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IN THE NEWS

Apr. 27, 2017
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With a passion for making books accessible to anyone at any age, Justin Williams made it his mission to seek a career in a library that would allow him to connect with others and make an impact in their lives through the use of stories and information. Williams is set to graduate this May and has a job lined up at as a teen librarian for the White Oak Library District in Lockport, Illinois.

Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?

I wanted to pursue a master's in library and information science because I've always found my home in books. They've taken me places I could never go without them, and I feel that my reading habits over my lifetime have made me a better person. I've found my passion in reading, and some of the ideas that authors have given me have helped shape my thinking...

Apr. 26, 2017
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Master's student Ritse Adefolalu has received the Marilyn Kay Maynard Scholarship awarded by the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA). The scholarship is designed to encourage students who wish to gain licensure to work in Illinois as a school librarian, with three scholarships awarded each year.

Adefolalu received his bachelor's degree in English and a minor in music at Harvard University. He came to the iSchool after his interest in community service led him to consider a career in K-12 librarianship. 

"I see the holistic enrichment of children and adolescents as one of the most important and effective ways of improving a community, and I believe the unique position libraries occupy at the intersection of the...

Apr. 25, 2017

Doctoral candidate Jinseok Kim successfully defended his dissertation, "The impact of author name disambiguation on knowledge discovery from large-scale scholarly data," on April 24. 

His committee included Assistant Professor Jana Diesner (chair), Associate Professor Catherine Blake, Assistant Professor Vetle Torvik, Michelle Shumate (associate professor of communication studies, Northwestern University), and Seok-Hyoung Lee (senior researcher, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information).

From the abstract: In this study, I demonstrate that the choice of data pre-processing methods for resolving author name ambiguity can adversely affect our understanding of scholarly collaboration patterns and coauthorship network structure extracted from bibliometric data . . . A common challenge has been that author names in bibliometric data are not properly disambiguated: authors may share the same name (i.e., different authors are sometimes misrepresented to be a...

Apr. 25, 2017
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Master's student Kortney Rupp has been selected by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) as recipient of the 2017 Marion E. Sparks Award. This award provides funding to attend the 2017 SLA Annual Conference, which will be held June 16-20 in Phoenix, Arizona. This annual conference allows participants to develop essential skills, network with colleagues, and explore noteworthy trends in knowledge and information management.

"Attending national meetings for professional organizations is the best way to meet your colleagues and learn about current challenges facing the field," said Rupp. "I am excited to receive this award in honor of...

Apr. 24, 2017

Doctoral candidate Claudia Serbanuta successfully defended her dissertation, "Voices from the Other Side of the Wall: The Case of Romanian Libraries of the 1970s and the 1980s," on April 24.

Her committee included Associate Professor Kathryn La Barre (chair and research director), Professor Alistair Black, Professor Emeritus Chip Bruce, and Keith Hitchins (professor of history, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

From the abstract: In the second half of the 20th century, the Communist regime in Romania developed a centralized, national system of public libraries. The system had a clear purpose: to act as one of the regime’s propaganda tools. This study provides insight into the history of librarianship and of the public library system in communist Romania.

This is an oral history research project, in which I collected and analyzed interviews with people who worked in public libraries in the 1970s and 1980s. Their memories of the professional...

Apr. 24, 2017
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Master's student Saajan Dehury was part of the winning team at Campus 1871, a startup pitch competition held on March 31-April 2 at 1871, Chicago's Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship. 

The objective of the competition was to design a potential startup company and create a viable business model that would solve a meaningful problem, all within one weekend. Teams, limited to ten members, were composed of students from various backgrounds and universities. Members accepted different responsibilities for their startup, including design, business model, revenue model, marketing, and user experience/interface.

Dehury's team decided to pitch a startup to tackle the problem of asthma and design a technology to improve inhalers. Dehury worked on the revenue model for the company, although his background is not in business. 

"Thirteen percent of the U.S. population...

Apr. 20, 2017

Professor Alistair Black and doctoral candidate Henry Gabb have been honored by the American Library Association's Library Research Round Table (LRRT) with the 2017 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research. The annual award recognizes research that employs exemplary research design and methods in the planning or initial stage of use.

Black and Gabb's research repeated a 1916 survey of American corporate libraries with a selection of today's corporate librarians to assess operations and perceived value, following nearly a century of change. Their findings, presented in "The Value Proposition of the Corporate Library, Past and Present" and published in Information & Culture: A Journal of History (2016, vol. 51, no. 2), underscored the enduring value of the corporate library.

From the abstract: Corporate libraries of the kind we would recognize today began to appear around the turn of the twentieth century. They were a response to a rapidly...

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