Students in the second-grade classroom at Villa Grove CUSD #302 are enjoying 80 new culturally diverse books, thanks to the fundraising efforts of their teacher. For Kelly Vail, an iSchool MS/LIS online student, the best part of her teaching job is reading with her students, encouraging the discovery of "books that help them fall in love with reading."
Saundra Nettles (MS '68) credits the iSchool with teaching her skills, such as systems thinking and interdisciplinary teamwork, that she has been able to transfer across work settings in diverse organizations. Nettles, who also holds a PhD in psychology from Howard University, has served as a special recruit at the Library of Congress, librarian at the Moorland-Spingarn Center at Howard University, principal research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Social Organization of Schools, and faculty member at the University of Maryland, Georgia Southern University, and University of Illinois.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Ellen Knutson (MS '02, PhD '08) and Quanetta Batts, director of outreach and engagement at The Ohio State University Libraries, have coauthored a chapter in the new book, Ask, Listen, Empower: Grounding Your Library Work in Community Engagement (ALA Editions, 2020). Edited by Mary Davis Fournier and Sarah Ostman, the book features contributions by leaders active in library-led community engagement and serves as both an educational resource for LIS students and a "go-to handbook" for current programming, adult services, and outreach library staff.
In response to the World Health Organization's (WHO) need for timely, accurate, and searchable material about COVID-19, Elaine R. Hicks—research, education, and public health librarian at Tulane University in New Orleans—pulled together an ad hoc organization she named the Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC). Among those who answered her call for volunteers were Stacy Brody, reference and instruction librarian at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD; and Sara Loree, medical librarian at St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, ID, both of whom soon stepped up to serve as the project's co-leads.
Pujeethaa Jakka (MS ’19), data scientist at Pattern Computer Inc., credits the iSchool’s courses in applied business research, data visualization, and data mining with playing a crucial role in helping her achieve her professional goals.
Sarah Park Dahlen (MS '09, PhD '09), iSchool research fellow and associate professor in the Master of Library and Information Science Program at St. Catherine University, will deliver the 2020 Gryphon Lecture on November 12. Sponsored annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB), the lecture features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture.
Janice M. Del Negro (PhD '07) has been named an Illinois Library Luminary by the Illinois Library Association (ILA). This distinction honors individuals whose efforts have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries.
Sanket Sinha (MS '18) uses the technical, interpersonal, and analytical skills he developed at the iSchool in his work as a senior data scientist at The Kraft Heinz Company. For Sinha, the combination of coursework and experiential learning opportunities make the MS/IM program "truly transformative and rewarding."
By the time that Nancy Balz (BA LAS '70, MS/LIS '72) decided to become a public librarian, over twenty years had passed since she had received her LIS degree. She had worked in an archive, academic setting, and bookstore, serving as a word researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary and as a researcher for book authors. While she was interested in working in a public library, she wondered if she was up to the task, with so much time having passed since earning her degree, along with the increasingly online nature of library work.
The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 ISAA awards: Safiya Noble (MS '09, PhD '12), Distinguished Alumna Award; Thomas Padilla (MS '14), Leadership Award; and Meg Edwards (MS '04), Distinguished Service Award.
Sherry Williams (MS '19) has a personal connection to her work as president and founder of the Bronzeville Historical Society. The Bronzeville neighborhood, located on Chicago’s South Side, was known as the "Black Metropolis" during its heyday in the early twentieth century. The Great Migration brought many African Americans to Bronzeville, including Williams’ grandmother, who moved to the area from the Delta of Mississippi in 1942.
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.