The 2020 Illinois Library Association (ILA) award recipients include two iSchool alumni, Sara Benson (MS '17), adjunct assistant professor at the iSchool and copyright librarian at the University Library, and Roberta Koscielski (MS '82), deputy director of the Peoria (IL) Public Library.
"Crisis informatics," a term coined by iSchool alumna Chris Hagar (PhD '05) and Leysia Palen, professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is now a well-established area of study. Crisis informatics explores the interconnectedness of information, people, and technologies in crises and examines the intersecting trajectories of social, technical, and information dynamics during the full life cycle of a crisis. While Hagar first used the term in her PhD dissertation, which focused on the UK's foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in 2001, there are many similar information challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner's Social Computing Lab will present a tutorial, paper, and posters at the 6th Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), which will be held virtually from July 17-20. The conference brings together academic researchers, industry experts, open data activists, and government agency workers to explore challenges, methods, and research questions in the field of computational social science.
MS students Katherine Howell and Randi Proescholdt and recent graduate Patty Templeton (MS '20) are spending this summer as Library of Congress Junior Fellows. This competitive internship program, which is being held remotely for the first time, provides students with the opportunity to explore digital initiatives and increase access to the institution’s collections while working under the direction of library curators and specialists in various divisions.
Adjunct Lecturer Melissa Wong and Laura Saunders, associate professor of library and information science at Simmons University, have co-edited a new book, Reference and Information Services, 6th edition, which was recently published by ABC-CLIO. The first half of the book establishes a foundation of knowledge on reference service and frames each topic with ethical and social justice perspectives, while the second half introduces tools and resources used by reference professionals.
Three iSchool alumni and a current student are included in Library Journal's 2020 class of Movers & Shakers, an annual list that recognizes fifty professionals who are transforming what it means to be a librarian. Thomas Padilla (MS '13) and Nicholas Weber (MS '10, PhD '15) were honored in the Digital Developers category; Haley Samuelson (MS '08) was honored in the Educators category; and MS/LIS student Edward Kristan was honored in the Community Builders category.
iSchool-affiliated partners on this project include Lisa Bievenue, director of informatics programs for Illinois Informatics Institute (campus leadership team member and campus/community distributed fabrication lead); Jeff Ginger (PhD '15), iSchool adjunct lecturer and Illinois Informatics Institute program coordinator for campus and community outreach (project design team member; design lead and fabrication contributor/coordinator); Amanda Elzbieciak (MS '17), CUC Fab Lab information manager (PPE fabrication); and Kristin Walters, MS/LIS student and CUC Fab Lab communications team member (social media assistance). More information is available on the CUC Fab Lab: Covid-19 Response web page, including videos about the fabrication process for face shields and the face shield build.
When Sarah Okner (MS '09) and her colleagues at Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois, learned that the library would be closing to the public because of COVID-19, they started making plans to connect virtually with community members.
The Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) of the American Library Association has chosen Melissa Bowles-Terry (MS '09), associate director of the Faculty Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as the 2020 recipient of the LIRT Librarian Recognition Award. The Librarian Recognition Award was created to recognize an individual's contribution to the development, advancement and support of information literacy and instruction.
During this period of increased remote work due to COVID-19, Juliana Perry (MS '09) is using skills that she learned from taking and supporting online classes as a Leep graduate assistant while earning her MS/LIS degree from the iSchool. Perry works as an enterprise project manager for the University of the Sciences (USciences) in Philadelphia.
Most universities around the country have ended classroom instruction, told students to go home, and asked professors to continue teaching their courses online, to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Melissa Wong, an adjunct lecturer at the iSchool, has been teaching online since 2001. Her online courses include e-learning and instructional strategies and techniques. She recently gave two webinars about moving courses online.
John Gough (MS '14) works for the University of Texas at Austin in the University Development Office (UDO). UDO is the fundraising arm of the university and oversees philanthropic giving from alumni, friends, foundations, and corporations totaling several hundred million dollars every year. As the senior executive director for advancement data operations and strategy, he oversees over twenty individuals across three teams responsible for gift and data processing, data quality, business intelligence, and predictive analytics.
The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is seeking nominations for three distinguished awards. The awards are given annually at the iSchool alumni reception held at the American Library Association conference. The deadline for nomination is April 1, 2020.
As baseball teams gear up for spring training this month, Jack Bales (MS '74) will begin another season of following—and researching—the Chicago Cubs, a team whose history he knows well. Bales, a reference and humanities librarian, combined his expert research skills and interest in the Cubs to author a book on the team's early history. His book, Before They Were Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago's First Professional Team, was published last spring by McFarland & Company.
In the very back of the American Writers Museum there is a corner where two walls meet, each filled from top to bottom with words, seemingly random. The light is low, and people gather as a projector illuminates these words to highlight quotes from famous authors and create shapes such as rolling waves and the distinct torch of the Statue of Liberty. Every eight minutes it refreshes itself and is mesmerizing to watch. It creates meaning out of disorder, ever-changing both in perspective and content.
Donna Bessant (MS '70) wants today's library and information science students to succeed in their chosen profession and experience the "joyful rewards" of working with young people, as she did during her career. To lend them a hand, she has directed a portion of her estate to establish scholarships for iSchool students in need. The scholarships will support everyday expenses and advance the short- and long-term goals for students who plan to work with children and young adult services in libraries.
Gregory Knott (MS '17), an administrator for nearly two decades at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a graduate of two U of I System universities, has been appointed secretary of the Board of Trustees and the University, President Tim Killeen announced.
Three iSchool alumni have been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) to participate in its 2020 class of Emerging Leaders.
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Boden (MS '18), Teresa Moreno (MS '19), and Jodi Silverman (MS '16) are included in this year's class of fifty individuals from across the country. This leadership development initiative provides opportunities for newer library professionals to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, observe ALA structure, and serve the profession in a leadership capacity.