iSchool participates in U.S.-Russia Dialogue

Russian and American Dialogue participants
Russian and American Dialogue participants

Last month a contingent from the iSchool at Illinois took part in a special dialogue with librarians in Russia. The second working meeting of the U.S.-Russia Dialogue on the Civic Role of Libraries in the 21st Century, which was held on May 14-15 in Suzdal, Russia, included Adjunct Assistant Professor Ellen Knutson, who also served as a Dialogue secretary and coordinator of the U.S. delegation; Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke; Graduate Studies Advisor Karla Lucht; and master's student Kelsey Pietens.

More than twenty people took part in the Dialogue, including leading Russian and American specialists from different types of libraries, university iSchool programs, and Russian and American library associations. Participants, representing seven regions of the Russian Federation and five U.S. states, discussed what competencies library specialists need to fulfill the mission of a community-focused library. According to the meeting report, participants brainstormed plans for joint actions, discussed a number of concrete proposals, and outlined potential topics for future meetings of librarians of the U.S. and Russia. Knutson will be presenting on the Dialogue during the Global Solutions Poster Session at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Knutson & students with library cards in Russia
Knutson, King, and Pietens show off their Russian library cards

Following the Dialogue, Knutson and Pietens were joined by master's student Adrian King for a week-long exploration of Russian culture and visits to Russian libraries, which was an extension of Knutson's Community Engagement course (IS 418).

"The week ended with a tour and various meetings with librarians at the Russian State Library for Foreign Literature," said Knutson. "There we all received library cards and learned about the various programs in the cultural centers at the library, and students presented their research."

According to King, for whom this was his first international trip, "The tours of the Russian State Library, Library for Foreign Literature, and even the Leo Tolstoy estate and Nikolai Gogol Memorial Library and Museum were informative and motivating. We had good discussions with our colleagues (now friends) about how contemporary library practices impact community, and vice versa." He continued, "This professional international visit is valuable for any LIS student, but especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds or with limited foreign travel experience." 

Research Areas:
Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Cordell to deliver keynote on Viral Texts project

Associate Professor Ryan Cordell will deliver the keynote address at the Marbach-Weimar-Wolfenbüttel (MWW) Research Association Mid-Term Conference, which will be held virtually from Germany on October 14-15. The goal of the MWW is "to provide future-oriented impulses for collaboration in the field of humanities and cultural studies research." The association's mid-term conference will focus on engagement with material and medial losses in the archive and library.

Ryan Cordell

New journal article examines vaccination misinformation on social media

Research conducted by Assistant Professor Jessie Chin's Adaptive Cognition and Interaction Design Lab (ACTION) provided the foundation for an article recently published in the high-impact Journal of Medical Internet Research. PhD student Tre Tomaszewski is the first author on the peer-reviewed article, "Identifying False Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Information and Corresponding Risk Perceptions from Twitter: Advanced Predictive Models."

Tre Tomaszewski

Franks named 2021 ALA Century Scholar

MS/LIS student Mary Franks has been named the 2021 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Century Scholarship. The scholarship supports students with disabilities, providing funds for services or accommodations that will enable them to successfully complete their MS or PhD in an ALA-accredited library and information science program.

Mary Franks

Scavenger hunt builds community

iSchool students learned more about campus and each other at the second annual iSchool Scavenger Hunt. The event, which was held September 3-10, was open to on-campus students in all programs. Students who opted to participate were placed in small groups of peers in the same degree program. Students were given a list of ten campus locations to find, such as the Alma Mater, Morrow Plots, and Main Library. In addition to checking a point of interest off their lists, the students would take a group selfie at the spot.

Alma Mater Group at the iSchool scavenger hunt