The iSchool promotes the intellectual enrichment of students, faculty, and staff in a number of ways. Our guest lectures bring original thinkers to campus to showcase their research, promote scholarship, and address policy implications. The majority of these lectures are named in honor of influential leaders in the field of information science, furthering their contributions and keeping alive their legacies of excellence. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Gryphon Lecture

The Gryphon Lecture series is hosted every spring semester by The Center for Children's Books and features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture. A reception to discuss issues raised, network across departments, and meet with the speaker follows each lecture. Illinois educators are eligible to receive CPDU recognition for participation.

  • Brigitte Fielder, "Picturing Young, Gifted, and Black: Phillis Wheatley’s Image and the Creative Black Child" (2022)
  • M. O. Grenby, "Going Global: Transnational Networks and the Spread of Early Modern Children’s Books" (2021)
  • Sarah Park Dahlen, "(Re)Presenting Korea: The Carpenters and the White American Imaginary" (2020
  • Pamela Wisniewski, "Taking a Teen-Centric Approach to Adolescent Online Safety" (2019)
  • Marianne Martens, "The Forever Fandom of Harry Potter: Fan Fiction, Festivals, and Charitable Works" (2018)
  • Kafi D. Kumasi, "Check the Rhyme: Harnessing Hip Hop’s Enduring Literacies with Teens through Libraries" (2017)
  • Denise Agosto, "The True Story of Teens, Social Media, and Libraries: Using Teen-Centered Research to Break Down Pervasive Stereotypes" (2016)
  • Rebekah Willett, "Research on Children, Youth and Media: Applications for LIS Education and Practice" (2015)
  • Michelle H. Martin, "Augusta Baker and the Art of Storytelling: Gateway to Children's Literacy and Literature" (2014)
  • Brian Sturm, "Paradoxically Speaking: Just One of the Ways Children's Folktales Engage Listeners" (2013)

Otlet Lecture

This biannual lecture series honors the career of Paul Otlet (1868-1944), a Belgian lawyer, bibliographer, internationalist, and pacifist who spent his life in building experimental “knowledge” institutions that he hoped might facilitate global access to information in a range of new formats. The Otlet Lecture brings to the iSchool select lecturers who are leaders in the field of library and information science to discuss the historical context and the present and future impacts of cutting-edge developments in the general field of information science and the information society. The lecture series is endowed jointly by Emeritus Professor W. Boyd Rayward and Eugene Garfield.

  • Matthew Battles, "Data and Deep Time: Addressability in a Dappled World" (2017)
  • Paul Duguid, "When Was the Age of Information?" (2014)

Taylor Willingham Lecture in Change Management

The Willingham Lecture was established by a gift to the School from Susan Kumar (MS ’05) and her husband, Parameswaran Kumar. The lecture honors their friend and former adjunct lecturer Taylor Willingham (1957-2011), who inspired students and faculty alike through her innovative teaching and civic commitment. Willingham spent a decade as an adjunct lecturer and regularly taught online courses on change management, community engagement, and civic entrepreneurship and public institutions—topics that were very important in her professional life. She worked closely with the National Issues Forum and served as director of the National Issues Forums Institute. Willingham led Texas Forums, an initiative of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library with the goal of engaging Texas residents in discussion about current issues. In 2007-2008 she was named a faculty fellow in the University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

  • Betty Sue Flowers, “Archetypes, Visions, and Stories: Managing Change through Dialogue” (2016)

Phineas L. Windsor Lecture

The Windsor Lecture honors the career of Dr. Phineas L. Windsor, who served as director of the University of Illinois Library and the Library School from 1909 to 1940. The initial lecture was presented in 1949 by John T. Winterich and titled, "Three Lantern Slides: Books, The Book Trade, and Some Related Phenomena in America, 1876, 1901 and 1926." Gifts from alumni and friends established the Windsor Lecture fund when Dr. Windsor retired. Marian (BA Science and Letters '50) and Arnold (BS Architectural Studies '50) Thompson continue to generously support the ongoing lecture series. Marian is a Windsor granddaughter.

  • Carla Hayden, "Engaging Library Users in a Pandemic and Post Pandemic World" (2022)
  • William H. Dutton, "Information Power Shifts and the Fifth Estate" (2016)
  • Jack Bernard, "Yes, Virginia, You Can Digitize Millions of Books: Copyright, HathiTrust, and the Legacy of Libraries" (2015)
  • Barbara Stripling, "Inquiry in the Digital Age" (2013)
  • Clifford Lynch, "Memory Organizations and Evidence to Support Scholarship in the 21st Century" (2012)
  • Meg Bellinger, "Shifting Organizational Boundaries for a Sustainable Digital Ecosystem at Yale" (2011)