Spring 2016 "Off the Shelf" Newsletter

Dominican GSLIS "Off the Shelf" Masthead

Spring greetings from GSLIS!

This week we’ve literally watched the trees bud and the tulips sprout as the weather has finally begun to warm. The sunshine has been rejuvenating! We are once again close to the spring commencement ceremony and watching another group of new LIS professionals venture into the job market. It’s always gratifying to see this transition from student to colleague!

It’s been a productive semester for our program. After two years of planning, receiving full accreditation in January, and preparing for an August launch of our Informatics undergraduate program and our new Master’s of Science in Information Management, our faculty voted in March to change the name of our school to the School of Information Studies. This name change will become official in early fall when the faculty decision goes before our Dominican Board of Trustees.

As you know, we conducted a series of online and face-to-face open forums to discuss our name change, soliciting feedback not only about whether to consider changing the name, but also what that name might be. We got a mix of feedback, covering a spectrum of responses in favor of a name change, fairly neutral, and those opposed. Some of the comments opposed to a name change expressed worry that the MLIS degree would be marginalized in the new expanded program offerings and with a new school name. Rest assured that our commitment remains strong to a School of Information Studies rooted in the core values of the information profession and to the strong service ethic that librarians have always prized.

In considering our name change and reflecting on our future, we spent time as a faculty rediscovering our Dominican GSLIS roots and heritage. That process brought back in to light our founding Sisters, Sister Reparata Murray and Sister Ruth Devlin, who in the late 1920s made a decision to begin preparations to create a new library school within Rosary College. That program was launched in 1930 as the Rosary College Library School and received its first ALA accreditation in 1938. In 1970, the program was renamed the Graduate School of Library Science, and then changed its name again in 1981 to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

So, as with the continual renewal we see in nature this spring, our library school created in 1930 continues to experience renewal built on our own deep institutional and disciplinary roots. Our new identity as the Dominican School of Information Studies will build on this strong heritage as we continue to evolve to meet the information needs of communities and organizations in the 21st century. Stay tuned for an official launch in fall!

Kate Marek
Dean and Professor

GOINGS ONDr. Karen Snow

Congratulations, Dr. Karen Snow!

GSLIS is delighted to announce that Dr. Karen Snow (pictured) is the winner of this year’s Follett Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given based on voting by student and recent alumnae/i, which makes it especially meaningful to the faculty member who wins. The award rotates among Dominican's graduate schools, and 2016 is GSLIS's turn. Previous GSLIS winners include Janice Del Negro, Mary Pat Fallon, Kate Marek, and Karen Brown. Dr. Snow will receive a $1,000 honorarium from the Follett endowment, and will give an address at our May 8 commencement ceremony. Congratulations, Dr. Snow!

GSLIS Faculty Promotions and Tenure Awards

Many congratulations are also due to these accomplished GSLIS faculty members who received promotions and tenure awards, effective with the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Mary Pat Fallon was promoted to associate professor.
  • Don Hamerly was promoted to associate professor, and awarded tenure.
  • Sujin Huggins, assistant professor, was awarded tenure.
  • Stacy T. Kowalczyk was promoted to associate professor.
  • Cecilia Salvatore was promoted to professor.
  • Karen Snow was promoted to associate professor.
  • Christopher Stewart was promoted to associate professor.

First in Informatics

Building on a century-long tradition of distinction in information sciences, Dominican now offers a groundbreaking program in a rapidly growing field. Launched this spring, Dominican’s undergraduate program in informatics is the first of its kind in the Chicago area and the first undergraduate program to be offered by Dominican GSLIS. Students can earn a major or minor in informatics with specialties available in cybersecurity, nursing informatics, community informatics and educational informatics. For more information, visit the undergraduate course bulletin or contact Don Hamerly, assistant professor and director of the informatics program, at dhamerly@dom.edu.

Dr. Sujin Huggins is “Targeting Autism”

As part of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) training program Targeting Autism, Dr. Sujin Huggins, assistant professor and a Targeting Autism board member, is coordinating train-the-trainer, in-person ASD workshops to be held at Dominican in spring 2017. Developed at Dominican GSLIS, a Targeting Autism project partner, the workshops will reach one to two representatives each from 50 Illinois libraries. The two-year program will teach librarians to design physical spaces, provide necessary accommodations, and create library services and programs that support the resource and recreational needs of individuals with ASD of all ages. Illinois State Library was recently awarded a 2016 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant to administer the development and delivery of Targeting Autism. Read more.

Audit Policy to Change   

Effective with the fall 2016-17 academic year, GSLIS alumnae/i will no longer be able to audit courses at no tuition charge; the cost will now be 50% tuition charge plus fees. This change will bring our school into alignment with policies at all other Dominican grad schools. We very much regret not being able to continue this benefit, although we recognize the necessity for the change in this era of tight budgets in Illinois higher education.


Butler Lecture Featuring Christian Robinson

Presenting the 2016 Butler Lecture on March 16, illustrator and animator Christian Robinson (pictured) retraced his career (including a stop at Pixar), revealed his influences (Ezra Jack Keats, Roger Duvoisin), and mapped out his creative process (it all starts with storyboards), before taking a few questions and signing more than a few books, including the 2016 Newbery-winning Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (Putnam, 2015).


Janice Del Negro

Follett Lecture featuring Follett Chair Janice M. Del Negro

Janice M. Del Negro, associate professor (pictured) and 2014-16 Follett Chair delivered “The All-White World of Children's Librarianship: Baker, Rollins, and the Quest for Diversity” on April 13, presenting a call to action for librarians to practice #radicalinclusivity in collections, programs, and services.

Photo credit: Jenna Nemec-Loise.


20th Annual McCusker Lecture Featuring Sari Feldman

Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library and president of the American Library Association through June 2016, will give the 20th annual McCusker Memorial Lecture on October 6, 2016. While ALA president, Feldman initiated a national public awareness campaign, Libraries Transform, designed to increase awareness of and support for libraries of all types. Registration will open in the summer.


Bill Crowley, professor, published “Readers' Advisory: Differing Mental Models and the Futures of Libraries, Librarians, and Readers’ Advisory” in Reference & User Services Quarterly 55, no. 2 (Winter 2015). Dr. Crowley engages with Duncan Smith’s 2015 article “Readers’ Advisory: the Who, the How, and the Why,” itself a response to Dr. Crowley’s 2014 article “Time to Rethink Readers’ Advisory Education.” “It’s an exciting opportunity for all of us to have two such notable professionals offering their expertise and opinion on the future of RA, providing deep reflection, solid arguments, and reflection on their differing RA paradigms,” reads the abstract.

Janice M. Del Negro, associate professor and 2015-16 Follett Chair, has received the 2016 National Storytelling Network ORACLE Circle of Excellence Award, presented annually to artists “recognized nationally by their peers to be master storytellers who set the standards for excellence and have demonstrated, over a significant period of time, a commitment and dedication to the art of storytelling.” An award ceremony will take place July 23 during the 2016 National Storytelling Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. In other news, Del Negro will moderate the panel “Mind-Bending Women of YA” during the School Library Journal annual Day of Dialog, to be held May 11 at the UIC Forum.

Sujin Huggins, assistant professor, has been appointed to the Hans Christian Andersen Jury of the U.S. Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), the United States national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) for 2018. The Jury selects the U.S. nominees for consideration for the awards. Presented every other year, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards recognize lifelong achievement and are given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children's literature.

Randy Silverman, adjunct instructor, was awarded the 2016 Gardner Prize by the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. The prize is given annually in recognition of the “outstanding academic contributions of an individual within the state of Utah.” Silverman has been head of preservation at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library since 1993.

Karen Snow, assistant professor and director of the Ph.D. program, was awarded an IFLA 2016 National Committee Fellowship Grant to attend the IFLA 2016 Congress in Columbus in August.

Troy A. Swanson, adjunct instructor and MLIS ‘00, and Heather Jagman, coordinator of reference, instruction and academic engagement at DePaul University, received the ACRL Instruction Section Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award as editors of the book Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think about Information (ALA Editions, 2015). The award, donated by Emerald Group Publishing and inclusive of a plaque and cash prize of $3,000, recognizes an outstanding publication related to library instruction published in the past two years. “Not Just Where to Click is an extremely useful and well-designed volume that considers information literacy instruction from a variety of perspectives,” said award committee Chair Elana D. Karshmer of Saint Leo University. Swanson serves as department chair, library, and teaching and learning librarian at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois.


Becca Boland, MLIS '07, was appointed assistant head of popular materials/teen librarian at the Ela Area Public Library District in Lake Zurich, IL.

Christi Gerrish, MLIS ’07, was appointed director of the Glen Carbon (IL) Centennial Library. “I always wanted to be an academic librarian,” she told the Edwardsville Public Intelligencer. “But I just love public libraries and how they serve the community. Who wouldn’t be excited to work for the Best Small Library in America?”

Nancy Radler, MLIS '14, was appointed prospect research specialist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Deborah L. Rusin, MLIS '99, was inducted into the VIP Professional Woman of the Year Circle of the National Association of Professional Women. Rusin is director of library and research services at Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP, in Chicago.


Krystal Baker, a student in the MLIS program, was appointed cataloging assistant at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at the Northwestern University School of Law Library.


Diane Foote, assistant dean and curator of the Butler Children's Literature Center, was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, April 11 on the occasion of Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday about the author's legacy and significance.


Hi, my name’s Scott Shoger (pictured), and I’ve been transparently providing you with Off the Shelf – as both editor and writer – since summer 2015. In a previous life, I was the arts and entertainment editor at an Indianapolis alt-weekly – rather, the Indianapolis alt-weekly – where I had the pleasure of interviewing John Green (seated in La-Z-Boy in his office, facing the TV on which he plays an awful lot of FIFA-licensed video games), a bevy of burlesque performers (under fire from the zoning board, naturally) and Gilbert Gottfried (yelling, always yelling). Much as I liked the job, I was ready for a walkabout (I was born and raised in Indy), looking to go back to school in some shape or form, and I happened upon the idea of putting my meager skills to use in a field that was similarly concerned with social justice, freedom of information, and getting people to read your stuff.

But, of course, I couldn’t get too far away from something that resembles journalism, and Diane Foote swept me up upon arrival (during my orientation session even), to help out under the newly created job title of marketing assistant. And so, during the sleepy summer semester when I took my first four classes, I started making slides for the TV (you know, the one just outside of the office), editing this very newsletter, and doing deep cover intelligence work related to the ALA re-accreditation process. While I certainly do not deserve to have an office, it makes me feel at home to have one, and getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the information science sausage is made helped to bring me up to speed on both Dominican GSLIS and the field in general. It’s been a wonderful opportunity and I hope I haven’t misspelled the names of too many alums.

I work a couple other library and archives-related gigs, coordinating fellowships for the IFLA 2016 Congress at the American Library Association and cataloging tapes at the fine arts radio station WFMT, and I’m just wrapping up a practicum at the Research Archives and Library of the Oriental Institute, where you have to know your hieroglyphs to land a job as a librarian (I do not). I’ll work at the ALA part-time through the summer, culminating with a trip to Columbus, Ohio, where I’ll get to meet my librarian pen-pals from all over the map who were awarded IFLA fellowships. And I’ll be looking for a job in the archives and special collections world, preferably in a place where I can turn general audiences on to what archives can do for them, as both patrons and collaborators; learn and write about book history, print culture and all things literary; and generally be a good steward for anyone brave enough to trust me with their collections.