Benson wins campus award for copyright efforts

Sara Benson
Sara Benson, Affiliate Associate Professor

Sara Benson (MSLIS '17), affiliate associate professor at the iSchool, has been recognized with the Campus Excellence in Public Engagement Faculty & Staff - Emerging Award for her wide-ranging work in helping people understand the intricacies of copyright.

Benson serves as the University Library's copyright librarian, but her efforts extend far beyond campus and its academic personnel. She has appeared before the U.S. Copyright Office, advised Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, worked on international copyright matters, reached thousands with her Copyright Chat podcast and YouTube channel, and advocated for and protected librarians across the nation through her invitation-only role as a member of the American Library Association Policy Corps.

As both a librarian and a lawyer, Benson is particularly suited to grapple with how to use copyrighted materials and, in turn, how to protect items individuals may create. Her expertise was especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, when educators transferred their instructional materials to an online setting.

Benson has also delved into open educational resources, helping to reduce the costs of textbooks for college students; instigated the annual Fair Use Gameshow to teach people about copyright; and boosted the University of Illinois’ reputation as a leader in copyright education.

The recipient of the Library's Outstanding Public Engagement Award in 2022, Benson was honored for her most recent recognition at a May 30 campus reception. She also received a commemorative plaque and a $2,000 honorarium for personal use.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Tilley featured in comic book

Associate Professor Carol Tilley had an unexpected citation in her favorite medium—comic books! Dav Pilkey, author and illustrator of a number of bestselling and award-winning children’s books, including the popular Captain Underpants series, depicts Tilley's research on psychiatrist Fredric Wertham in his newest comic, Cat Kid Comic Club Influencers.

Dav Pilkey's comic depicting Carol Tilley

iSchool researchers present at 4S 2023

iSchool faculty, staff, and students presented their research at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) annual conference, which was held from November 8-11 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The society is an international, nonprofit association that fosters interdisciplinary scholarship in social studies of science, technology, and medicine. 

Smalheiser named ACMI Fellow

Affiliate Professor Neil Smalheiser, professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois Chicago, is one of twenty-three new Fellows inducted into the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI). New Fellows are elected annually to the College by the 473-member body of Fellows.

Neil R Smalheiser

Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Abigail Deweese

Seventeen iSchool master's students have been named 2023-2024 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School's scholars. MSLIS student Abigail Deweese earned her bachelor's degree in global studies with a concentration in peace and conflict from Principia College.

Abigail Deweese

iSchool researchers to present at Charleston Conference

iSchool faculty, staff, and students will participate in the 2023 Charleston Conference, which will be held November 6-10 in Charleston, South Carolina. The conference is an annual gathering that draws librarians, publishers, vendors, and others to discuss issues relating to the acquisition of books and serials.