Smith honored with Library Trends festschrift

Linda Smith festschrift
Linda Smith gives remarks after being presented with her festschrift at the American Writers Museum in Chicago.

In honor of Professor Emerita Linda C. Smith's contributions to the field of library and information science (LIS), Anita S. Coleman and Martha Kyrillidou have coedited "Library and Information Science, Interdisciplinary Perspectives: A Festschrift in Honor of Linda C. Smith," which comprises Volume 71, Issue 1, of Library Trends. The journal is published quarterly by Johns Hopkins University Press and is available by subscription both in print and online in Project MUSE.

The festschrift discusses Smith's boundary-pushing accomplishments as a researcher, teacher, and administrator for more than four decades. Former doctoral advisees Coleman (PhD '96) and Kyrillidou (PhD '09) acknowledge Smith's influence on their professional success and the "countless ways she has contributed to the discipline of LIS and helped to structure its evolution and growth as a field of knowledge and practice."

The authors of the festschrift are leading educators, practitioners, and researchers, including Smith's former doctoral students, current and past colleagues in the iSchool at Illinois, and external collaborators. Essays investigate three themes—library systems, intelligent and interdisciplinary services, and information sciences education—that have been central to Smith's work. Topics covered include LIS education and accreditation; the teaching of reference and bibliographic searching in light of new information technologies; recent copyright law and serials modeling; data stewardship for interdisciplinary inquiry; and applications of machine learning in libraries.

"Linda's festschrift reveals her as a humanist, scientist, technologist, and role model, the Renaissance Scholar of LIS," said Coleman and Kyrillidou. "Her reliable and supportive manner helped colleagues, faculty, and students accomplish their goals. Linda has been an amazing mentor to us, personally, and to the many doctoral students and colleagues we had opportunities to hear from thanks to this festschrift." 

Smith's career has spanned a time of great change. The festschrift's essays will help students and experts to better understand the ever-evolving information sciences, challenges of computing to traditional environments, and the possibilities that will benefit from more study.

Smith observes, "Throughout my career in LIS education I have had the privilege of working with and learning from countless students and colleagues at Illinois and beyond.  The festschrift offers those who contributed an opportunity to share their scholarship and insights with the readers of Library Trends.  I am especially grateful to Anita and Martha for their role in shaping this issue as coeditors."

Smith is the recipient of numerous honors, beginning with the ASIS Student Member Paper Award in 1974 for her research paper on searching in interdisciplinary areas; ALISE awards for teaching, service, and contributions to LIS education; the ASIS&T Award of Merit as well as Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award; the Beta Phi Mu Award; and Illinois Library Luminary. She is a longtime fellow of AAAS, elected in 1993. She has authored books, journal articles, chapters, reports, and conference papers in every subdiscipline of LIS, including the use of artificial intelligence for information retrieval (her dissertation), and she has served as coeditor for five editions of Reference and Information Services: An Introduction (Libraries Unlimited). Smith's exemplary service includes serving as president of ASIS&T, ALISE, Beta Phi Mu, and chair of the ALA Committee on Accreditation.

Smith holds a PhD in information transfer from Syracuse University, MS in information and computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology, MS in library science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and BS in physics and mathematics from Allegheny College. Smith joined the faculty of the School of Information Sciences, the iSchool at Illinois, in 1977. She has been routinely named to the University's List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent throughout her tenure and was named a University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar in 1999. Following her retirement in 2019, she returned as interim executive associate dean, a position she currently holds.

For more than 70 years, Library Trends has explored critical trends in professional librarianship through practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The vision for the festschrift was developed by coeditors-in-chief Clara M. Chu, UIUC, and Jaya Raju, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

A Library Trends webinar featuring a discussion with the authors of the festschrift is planned for Thursday, September 28, at 12:00 p.m. Central Time. More information will be provided on the webinar web page.