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news & notes: summer 2017

Celebrating Linda C. Smith's 40 years at Illinois

This year marks Linda Smith's 40th year at the University of Illinois. Linda has devoted her career to the LIS program at Illinois, and in the process has mentored, taught, and cared for hundreds of students, staff, and faculty members. Our top-ranked program would not be the same without her wisdom and dedication.

Please join us in honoring Linda on this momentous occasion by sharing your memories using this formMemories will be compiled and presented to her in Fall 2017.

If you have photographs or other memorabilia that you'd like to share, or if you would like to submit a handwritten memory, please contact MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke for a mailing address.

ISAA honors 2017 award recipients

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA), formerly the Library School Alumni Association (LSAA), has announced the 2017 recipients of its annual awards. The recipients were recognized on June 25 at the ISAA Annual Meeting and reception held at the annual meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in Chicago. Recipients include Beth Woodard (MS ’79, Distinguished Alumnus Award), Martin Wolske (Distinguished Service Award), Trevor Muñoz (MS ’11, Leadership Award), and Kyle Huizenga (MS ’17, Student Award). Read more about the award recipients.

Ruan named ILA Academic Librarian of the Year

Lian Ruan (MS '90, PhD '11) is the 2017 recipient of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award. The award recognizes an Illinois librarian who is making an outstanding statewide contribution to academic or research librarianship and to library development. The award is sponsored by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. Read more.

Nominations invited for annual Downs Intellectual Freedom Award

The iSchool at Illinois seeks nominations for the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2017. Given annually, the award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas. The Downs Award was established in 1969 by the iSchool's faculty to honor Dean Emeritus Robert B. Downs, a champion of intellectual freedom, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as director of the School.

Handshake @ Illinois replaces I-Link job board

As of July 1, the University of Illinois will no longer be using I-Link to post job opportunities for students and alumni. We are excited to announce our partnership with Handshake and invite alumni to join us by following these directions for alumni. If you haven’t been using our system, you’ve missed great jobs at organizations including: Yale University, The Field Museum, Texas A&M, University of Washington, Harvard Business School, and Allis Information Management.

Recent graduates—Stay connected!

Congratulations to our recent graduates! As you start your new career and enter the next phase of your life, remember to stay in touch with us. The iSchool offers many ways to stay connected with former classmates as well as to keep up with School news and trends in the field. Find out how you can stay connected on the New Graduates page.

student life
iSchool students discover community engagement in Russia

In May, five iSchool students traveled to Moscow with their instructor, Ellen Knutson (MS '02, PhD '08). They completed the trip as part of the Community Engagement course (IS 418), which explores the multiple ways that information professionals in libraries and other settings learn about, collaborate with, and provide service and outreach to community members. Read more.

Student Profile: MS/LIS student Vivian Alvarez

MS student Vivian Alvarez works with tweens and teens at the Rudy Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library, which is located in the Mexican-American community of Pilsen. A tabletop gaming enthusiast, Alvarez started a tabletop gaming program for students at the Lozano Branch. A paper she wrote on the subject, "Engaging Students in the Library through Tabletop Gaming," was featured in the March-April issue of Knowledge Quest, the journal of the American Association of School Librarians. Read more.

Copeland receives SAA Pinkett Award

Master's student NaVosha Copeland is a 2017 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes minority graduate students of African, Asian, Latino, or Native American descent who, through scholastic achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA. Read more.

PhD student Willis receives NIH funding for expansion models research

Doctoral student Craig Willis has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with the biomedical and healthCAre Data Discovery Index Ecosystem (bioCADDIE)/DataMED team on a pilot project this summer. The award is based on his participation in the 2016 bioCADDIE Dataset Retrieval Challenge, which had the objective of creating innovative ways for biomedical researchers to search and discover biomedical research data. Read more.

iSchool is lead recipient of 2017-2018 ALA Spectrum Scholars

Ten master’s students have been named 2017-2018 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program promotes diversity among graduate-level students pursuing degrees in library and information studies through ALA-accredited programs. This year, the program received three times as many applications as there were available scholarships. Read more.

MS student McCarthy enhances campus accessibility through new web app

A new web app called "Access Illinois" created by MS student Mark McCarthy with team members Matt Arensdorf (undergraduate student, computer science) and Emily Chen (PhD student, computational linguistics) earned first place in HackCulture, a humanities-focused hackathon held at the University Library. Read more.

around the School
K-12 program hosts third annual Summer Getaway

The K-12 LIS licensure program hosted its third annual Summer Getaway: Professional Development for School Librarians from June 12-14 at the iSchool. Participants learned how they can become advocates for their school library programs; address the needs of twenty-first-century learners; and use social media for branding, digital outreach, and instruction. Read more.

PhD student recruitment event at ALA Annual

Moises Orozco Villicana, director of enrollment management; Jana Diesner, assistant professor and PhD program director; and Lettycia Terrones, incoming PhD student, talked with prospective students during the "Leaders Wanted: Building diversity in LIS leadership" event at the ALA Annual Conference. The School has been involved in this event, which seeks to increase the diversity in LIS leadership and research through doctoral programs, since its inception in 2007.

iSchool partners with BIT on data-driven scholarship workshop

The iSchool co-organized a workshop on digital scholarship with Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) Library on June 14-16 in Beijing, China. The workshop, Digital Scholarship Centers: Building Library Services for Data-Driven Scholarship, instructed participants in library service models for digital scholarship and discussed concepts in digital humanities and computational social science. Read more.

faculty news
Knox edits book on trigger warnings

Assistant Professor Emily Knox takes a comprehensive look at trigger warnings in her edited book, Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context, which was recently published by Rowman & Littlefield. The book provides the historical context and theory behind trigger warnings as well as case studies from instructors and students describing when trigger warnings were and were not used. Read more.

Tilley gives keynote addresses on comics

Carol Tilley served as a keynote speaker for the NASIG 32nd Annual Conference, which was held June 8-11 in Indianapolis. She also gave the keynote address for Monstrous Women in Comics: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Comics and Graphic Novels, which took place May 25-27 at the University of North Texas. Read more.

Downie among eight faculty selected for NCSA Fellowships

J. Stephen Downie, professor and associate dean for research, has been named a National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Faculty Fellowship awardee for the 2017-18 academic year. Faculty Fellows work with NCSA on specific projects aimed to help solve grand challenges facing all people, such as deep learning, the internet of things, and data analysis. Read more.


Cooke and Knox discuss their research in The Library Quarterly

Cooke receives funding from ALA for diversity research

Weech and Takazawa to present research at BAI 2017

Hoiem to present research at ChLA 2017

Schneider to present research at ECA Fribourg 2017

Join us at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference

iSchool to present research at JCDL 2017

Schlipf and Moorman author “how-to” book on library buildings

Diesner and Underwood to present research at Cultural Analytics 2017

Turk recognized by NCSA for outstanding mentorship

Bruce to teach inquiry-based learning course this summer

iSchool faculty, students participate in Social Media Analytics Summit


Visit our newsroom page to see the latest School news.

class notes

Ben Aldred (MS '14) started as a reference librarian and assistant professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, working with government information, urban planning, and social work.

Emily Bayci (MS '14) received a 2017 Penguin Random House Young Readers grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference and the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder banquet.

In June 2017, Kellye (Hallmark) Cohn (MS '13) accepted the position of assistant professor and librarian at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California.

Holly Eberle (MS '15) is the youth library technical assistant III/page supervisor for the Crystal Lake Public Library, which has been her home library since childhood.

David Forero (MS '15) contributed a chapter to the book, Migrating Library Data: A Practical Manual, which was recently published by ALA Neal-Schuman.

Kate Grabon (MS '16) has accepted a position as a branch services librarian for the Winnetka-Northfield (IL) Public Library District.

Corrine (Vogel) Latham (MS '14) recently began working as a knowledge services analyst at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, she got married in Colorado in June.

Sarah Lindenbaum (MS '13) recently won a Houghton Library Visiting Fellowship and a Friends of the Princeton University Library Research Grant for her project on the reconstruction of seventeenth-century female book collector Frances Wolfreston's library.

In May 2017, Marcela Peres Evans (MS '10) became the library director for the Lewiston Public Library in Lewiston, Maine. She replaced Rick Speer, longtime Lewiston Public Library library director, who retired from the position.

Julie Edwards (MS '05) received the 2017 Frank B. Sessa Scholarship for Continuing Professional Education from Beta Phi Mu Honor Society. She is an associate professor and the ethnic studies librarian and diversity coordinator at the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana in Missoula.

Eric Edwards (MS '06) was recently elected vice-president/president-elect of the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries. Beginning this October, he will serve one year (2017-18) as vice-president/president-elect, one year (2018-19) as president, and one year (2019-20) as past president.

Diana (Thomson) Koppang (MS '04) was recently elected vice-chair/chair-elect of the Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals section of the American Association of Law Libraries. Her three-year term on the board begins in July 2017. This section includes 1,300 law librarians in the private law and corporate sectors throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Laura J. Poulosky (MS '07) has been working as a senior library specialist at the University of Illinois Residence Hall Libraries since February 2014. Prior to that, she worked as a library specialist at the University of Illinois Art and Architecture Library.

Josh Sopiarz (MS '09) has earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in the University Library at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois.

Migrating Library Data: A Practical Manual, a book edited by Kyle Banerjee (MS '96) and Bonnie Parks, has been published by ALA Neal-Schuman.

Chad Kahl (MS '98) was named associate dean for public services and technology at Illinois State University's Milner Library.

Allen Lanham (MS '91), dean of library services at Eastern Illinois University, retired on June 30 after almost 26 years of service.

Mohamed El Hadi (MS '60, PhD '64) recently organized the 23rd Scientific Conference on "Big Data and Analytics for Business" at Sadat Academy for Management Sciences. The conference, which was held April 26-27, was attended by more than 145 participants.


Visit our class notes page to see more.

upcoming events

MS/IM Virtual Information Session
August 8, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

MS/LIS Virtual Information Session
August 9, 7:00-8:00 p.m.