Summer 2016 "Off the Shelf" Newsletter

Dominican GSLIS "Off the Shelf" Masthead

Summer greetings -

While summer school continues, involving many faculty and students, in general summer is a more relaxed time around campus with a slower administrative pace. (And more places to park!) Thus the summer season of the academic year gives us a little time to reflect on the past year and to set goals and priorities for the upcoming one. This summer, we are finishing up some much-needed office organization and file management – a very big weeding project! This weeding process is providing physical and conceptual space for the changes coming this fall in the way of a new school name for GSLIS, and a new academic organizational structure for Dominican. I talked about our name change process from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to the School of Information Studies in the Spring Off the Shelf. The other big change for us next year is the university’s academic realignment process, which will structure the School of Information Studies within a new college that will also include the School of Education and the School of Social Work. The planning process toward the new college will continue throughout academic 2016-2017, with the goal to formalize the new structure in July of 2017. Watch for ongoing messages from GSLIS and from the university regarding these big changes. Do keep in mind, though, that as big as the changes are, our roots and foundations are stable; we are in the midst of an ongoing evolution reflective of broad trends within higher education and society at large.

As a specific example of our commitment to LIS education in the midst of change, this summer we are also gearing up to welcome David Lankes as our 2016-2017 Follett Chair. As you may know, David is one of the key thought-leaders in LIS today, and is the award-winning author of The Atlas of New Librarianship and his follow up Expect More. David is a strong advocate for innovation and excellence in 21st century libraries. In his work with us, David will focus on “New Librarianship @ Dominican,” a year-long program connecting GSLIS students with practitioners across the Chicagoland area in all types of libraries and information settings. He will also present the Follett Lecture in Spring 2017. We are thrilled with this new partnership with Dr. David Lankes and the opportunities this will bring our students.

Enjoy the summer!

Kate Marek
Dean and Professor


Congratulations to the following individuals who received degrees on May 8, 2016.

Master of Library and Information Science:

Erica Adams; Shaimaa Alansari; Abrar Alkusaimi; Abdulsalam Alnemari; Alice Asleson; Alison Bovaird; Patricia Chavez; Kathryn Coldiron; Guadalupe Colin; Natasha Crespo; Jennifer Cuevas; Michelle Decker; Jocelyn Dunlop; Andrew Fordham; Shadae Gatlin; Nicole Gibby Munguia; Kathleen Gomez; Andrea Goodyear; Holly Havlicek; Arnette Hill; Kathryn Hoover; Heather Hummons; Scott Jones; Mozhdeh Khodarahmi; Mark Knox; Elizabeth Lovsin; Daniel Messer; Kristen Mohr; Meghan Morgan; Barbara O'Sullivan; Kara Pauley; Rebecca Pfenning; Dina Ragano; Christyn Rayford; Faith Rice; Paul Rubio; Scott Shoger; Cheryl Shrake; Samantha Smith; Matthew Smolka; Thomas Somerville; Karin Stefans; Zachariah Terrill; Pamela Upsher; Rachel Wedeward; Margaret Whalen Stec and Chandi Wittenberger.

Michelle Decker Named 2016 Cohen Award Winner

Michelle Decker, MLIS '16, Wins Cohen Award

The GSLIS Helen Cohen Outstanding Student Award is given each year during spring Commencement activities to an MLIS student who is enrolled in the spring semester and has completed at least 12 credits or who has graduated within the last two semesters. The winner receives a certificate and a $500 honorarium. The "Outstanding Student" is one who demonstrates academic excellence, Caritas and Veritas, commitment to the profession, a service orientation, intellectual curiosity, and a collaborative spirit. The 2016 winner, Michelle Decker, exemplifies these criteria through her high academic achievement and outstanding work with the children she serves at Farragut Elementary School in Joliet, where Michelle currently works as a library paraprofessional. She graduated with her MLIS in May 2016.

The selection committee specifically cited her communication skills, effectiveness as a group leader, generosity of intellect, and dedication to the profession not only at Farragut but also during her internship at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library as a photograph cataloging intern.

“Michelle is a dedicated student who works well with others,” says Mary Pat Fallon, assistant professor in GSLIS and member of the GSLIS Honors and Awards Committee. “She is extremely organized, a diligent worker, gifted creatively and is committed to the field of library and information science.” Cecilia Salvatore, associate professor and coordinator of cultural heritage and archives, also served on the committee.


Three Spectrum Scholars for 2016-17

GSLIS is pleased to welcome three American Library Association Spectrum Scholars for the 2016-17 academic year: April Hummons, Anjelica Rufus-Barnes, and Monica Tapia. According to ALA, "Spectrum recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist individuals interested in obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and our organization.  Our aim is to increase the number of racially and ethnically diverse professionals working as leaders in the field of library and information science to best position libraries and institutions at the core of today’s culturally diverse communities." GSLIS is extremely proud of our three students, and fully matches the $5000 in ALA scholarship funds for a total of $10,000. Spectrum Scholars also receive from ALA a $1500 stipend to attend its Annual Conference in June 2017, plus mentoring and other program support. Learn more about this year's winners and the Spectrum program.


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. The Lecture will take place in Martin Recital Hall on Dominican's main campus at 6:00 p.m., followed by a reception. It is free and open to the public with registration required at

5th Annual Butler Lecture Featuring Holly Black

SAVE THE DATE! Holly Black, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles series, the Newbery Honor Book Doll Bones (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, 2012), The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (Little, Brown, 2013), and The Darkest Park of the Forest (Little, Brown, 2015), among many other spooky and fantastic stories, will present the Butler Lecture on March 16, 2017. Registration will open in January 2017.


At the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education 2016 Annual Conference in June, Professor Karen Brown co-presented a workshop with Kara Malenfant (Association of College and Research Libraries), Team-Based Assessment: Collaborating for a Campus Message about Student Learning.

She keynoted the Academic Libraries of Indiana 2016 Annual Meeting with her presentation, Building Library Leadership with Team-Based Campus Assessment Projects, in May.

She recently prepared Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects, an Association of College and Research Libraries’ report that synthesizes findings from higher education institutions participating in the second year of the Assessment in Action program.

She was also part of a panel presentation, Assessment in Action in Academic Libraries, at the Texas Library Association 2016 Annual Conference in April.

Janice M. Del Negro, associate professor, was elected to the 2018 John Newbery Award Selection Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Mary Pat Fallon, assistant professor, presented "Gaming + Academic Libraries = Information Literacy" at the 17th conference of the Media Ecology Association in Bologna, Italy on June 24.  

Don Hamerly, assistant professor and director of the school library media program and the bachelor of science in informatics program, was invited, along with Rutgers professor Joe Sanchez, to present the first workshop of this year’s i3: iSchool Inclusion Institute of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh on June 13. The institute is an undergraduate research and leadership development program that prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. Only 25 students from across the country are selected each year to become i3 Scholars. In previous years, this workshop has been titled, "What are the Information Sciences? What are the iSchools?" The objective of the workshop is to demonstrate to students the incredible breadth of the field (archives, libraries, privacy, policy, big data, security, etc.) and highlight the linkages to other areas of study (most of the students are majoring in fields other than information science). In addition, the workshop includes a brief introduction to the iSchools and their role in promoting and developing the field.

Sujin Huggins, assistant professor, presented at ALA Annual 2016 as a member of the panel of the CSK program: "Everything You Want to Know About the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee", on Saturday, June 25, 2016.

Karen Snow, assistant professor, co-chaired the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of ALA, Cataloging and Metadata Management Section Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group on June 24 and chaired the ALCTS CaMMS Research and Publications Committee meeting on June 26 during the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando.

Christopher Stewart, assistant professor, became chair of the Buildings and Equipment Section of the Library Leadership and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association, as well as a member of LLAMA's executive committee.


Mindy Barbarskis, MLIS '12, was appointed reference specialist at the University of Kansas's Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Laura Bos, MLIS '12, presented "STEAM Around the World: Successfully Incorporating Hands-On Learning and Diversity into Children's Programming" at the American Library Association's 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando.

Jacqueline Ceron, MLIS '16, was appointed youth services librarian at the Northlake (IL) Public Library District.

Sybilla Cook, MALS '66, authored Drawn Together in Friends: The Biography of Caldecott Award-Winning Authors Berta and Elmer Hader (Concordia University Publishing, 2016).

Read here for more GSLIS alumnae/i in the news.


Diane Foote, assistant dean of GSLIS and curator of the Butler Children's Literature Center, was interviewed on WILL's radio show "The 21st" about summer reading for children on June 17. Listen.


The GSLIS community mourns the passing of two former faculty members:

John Shuler, adjunct instructor, who taught LIS 744 Government Information Resources. He earned his MLS degree from UCLA, and was a government documents librarian and department head at the University of Illinois-Chicago University Library. More information is available in his obituary

Theodore Spahn, PhD, emeritus professor, who taught the preservation and study of rare books and manuscripts, the history of libraries, and the history of bookmaking and book selling from antiquity to the present day. He has master’s degrees in history (Northwestern University) and library science (Rosary College, now Dominican University), and a doctorate in library science from the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty at Rosary College, Dr. Spahn had been Librarian in the geology library at Northwestern University, then Assistant Professor and Chief Bibliographer at the University of Illinois at Chicago. More information is available in his obituary.