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IN THE NEWS

Aug. 9, 2017
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Alumna and longtime staff member Jill Gengler (MS '99) has been named director of alumni affairs for the iSchool. In her new role, she will manage alumni engagement and programming, collaborating closely with other units in the iSchool and on campus.

Gengler, who began working at the iSchool after earning her MS degree in library and information science, has held positions of increasing responsibility, serving most recently as Help Desk manager. With nearly 20 years of experience in student support roles, she has developed strong connections with iSchool graduates as well as valuable institutional knowledge and administrative skills. She is passionate about the School, its mission, and the community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who contribute to its ongoing success.

"I've always...

Aug. 4, 2017

The iSchool at Illinois is involved in a partnership that has received a research grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for an extension of the Data Capsule service, which enables remote access by the HathiTrust Digital Library to other collections managed by research libraries. The partnership is led by the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University. 
  
As the volume of digital content has expanded exponentially over the past several years, researchers and educators have recognized the potential of big data techniques to analyze, access, and organize digital scholarly collections. The Data Capsule service, which was developed for use in the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), creates virtual computers for users to access a restricted collection. Within HTRC, the Data Capsule service is used for non-consumptive analytics, which allow the computer to analyze the text but doesn’...

Aug. 2, 2017

The iSchool welcomed two new lecturers this summer. Elizabeth Wickes (MS '16) began her position as lecturer on June 16, and John Weible began his position as senior lecturer on July 16. They will contribute to the development and teaching of information technology-related courses for both the MS/LIS and MS/IM programs.

Wickes came to the iSchool from the University Library, where she worked for the past two years as a data curation specialist. Prior to starting her MS/LIS studies, she held positions as project coordinator, data curator, and curation manager with WolframAlpha in Champaign. As an iSchool MS student, Wickes served as a research assistant in the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS). This past year she taught Foundations of Information Processing (IS 452) as an adjunct lecturer. Since 2013, she has served as co-organizer of the Champaign-Urbana Python User Group.

"I am very interested in understanding how programming is...

Jul. 25, 2017
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Thanks to a summer program at the University of Illinois, Melanie Nernberg, an undergraduate student from California, can work with an iSchool faculty member and learn about the graduate school experience. 

The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) brings to campus talented undergraduate students from populations underrepresented in graduate education so they can experience graduate study and research. Students benefit from the opportunity to develop important relationships with faculty and learn from them as well as about the culture and expectations of graduate school. 

"Through this experience, SROP participants gain the insight, validation, and support to apply...

Jul. 13, 2017
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The K-12 LIS licensure program hosted its third annual Summer Getaway: Professional Development for School Librarians from June 12-14 at the School. Over forty Illinois school librarians and iSchool MS students attended this unique professional development opportunity.

Led by school library professionals, each day of the event offered an in-depth session focused on a single, high-demand topic. Participants learned how they can become advocates for their school library programs; address the needs of twenty-first-century learners; and use social media for branding, digital outreach, and instruction.

During the conference, Associate Professor Kate McDowell, Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke, and Graduate Studies Advisor Karla Lucht facilitated closing sessions based on their research areas. Two closing session recordings are available...

Jun. 27, 2017
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Last month five iSchool students traveled to Moscow with their instructor, Ellen Knutson (MS '02, PhD '08), to learn about community engagement in Russian libraries and to experience Russian culture. They completed the trip as part of the Community Engagement course (IS 418), which explores the multiple ways that information professionals in libraries and other settings learn about, collaborate with, and provide service and outreach to community members.

Jun. 13, 2017

The iSchool at Illinois seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2017.

Given annually, the award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. Granted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or a long-term interest in and dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom.

The Downs Award was established in 1969 by the iSchool's faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on the occasion of his twenty-fifth anniversary as director of the School.

Previous winners have included Wendy Campbell (2016) for her work in increasing cultural...

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