March 2013 Archives

GSLIS has named a new Dean

Dr._Abels_6232_rdax_160x215.jpgSimmons College has named Eileen G. Abels, Ph.D., a longtime library and information science practitioner and educator with a specialty in digital reference education and remote reference services, as the new dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS). Her appointment begins July 1. For the full press release visit http://www.simmons.edu/overview/about/news/press/1175.php

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Archived Infolink - March 2013

Check out the March 2013 issue of Infolink!

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GSLIS Student Publications & Awards

Master's student Allegra D'Ambruoso received a grant from the President's Diversity and Inclusion Council to fund activities that support social justice and activism. The grant enabled Massachusetts School Library Association -- Student Interest Group (MSLA-SIG) to show a film about banned books and the struggle to make all books accessible. D'Ambruoso also gave a presentation about iPad use in the school library with Deborah Froggatt '13LS at the MSLA conference on Monday, March 4.

Master's student James Fox was interviewed Dec. 1 by Dwell Magazine about a new design lecture series titled "Talk Design."

Master's student David Rowntree is co-chairing The Moving Image and Recorded Sound Roundtable for New England Archivists (NEA). The Roundtable will provide a forum for people interested in film, video, and audio collections. The first meeting will take place at the NEA conference in March 2013 (http://newenglandarchivists.org/roundtables/ moving_image_and_recorded_sound_roundtable.html).

Master's student Nicole Thomas, chair of the American Library Association Student Chapter, received a student travel grant to
attend the Association of College and Research Libraries' biennial conference in Indianapolis in April.

Master's students Kathryn Thornhill and Brita Zitin are participating in the Hack Library School's "Library Student Day in the Life" series: http://tinyurl.com/cnkfawb and http://tinyurl.com/cxxyph4.

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Tang to Present SUR40 Research

Associate Professor Rong Tang will give a presentation on her Microsoft Pixelsense Surface Table (SUR40) usability testing research effort on March 1, 2013, at the Liberact Workshop, which is hosted by Harvard University Library. Tang has led two phases of usability tests of the Library Explorer Application on the SUR40 table, which is installed in the Harvard Cabot Library. The research helps us understand how an interactive multi-touch tabletop may enhance student learning.

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Sullivan Talks Strategic Liaisons in MD

GSLIS Interim Dean Maureen Sullivan will join Special Libraries Association (SLA) President Deb Hunt to address key issues facing professional library associations in a presentation titled "Strategic Liaisons: Game-Changing Conversations." The SLA Maryland Chapter will sponsor the presentation, which will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Greenbelt, MD, on April 30. http://maryland.sla.org/events2013/strategic-liaisons/

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Schwartz, Agarwal Published in ASIS&T Bulletin

Professor Candy Schwartz and Associate Professor Naresh Agarwal published articles in the Association for Information Science and Technology bulletin: "Third ASIS&T Student Design Competition: The "Truthiness" Challenge" by Schwartz (http://asist.org/Bulletin/Feb-13/FebMar13_Schwartz.html) and "What ASIS&T Means to Me" by Agarwal (http://asist.org/Bulletin/Feb-13/FebMar13_Agarwal.html).

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Colon-Aguirre Keynote Speaker at Spectrum Dinner

Assistant Professor Monica Colon-Aguirre was the keynote speaker at the Simmons Spectrum Dinner for Scholars. The dinner raised $1,000 for the American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarship Initiative.

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GSLIS Student, Jason E. Davis

The GSLIS Community was saddened by the death of GSLIS West student Jason Davis, who died on February 21, 2013, in Hartford, Connecticut. Davis was a Library Technician II at Trinity College, where he had received his bachelor's degree. To read the official obituary, please visit http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant/
obituary.aspx?pid=163343566#.

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New Lecture Series

A new GSLIS lecture series, "Change the Narrative, Not the Name," will give students a number of opportunities to learn about the daily realities associated with working in libraries and the chance to network with colleagues in the field.

The series' name addresses the changes occurring in the library field today. With a shift from being labeled "information professionals" to being called "metadata specialists," librarians are obtaining new names every day. Yet the name changes don't necessarily reflect the specialized skills and benefits librarians bring to communities. "It's essential to craft a message about librarians that accurately reflects what we do and that communities can understand and appreciate. Part of that includes becoming better informed ourselves about what our communities already know and understand, and where we can raise awareness and focus our education efforts. Students have an opportunity to develop a relevant vision about the profession that we can carry forward," says Assistant Professor Laura Saunders.

Continue reading New Lecture Series

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Faculty Research: Mary Wilkins Jordan

wilkins_jordan2011_rdax_400x266.jpgSince her father was a management professor and her mother was a library director, it seems pre-destined that Mary Wilkins Jordan would specialize in library management research. Yet, it took having almost every job under the sun -- from dishwasher to attorney -- for Jordan to experience an epiphany about leadership as a public library director. She discovered that librarians knew about libraries, but they didn't necessarily know how to lead them.

"Librarians don't have a clear understanding of management level competencies that are needed to run their organizations. Although I was sent to leadership training programs, it wasn't enough. I thought, 'Someone needs to train us.' Then I realized that I am someone," said Jordan.

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Is There an App for Balancing Life?

by Cheryl Kohen, '06LS

Since we wear many hats in our daily routine, our time is often limited and over-scheduled. Just like anything in life, it is critical to have balance. It's also important to feel satisfaction in professional and personal pursuits; otherwise, both suffer. As an information professional and techie, I have discovered useful technology to organize my time. Below are a few apps that may create balance and decrease stress.

Evernote
Usable on multiple devices, Evernote is an easy-to-use notetaking app that allows multiple screens to be synced with ease. I am able to access, share, and take notes anywhere. It works well for private as well as collaborative note-taking.
Get: Free with a more robust version for a fee; http://evernote.com/

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Snapshot: Courtney Young '97LS

CourtneyYoung_4246.jpgSimmons GSLIS alumni Courtney Young '97LS is running for the American Library Association's (ALA) presidency. As the head librarian and associate professor of women's studies at Penn State University, Young brings 15 years of library expertise and ALA leadership experience to her campaign. Learn about how she plans to connect ALA with members, schools, and the world.

Q: Why did you become a librarian? Why did you decide to go to Simmons College?

My career path came about organically. I have spent my entire working life in libraries. My first job was shelving library books in a public library and I continued to work in them throughout my undergraduate studies. Half-way through my sophomore year, I decided to become a librarian. Library colleagues offered their instant excitement and mentoring. After completing my undergraduate studies, I went straight to Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences School (GSLIS).

Growing up in a military family, I attended several small public and private schools. When I reviewed Peterson's Guide in my research, Simmons appeared to be the perfect fit. I chose Simmons GSLIS because of the diversity of the faculty, its cutting-edge curriculum, as well as the welcoming environment associated with a small school while simultaneously offering the amenities of a metropolis. I attended school full time and worked full time as a circulation assistant at a theological college library in Cambridge. It was one of the best years of my life. Since I completed the program in one year, being ALA president should be a walk in the park!

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Maureen Sullivan Offers Promising Plans as GSLIS's Interim Dean

As a professor of practice at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS), Maureen Sullivan saw the chance to be interim dean as "an opportunity of a lifetime" to further GSLIS's forward-thinking educational programs. Bringing more than 30 years of organizational consulting experience to libraries and with a vast professional network as president of the American Library Association, Sullivan shares a wealth of expertise and connections that will enable Simmons GSLIS to continue to educate 21st-century leaders and innovators.

Q: What do you think library and information science schools need to do to keep up with the changes in the field?

With the many changes occurring in libraries, archives, and other information organizations today, we need to identify and introduce a new set of competencies for information professionals. Specifically, we need to determine the core competencies required in a growing digital world. We also need to clarify the competencies necessary to lead community engagement and to guide transformational change. We need to create work environments that support innovation, continuous improvement, and the ability to solve complex problems. Library and information science schools need to engage alumni, employers, and other stakeholders to
identify what is required in practice and to determine what changes need to be made to the curriculum.

Keeping current with changing needs is a continuous challenge for educators. It also is an essential practice for everyone involved in professional education today.

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Faculty Research: Mary Wilkins Jordan

Since her father was a management professor and her mother was a library director, it seems pre-destined that Mary Wilkins Jordan would specialize in library management research. Yet, it took having almost every job under the sun -- from dishwasher to attorney -- for Jordan to experience an epiphany about leadership as a public library director. She discovered that librarians knew about libraries, but they didn't necessarily know how to lead them.

"Librarians don't have a clear understanding of management- level competencies that are needed to run their organizations. Although I was sent to leadership training programs, it wasn't enough. I thought, 'Someone needs to train us.' Then I realized that I am someone," said Jordan.

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Simmons Moves Up in U.S. News Top 10 Rankings; Archives Program Ranked #1

picture.jpgU.S. News & World Report has once again awarded Simmons GSLIS a slot on the top 10 schools of library and information studies. The program rose from 10th place to 9th in this latest report. GSLIS also is ranked in the #1 position for Archives and Preservation, and was listed among the best nationally in Digital Librarianship, Services for Children and Youth, and School Library Media. The full report can be found here.

The rankings were released March 12 and will be featured in U.S. News & World Report's  "Best Graduate Schools 2014" edition, available on April 9. This ranking is based on data from more than 1,250 programs and 13,000 academics and professionals; expert opinions and statistical indicators gave weight to the study. The ranking is from surveys conducted in 2012 and 2013 and based solely on the nominations of program deans, program directors, and a senior faculty member at each program. For more information, see the Simmons press release.

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