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IN THE NEWS

Aug. 8, 2017
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A project led by iSchool Professor Les Gasser, "Simulating Social Systems at Scale (SSS)," has laid the groundwork for a prestigious award to a student researcher. Santiago Núñez-Corrales, an Informatics PhD student directed by Gasser, was recently chosen from among several hundred applicants to receive an ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowship, worth $15,000 per year for at least three years. 

Gasser's SSS project, which earned a 2016-2017 Faculty Fellowship from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), demonstrates new approaches to building very large computer models of social phenomena such as social change, the emergence of organizations, and the evolution of language and information. The project also explores new ways of connecting "live" social data to running simulations and new ways of visualizing social processes.

Núñez-Corrales is working on multidisciplinary problems in the project with three elements: (1)...

Jul. 26, 2017

Three iSchool master's students have been selected by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Committee on Diversity and Leadership to participate in the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) as ARL diversity scholars.

Underwritten by ARL member libraries, the IRDW offers numerous financial benefits to program participants as well as leadership development provided through the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium, a formal mentoring program, career placement assistance, and an ARL research library visit. This program reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library professional community that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis on global perspectives in the academy.

The 2017–2019 ARL diversity scholars are: 

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. 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...

Jul. 6, 2017

Doctoral candidates Emily Lawrence and Andrea Thomer have been awarded Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships by Beta Phi Mu, the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society. Up to six recipients are selected for this prestigious award each year, a national competition among doctoral students who are working on their dissertations. The amount awarded for each fellowship is $3,000.

Lawrence received a BA in comparative literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to beginning the doctoral program at Illinois, Lawrence worked in reference and web services at the National Library of Medicine. Their primary research interests include political philosophy in LIS, readers and reading, and aesthetics (especially taste and recommendation). The title of their dissertation is "Reading for Democratic Citizenship: A New Model for Readers’ Advisory."

Thomer conducts research in...

Jul. 5, 2017
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Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, has received two grants from the American Library Association (ALA) for her diversity research. The grants, worth $7,500, include the Carnegie Whitney Award and the ALA Diversity Research Grant. 

She received the Carnegie Whitney Award for her project, "The Interracial Books for Children Bulletin: A Bibliography of Diverse Books." The purpose of the project is to compile a bibliography of the books and media reviewed by the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin. 

"With the goal of addressing LIS practitioners and scholars, children's literature scholars, authors, illustrators, publishers, and multicultural literature aficionados, this resource will be used as a teaching and research tool in classrooms and will aid collection development librarians in diversifying their collections," said Cooke.

Cooke and Miriam E. Sweeney (PhD '13), assistant professor in the School of Library and...

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