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Librarian of Congress nominee, Dr. Carla Hayden, receives widespread support

On Wednesday, April 22, former School of Information Sciences (SIS) and Board of Visitors member Dr. Carla Hayden testified at a Senate Committee on a Rules and Administration hearing in Washington, D.C. She was introduced by three Maryland Senators: Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Benjamin Cardin – who wrote to President Obama asking him to consider nominating Hayden, and Senator Emeritus Paul S. Sarbanes, who serves on the board of trustees and board of directors of the Enoch Pratt Free Library where Dr. Hayden has been the CEO for the past 23 years. That afternoon, the room was filled with enthusiastic supporters, including many from the American Library Association (ALA), for which Dr. Hayden was president from 2003-2004. In addition, more than 140 organizations signed letters in support of her nomination.

During the hearing, Dr. Hayden answered a variety of questions regarding the future of the Library of Congress, and she spoke about matters regarding digitization, infrastructure, access, copyright, and privacy. 

If confirmed as the 14th Librarian of Congress (LC), Dr. Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to serve, and she would be only the third LC to have professional-library experience prior to the appointment, and the first professional librarian in more than forty years.

Dr. Hayden was an assistant professor of library and information sciences at SIS from 1987 to 1991. Read more here.

Chancellor Gallagher appointed to Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity

After several private sector hacks and theft of government personnel profile information, President Obama created the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity in an effort to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity defenses. Among other business and academic experts, Chancellor Gallagher was invited to participate on the panel, which is due to make long-term recommendations by December of this calendar year. For more information, read here.

University Library System Digital Scholarship Commons leading in publishing library trend

In a feature article in Pitt Magazine’s 2016 winter edition, University Library System’s (ULS) Digital Scholarship Commons faculty and SIS alumni Tim Deliyannides, Jeff Wisniewski, and Aaron Brenner discuss how Pitt is leading the way in the recent trend of “library as publisher” through digital publishing. They describe how technology is helping to save time, space, and finances for libraries as they record numbers of people in the doors – both in the physical building and online. Pitt’s library system has become one of the national leaders of publishing academic journals.  ULS is now publishing 40 peer-reviewed scholarly journals and growing each year, and it’s the first and only North American Library to be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. Read the full article on pages 12-16 in Pitt Magazine here.

School Library Certification Program (SLCP) Alumni gather for its 5th Annual Dinner

More than 75 alumni of the SLCP from around southwestern Pennsylvania gathered at the Spaghetti Warehouse in the Strip District on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. It was a lively affair, as the very tight-knit group socialized and recognized one another's accomplishments. Dr. Mary Kay Biagini, associate professor and director of the SLCP, and Deb Kachel began the evening with a presentation and discussion on strategies for communicating library program success to public school principals.

Sheila Corrall and Kip Currier win LIBER Innovation Award

The Program Committee for the 45th Annual Conference of LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries) has selected a paper by Sheila Corrall and James D. “Kip” Currier for a LIBER Innovation Award. The paper on "Legal, Ethical, and Policy Issues of ’Big Data 2.0’ Collaborative Ventures and Roles for Information Professionals in Research Libraries" will be presented at the conference in Helsinki, Finland, on June 29 through July 1, 2016.

The awards are sponsored by global library cooperative OCLC and awarded to the three most innovative and relevant papers submitted to the LIBER Conference. Award recipients receive a grant of 1,000 euros toward travel and conference registration. The award ceremony takes place at the conference plenary on July 1. View the conference website for more information: http://liber2016.org.

Alumna named director of libraries at Oberlin College & Conservatory

SIS congratulates alumna Alexia Hudson-Ward on her appointment as the Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries at Oberlin College & Conservatory. Hudson-Ward currently serves as a tenured associate librarian at Penn State and will begin at Oberlin in her new role on July 1 of this year. As the director of libraries, Hudson-Ward will oversee and be responsible for the four campus libraries as well as other critical operations, such as collection development, space utilization, technology integration, and special exhibits.

Hudson-Ward, who earned her MLIS from SIS, also holds a BA in English and African American studies from Temple University and is pursuing a PhD in managerial leadership in the information professions at Simmons College. Read the full announcement concerning her new appointment on Oberlin’s website.

SIS and iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) co-host iConference 2016 Reception

More than 50 SIS alumni, students, faculty,  staff, and i3 program alumni and participants gathered on Tuesday, March 22, for a Pitt reception at iConference 2016 in Philadelphia. The reception was graciously hosted at Sto’s Bar, owned by Pitt Law alumnus Michael Stosic (SL ’03). Visit our Facebook page for pictures from the event.

Dean Larsen presides over first iConference as chair of iCaucus

From March 20 to 23, Dean Larsen presided over iConference 2016 as the new chair of the iCaucus committee of iSchools  – an international group of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field. More than 20 SIS faculty, staff, students, and iSchool Inclusion Institute participants presented project posters, spoke at conference sessions, and held administrative meetings at this year’s iConference 2016 in Philadelphia. Join us in congratulating Assistant Professor Yu-Ru Lin and doctoral candidate Kai Wei of the School of Social Work for their runner up best poster entitled, “The Evolution of Latino Threat Narrative from 1997 to 2014.” Visit our Facebook page for pictures from iConference 2016.

Former Board of Visitors member and alumnus passes

Elliot L. Shelkrot, 72, director and president of the Free Library of Philadelphia from 1987 until his retirement in 2007, died from complications of heart disease on Monday, March 21, at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Hospital.

Despite budgetary challenges during the 1980s and 1990s, Shelkrot renovated and maintained a six-day schedule of 55 branch libraries. He advocated to bring computers and electronic books into branches in order to stay relevant as technology and the rise of the Internet threatened the library's future. Shelkrot was also very active with the American Library Association (ALA).

Shelkrot graduated with a Master of Library Science from SIS in 1966 and later returned to serve on the SIS Board of Visitors from 1998 to 2002. A link to Shelkrot’s obituary can be found here.

Leona Mitchell is a featured speaker at the 2016 AIIP Annual Conference

Leona Mitchell, visiting professor of practice, was a featured speaker at the 2016 Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) Annual Conference.  The conference took place in Pittsburgh from April 7 to 10 and provided an opportunity for independent information professionals to network, share ideas, collaborate, and develop their professional vision.  Mitchell brings over 30 years of high-level experience and leadership with IBM to the conference and shared five common mistakes consultants make with her AIIP audience. Further details about the talk and the conference can be found on the conference’s website

School of Information Sciences attends Pitt Day in Harrisburg

Wes Lipschultz, director of student services, was proud to represent SIS at Pitt Day in Harrisburgon March 22, 2016. He shared information on the skills-based volunteer efforts of our students in the Commonwealth and had a chance to participate in a conversation between Pitt students and State Representative Dan Frankel. The day was well-attended by Pitt students, faculty, and staff. See photos of Wes and the rest of the Pitt community.

SIS alumna named 2016 recipient of the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award

SIS congratulates alumna Elizabeth Brumfield on receiving the 2016 Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award, which honors an Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) member involved in and promoting the success of distance learning in higher education.

For a nominee to be awarded the honor, they must have demonstrated achievements in supporting distance learning librarianship and services, participation in the implementation of quality distance library programs and services, successful collaboration with faculty around information literacy and library instruction, and significant research, publications, or presentations concerning distance learning librarianship.

The award is sponsored by the academic journal publisher, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, who will present Brumfield with the $1,200 conference sponsorship award and plaque at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, which will be held from June 23-28. Read the entire Library Journal article highlighting Brumfield here.

SIS alumna named one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers of 2016

SIS congratulates alumna Megan Rosenbloom who was named one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers of 2016. Rosenbloom graduated from the Library and Information Science program in 2008 and began her work in libraries at the University of Southern California’s Norris Medical Library, where she is now the associate director for collection resources. Her library educates doctors and medical students while conducting critical work that greatly increases the relationship between libraries and the medical profession.

Rosenbloom’s interest in medical history lead her to the Order of the Good Death, which focuses on discussing how to approach death and mortality from a less stigmatized point of view. She now serves as the director of the association, which includes academics, artists, and death professionals who gather at annual meetings to discuss death and cultural issues. Both her work in medical libraries and the Order of the Good Death has marked Rosenbloom as a rising advocate for the death positivity movement. Read the entire Library Journal article highlighting Rosenbloom here.

SIS Alumnus named 2016 Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award recipient

SIS congratulates Jeff Huber, University of Kentucky School of Information Science director and professor, who received the Medical Library Association’s (MLA) 2016 Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award for his contributions to the field of health sciences librarianship. MLA President Michelle Kraft explained, The award is given to outstanding library educators in the field of health sciences librarianship and informatics. … The many letters of support from former students exemplifies Dr. Huber’s dedication and focus to developing the next generation of health sciences librarians.” Dr. Huber received his doctorate in Library Science from SIS in 1991. Read the entire announcement here.

Christine L. Borgman delivers 2016 Sara Fine Institute lecture

On Monday, February 29, more than 175 faculty, staff, students, and alumni across Pitt campus as well as members of the local Pittsburgh community listened to Dr. Christine L. Borgman, distinguished professor and presidential chair in Information Studies at UCLA, give the 2016 Sara Fine Institute lecture. In her talk, she reflected on the content of her most recently published book, Big Data, Little Data, No Data, examining how the varying practices of protecting research data are often at odds with public policy interest of open access. Relevant questions came from faculty and students representing SIS, the School of Law, and the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Biology, among others. Dr. Leanne Bowler, Director of the Sara Fine Institute, welcomed the crowd with opening remarks about the Sara Fine Institute and the legacy of the late Sara Fine prior to introducing Dr. Borgman. The lecture concluded with a book signing, followed by a reception. Visit our Facebook page to view photos from the event.

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