework.

In A Narrative Compass: Stories That Guide Women's Lives (UI Press/April 2009) , editor Betsy Hearne, former director of the Center for Children's Books and professor emerita in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, has collected essays by female scholars from a variety of disciplines to identify and examine the stories that have motivated them and shaped their research.

Telling the "story of her story" leads each of the essayists in the book to insights about her own methods of textual analysis and to a deeper, often surprising, understanding of the connective power of imagination.

As children, the common retort to name-calling on the playground often was "it takes one to know one." Hearne believes that it takes a story to know one. Authentic, enduring engagement with...

Apr. 28, 2009

GSLIS has hired two new faculty members. Associate Professor Cathy Blake and Assistant Professor Miles Efron will join GSLIS for the Fall 2009 semester.

Blake works on information retrieval in the context of health sciences, with a particular emphasis on accelerating scientific discovery by synthesizing evidence from text. She worked most recently as an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she taught courses on information tools, databases, data mining, and text mining.

Blake received her Ph.D. in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine in 2003. In addition, she holds a master's degree in information and computer science, also from Irvine, as well as a master's degree and bachelor's degree in computer science, both from the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Efron's teaching and research focus on information retrieval. He studies the...

Apr. 16, 2009

Associate Professor Michael Twidale has received the 2009 Campus Award for Excellence in Off-Campus Teaching given by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The selection committee called Twidale's course Interfaces to Information Systems "an outstanding learning experience for students and a model for online teaching. The committee was also impressed by the fact that students have been inspired to continue their work with you on campus and to disseminate their work at conferences, and to use what they've learned quickly in professional settings."

The course investigates issues of usability and design surrounding public use of information systems, such as web search engines and bibliographic databases. Twidale has taught this course in the LEEP program, the distance education option at GSLIS, since 1998.

Associate Dean Linda C. Smith, herself a recipient of this award in 2007, said, "Professor Twidale approaches teaching as designing learning experiences...

Mar. 3, 2009

Associate Dean and Professor Linda C. Smith has been elected president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). Her term began on January 22, 2009.

"I am honored to serve as the president of ALISE and look forward to working with the Board and the many other members who serve ALISE to advance the work of the Association," Smith said. "I joined ALISE as a doctoral student in 1977 and ALISE has been significant to me at every stage in my career including as a doctoral student at Syracuse, a beginning faculty member at Illinois, a mentor for doctoral students, an educator concerned with online pedagogy after teaching for twenty years in a classroom, and as an associate dean for academic programs.

"The mission of ALISE is to promote excellence in research, teaching and service for Library and Information Science educators through leadership, collaboration, advocacy and dissemination of research," Smith said. "I feel that it is important...

Jan. 16, 2009

Alistair Black has been hired by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois. Black joins the GSLIS faculty as a professor in January 2009.

Black's scholarly interests include the history of libraries and information, public librarianship, and library buildings and architecture.

"Alistair Black, widely acknowledged as the preeminent British historian of the public library and the information society, has been charting a new field of scholarly endeavor'”the history of information'”that includes and integrates the history of books and libraries but goes beyond them. His work on the early information society in Britain has been groundbreaking in its conceptualization, approach, scope and meticulous scholarship. The appointment of this distinguished scholar to GSLIS will add a great strength in research and teaching to the area of History, Policy and Economics that is one of the major foci of the School's programs," said...

Jan. 1, 2008

Associate Dean and Professor Linda C. Smith has been elected vice-president/president-elect of the Association for Library and Information Science Education. Her term begins January 10, 2008.

Smith said, "I look forward to working with incoming ALISE President Michele Cloonan (PhD '88) and other members of the ALISE Board to find ways to benefit individual members at every stage in their careers, beginning as doctoral students; to benefit ALISE institutional members in a changing higher education context; and to develop means for ALISE members to contribute to discussions of LIS education issues in other organizations and forums."

Smith has been a member of ALISE for thirty years and received the Award for Professional Contribution to LIS Education in 2008 and the Award for Teaching Excellence in 1999. She serves as principal investigator on a number of projects concerning library and information science including:

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