posted October 17, 2014 9:16 AM
Lewis and Clark's expedition in search of a water route to the Pacific has a near-mythic place in American history. In 1803, on the heels of the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson charged his personal secretary, Merriweather Lewis, with a mission to explore the newly acquired territory. Lewis enlisted skilled frontiersman William Clark, who would co-command the group known as the Corps of Discovery. The team spent the next two years traversing the western half of the country, a journey that would irrevocably impact U.S. expansion policy and relationships with Native Americans.
Simmons SLIS Professor Mary Jordan chose the Lewis and Clark Trail as the inspiration for a unique research project--not just the geography, but the concept, as well. Dubbed the Library Corps of Discovery, Jordan plotted a road-trip across the nation following the Lewis and Clark Trail to visit public libraries and collect data about libraries at each stop.
posted October 17, 2014 9:15 AM
Usability testing, UX, user behavior research: these terms may not have originally been a part of the Library and Information Science lexicon, but these concepts are inescapable these days--and with good reason. In a field focused on meeting users' needs, using the right tools to test the end results is crucial.
Lucky for Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), we have preeminent usability scholar and educator Rong Tang. Since the fall of 2006, Tang has taught courses at the master's and doctoral level, including Usability and User Experience Research, Evaluation of Information Services, Digital Information Services & Providers, and Library Automation Systems, and has been director of the Simmons Usability Lab since its inception in 2008. This fall she returns to Simmons after a yearlong sabbatical spent conducting research and teaching at National Taiwan University and Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang, China, as a visiting professor.
posted October 17, 2014 9:14 AM
Like many in the LIS field, MLIP (Managerial Leadership in Library Professions) Ph.D. student Kimberley Bugg didn't set out to be a librarian when she began her college career. A Communications and Media Studies major at Georgia State University (GSU)--she said, "I like to talk about Spike Lee a lot." Her sights were originally set on law school. As an intern at the Fulton County Courthouse, Bugg researched cases and prepared witnesses for pretrial testimony, but found herself discouraged by the environment. The attorneys were "overworked, making peanuts with huge student loans . . . eating at MacDonald's every day because that's all they could afford, and I thought, this is no way to survive." She expressed this concern to one of the lawyers she worked with, who complimented her research zeal and suggested she might find law librarianship rewarding.
posted October 17, 2014 9:13 AM
Kendra Giannini, Simmons alum and now SLIS staff-person, talks about her role as Capstone Coordinator, provides some insight into the curriculum changes and Simmons' internship and alumni network, and offers advice to students on the wealth of professional opportunities for Simmons SLIS' graduates beyond traditional library positions.
Can you talk about your role as Capstone Coordinator at Simmons SLIS?
It's a new role that was created along with the new curriculum. I work with students when they get to the final part of their program. The largest part of my job is coordinating the internships, but I also will assist students who choose to undertake a research project or other special project as part of their course of study. The job is still taking shape, which is exciting for me.
posted October 16, 2014 10:56 AM
Drs. Toby Pearlstein '77LS '87DA and James M. Matarazzo '65LS published an article, "The Business Case for Information Literacy: Why Training is an Important Information Service Function" in Online Searcher, V.38, September/October, 2014 pp. 42-49. Case Studies that accompany this article were written by Kathy Rogers '04LS, Laura Saunders '01LS '10DA, and Jack Cahill '79LS and Corilee Christou '81LS.
Matarazzo is a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, an opt-in research community of business professionals. He spoke at a meeting of the Central Bank Seminars for Central Bank Special Librarians for Europe, Asia, and the Middle East at Christ's College Cambridge University on September 16, 2014 at Cambridge, England. He is the keynote speaker at the 12th International Conference of University Librarians, and will deliver "Corporate Libraries: Bellwethers of Change for the Library World at Large" in Mexico City, Mexico on October 29, 2014.
Dr. Matarazzo taught Special and Corporate Libraries for Simmons SLIS at St. John's University in Paris from August 4-15, 2014. In addition to the classes, students visited the American Library in Paris and the libraries of Bain & Company, KPMG and BNP Paribas.
posted October 16, 2014 10:26 AM
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)/Society of American Archivists (SAA) has chosen three SLIS master's students to participate in their Mosaic Program: Micha Broadnax, Adriana Flores, and Sara Powell. A total of five master of library and information science students specializing in archival studies have been selected for the 2014-2016 cohort. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), this program "strives to promote much-needed diversification of the archives and special collections professional workforce."
Fellows in the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program will participate in a paid internship with a partner institution. They will receive a tuition stipend, mentoring, leadership development and career placement assistance, complimentary student membership in SAA, and support to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and 2015 ARL/SAA Mosaic Leadership Forum.
Micha Broadnax, Simmons College
Internship host: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Adriana Flores , Simmons College
Internship host: Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University
Sara Powell , Simmons College
Internship host: Institute Archives and Special Collections, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Visit the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program website for more information: http://www.arl.org/leadership-recruitment/diversity-recruitment/arl-saa-mosaic-scholarship-program.
posted October 16, 2014 10:20 AM
ALA President Courtney L. Young's article "Advocate. Today" was published in American Libraries Online on September 12, 2014.
Young writes: "Libraries really do change lives. That reality is well known and proudly understood by every one of us. I don't believe, however, that we have internalized an even more fundamental and vital truth: Libraries are powerful because librarians are powerful. I'd like to speak to that power and be very frank. I am concerned that librarians (and the schools that prepare them) have not yet fully embraced what I believe to be a core professional responsibility. That responsibility is advocacy."
For the full article visit http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/advocate-today.
posted October 16, 2014 10:00 AM
Children's Literature alum Winnie Shen '04MA has had a second translation published. She has translated two of Rick Riordan's best-selling Percy Jackson books into Chinese.
posted October 16, 2014 9:53 AM
Two members of the SLIS community are among the 2014 award winners from the American Library Association for Honoring Excellence & Leadership in the Library Profession.
MLIP Professor of Practice Luis Herrera received the Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children, which is sponsored by Peggy Sullivan and "given to an individual who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children while having general management, supervisory, or administrative responsibility that has included public service for children in its scope." From American Libraries:
"As city librarian at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), Herrera demonstrates passion and exceptional support for public library services to children. As a member of the PLA board, he supported the launch of a partnership with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which led to the PLA/ALSC Every Child Ready to Read @ your library (ECRR) initiative. He was instrumental in negotiating the Memorandum of Agreement between PLA and ALSC that institutionalized and provided funding for ECRR @ your library, which has been implemented nationally. At SFPL, he has overseen the development and deployment of many programs, including the first multiyear partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District, and procured an IMLS grant for a Teen Digital Media Center. Herrera has also been a longtime and active member of Reforma."
Karen Schneider received the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, sponsored by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund. The award of $1,000 is "given biennially to a librarian who invests time and talent to make positive changes in the profession of librarianship by: taking risks to further the cause; helping new librarians grow and achieve; working for change within ALA or other library organizations; inspiring colleagues to excel." As reported in American Libraries:
"Throughout her career, Schneider, university librarian at Holy Names University in Oakland, California, has served as a leader and innovator. She is a founding member of both the Resource Sharing Committee of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium and the first rapid delivery network for California's private academic libraries. As a member of ALA Council, she has provided insightful and constructive discussion to issues facing the organization. She has been an outspoken and articulate proponent of accountability, change, and action. Her blog, Free Range Librarian, one of the earliest in the profession, and her book, A Practical Guide to Internet Filters, resulted in her selection as an expert witness in the Mainstream Loudoun First Amendment case. Both are examples of her groundbreaking and lifelong commitment within the library community."
Simmons SLIS congratulates our award winners, who have made valuable contributions to SLIS, and to the LIS field. Click here for a link to the full list of awards: http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/honoring-excellence-and-leadership-library-profession.
posted October 7, 2014 2:29 PM
Thanks to a generous gift from one of our trustees, SLIS has a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer and a MakerBot Digitizer 3D scanner available for faculty, staff, student, and alumnae/i usage. The printer can be found in the Collaboratory located in room P-314 on the third floor of the Palace Road Building.
Workshops will be held for SLIS faculty, staff, students, and alumnae/i to see the MakerBot in action. We are collaborating with SLIS faculty on ways to incorporate usage of the 3D printer and scanner for hands-on activities in classes this fall.
If any community members would like an overview/demo of the printer, please contact the SLIS Tech Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org.
posted October 2, 2014 3:18 PM
Congratulations to the Simmons SLIS ASIS&T student chapter, which has won the chapter of the year award for 2014. The student chapter was praised for yet another "exceptionally active" year, which included events and "creative outreach and marketing strategies" to boost membership. According to the jury, "this is an in credibly large and active student chapter - they have over 400 members with an increase of 41 in just the last year. They have put on an impressive number of events, both social and technical with the technical events being a mix of practical topics and research activities. They collaborate closely with NEASIST and their events seem to be well organized, well publicized and well presented." The award will be presented at the awards luncheon at the ASIST Annual Meeting in Seattle, November, 2014.
posted September 15, 2014 1:20 AM
In Fall 2014, Simmons SLIS will offer concentrations in Information Science & Technology (IST) and Cultural Heritage Informatics to provide students with the technology competencies they need for today's information institutions. The new concentrations will help librarians, archivists, and other information professionals manage their digital assets in effective and efficient ways as services and end-user needs evolve. The new concentrations offer students a competitive edge in the marketplace.
posted September 15, 2014 1:15 AM
"Although computer science has traditionally not been a popular profession for women to enter, the number of women at Simmons who have pursued the field has increased from a handful to about 50 in the past few years," says Professor Nanette Veilleux. "While women typically pursue service-oriented careers, many do not perceive computer science as a field that gives back to the community or recognize that they can author technology. Yet apps and technology enhance people's lives. Women's perspectives are needed to develop the next blockbuster app."
posted September 15, 2014 1:05 AM
As Manager of Technology at Simmons SLIS, Linnea Johnson has revolutionized the technology services offered to students, staff, and faculty. Involved with development of the Collaboratory, SLIS Media Lab, and Usability Lab, Johnson also initiated a podcast service, SLIScast, which recently expanded to a YouTube channel, a technology workshops program for the community. She also first introduced Moodle as an online learning platform for classes and continuing education, and secured an internal Simmons grant (SLIS iPad Project for Curricular Enhancement and Enrichment) to fund the purchase of three iPads, which are available in the Tech Lab for SLIS community members to check out along with other e-readers and tablets. She and her team offer wikis, blogs, and other tools for SLIS community members, and they provide technology support for faculty research grants. Johnson is an MBA student and advisor to SLIS' award-winning ASIS&T student chapter, and has been elected President of the SLIS Alumni Board for 2014-15 with her term officially beginning on July 1. She claims the secret to her success is surrounding herself with a skilled team of proactive, passionate professionals who share her vision of integrating technology with a LIS perspective.
posted September 15, 2014 1:00 AM
Librarians need to be innovative to meet today's challenges, and they need environments that encourage new ideas, according to LeRoy LaFleur, Head of Rush Rhees Library Reference at the University of Rochester. As the former Head of George Mason University's Arlington Campus Library and a former social sciences bibliographer at Cornell University, LaFleur became a Simmons SLIS MLIP/Ph.D. student "to obtain the leadership skills and training needed to succeed professionally in today's libraries," he says.
posted September 12, 2014 12:12 PM
Billy Beal '77LS has been promoted to Associate Vice President for Learning Resources at Meridian Community College in Mississippi. Beal has been a member of the MCC staff for 38 years, and served as dean of the college's Learning Resources since 1992.
posted September 11, 2014 12:19 PM
On Saturday, August 23, Assistant Professor Amber Stubbs co-presented a tutorial on Biomedical Natural Language Processing at COLING (Computational Linguistics) 2014 in Dublin, Ireland: http://www.coling-2014.org/tutorials.php.
posted September 11, 2014 11:21 AM
Assistant Professor Mary Wilkins Jordan's article, "Reference Desks in Public Libraries: What Happens and What to Know," was selected as a featured article for the September 2014 issue of The Informed Librarian Online.
posted September 11, 2014 11:19 AM
Jennifer Diffin '95, a graduate of the math and computer science program, has been appointed head of library technology services at the National Library of Medicine.
posted September 11, 2014 11:13 AM
Adriene Lim '12DA was named dean of libraries at University of Oregon; her appointment began at the end of July 2014. Previously, Lim was dean of libraries at Oakland University in Michigan. For more information visit http://library.uoregon.edu/node/4285.