Winter 2017 "Off the Shelf" Newsletter

January greetings!
Here at the School of Information Studies, we are settling in to a new semester and looking forward to the energy of a new calendar year. Several members of the faculty and I just returned from Atlanta having attended the ALISE and ALA Midwinter conferences. ALISE (Association of Library and Information Science Educators) was very enjoyable; there were quite a few excellent presentations focused on the conference theme “Community Engagement and Social Responsibility,” and it is always good to connect with colleagues from other LIS programs. ALISE is also a conference where LIS PhD students from across the U.S. and Canada present posters of research in various stages of progress. It was fascinating to see research focused on information use in so many different arenas, including the first place project by Margaret Zimmerman from the University of South Carolina on the health information seeking behaviors of low income women, and another USC-SLIS student Hassan Zamir’s work on “Designing a System to Make Sense of Social Media Protests.” Dominican’s SOIS did not have any PhD participants in the poster session competition this year, but with 13 students on the verge of dissertation work over the next two years, stay tuned!
In the meantime, our faculty is actively working on two big projects: an MLIS curriculum review, and collaboration with Dominican’s School of Education and School of Social Work towards a summer 2017 College of Applied Social Sciences affiliation. As for the MLIS curriculum review, our broad goals are to examine our required courses for currency and relevance, to look at our graduates’ e-Portfolio project for greater clarity for students and for program assessment, and to consider how best to design technology requirements for all students. We will focus on maintaining an MLIS curriculum that is strong in the core values of the profession and also reflective of the rapid changes in LIS organizations. In terms of the path toward a new college structure, things are moving forward smoothly, and the search for a new college dean is progressing well. I saw a colleague at ALISE who said to me that she had been watching our progress toward a new college, and was especially impressed with the emphasis on collaboration between LIS, education, and social work-–truly a disciplinary partnership toward social improvement through information, learning, and the promotion of positive social change.
Here’s to 2017, where we all engage in the promotion of positive social change.

Kate Marek
Dean and Professor


Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to the following individuals who received Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degrees on January 7, 2017:

Claudia Baranowski; Kelsey Cutlip; Natalie Djordjevic; Zoe Dobbs; Brandon Driver; Norma Duke; Sarah Furger; Cathy Geers; Kendall Harvey; Nicholas House; Matthew Isaia; Kamallah Kaplan; Amanda Keen; Ellen Kimbro; Amanda Lapham; Madeline McDermott; Emily Reeb; Emily Richardson; Richard Sandberg; Lisette Soto; Kristin Sumner and Leigh Anne Wilson.

Alumni Council Mentoring Project

The SOIS Alumni Council is exploring the creation of a mentoring program to connect Dominican's LIS alumni with current students. If you're an alum who would be interested in serving as a mentor to a current LIS student at Dominican, please fill out this brief form,  to provide us with your name, contact information, job title and location, and areas of expertise.  If we have enough interest from mentors and students to launch this program, you'll hear back from us later this year.


Career Day 2017: Build Your Network

SOIS’s Alumni Council will once again host Career Day for students and recent graduates on Saturday, February 4. This valuable half-day workshop will enable you to network, learn how to build your own network, hear from mentor professionals in the LIS field, and refine your career goals. The morning begins with continental breakfast and registration at 8:30 a.m., to be followed by a keynote titled "Strategies for Networking Success: How and Why to Build a Professional Network" presented by Debbie Baaske, Member Engagement Manager and Joe Filapek, Consulting and Continuing Education Manager, Reaching Across Illinois Library Systems. You'll then have an opportunity to "speed network" with approximately 30 mentor professionals and Alumni Council members. We'll finish up by noon. REGISTER NOW!

5th Annual Butler Lecture Featuring Holly Black

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. REGISTER NOW!

Follett Lecture Featuring David Lankes

R. David Lankes, the 2016-17 Follett Chair, will moderate the annual Follett Lecture on April 12, 2017, which will be structured as a panel presentation titled “The Social Responsibility of the Librarian and the Library in a Post-Factual World.” Lankes is the director of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina and the associate dean of the university's College of Information and Communications, and the author of The Atlas of New Librarianship (MIT Press, 2012) and Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today's Complex World (Riland, 2016). Respondent panelists include include Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences and faculty affiliate of the Center for Digital Inclusion at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association's Center for the Future of Libraries; and Scott Walter, university librarian at DePaul University. REGISTER NOW!

Mock CaldeNott at the Butler Children’s Literature Center

We’re thrilled to bring back the popular Mock CaldeNott for the first Butler Book Banter of 2017, in which we get together just after the REAL Youth Media Awards to deliberate about terrific books that weren’t discussed in the Caldecott Committee, not because they aren’t worthy, but because they’re outside the scope of the real-life award. We’re talking about books published in other countries and/or illustrated by people who are not US citizens or residents. All the books on our list were published in 2016, though.

So, as soon as we’ve finished Monday-morning quarterbacking the actual award winner selections, let’s dig into something a little different! Join us here in the Butler Center on February 1 from 5:30-7:30 (books and snacks out at 5:30, discussion from 6-7, voting from 7-7:30). No RSVP necessary.

Special thanks to guest co-moderator Keary Bramwell, who spurred us to do this again and did yeoman’s work in helping develop the discussion list, posted on The Butler's Pantry.


Visit Butler Children’s Literature Center staff at our exhibit at the Illinois Youth Services Institute in Springfield, March 10-11, 2017.

(Re) Connect with SOIS during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23-26, 2017.


Karen Brown, professor, presented with Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Kara Malenfant "Leveraging the Campus Message about Student Learning Through Collaborative Assessment with Faculty" at the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis in October 2016.

She delivered another presentation with Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Kara Malenfant "Creating Sustainable Assessment Practice through Collaborative Leadership: Informing and Being Informed by Higher Education Leaders" at the Library Assessment Conference in Arlington, VA in November 2016.
As part of a National Science Foundation project, "Rural Gateways: Fostering the Development of Rural Librarians as Informal Science Facilitators," she led online professional development for 100 librarians during the fall.

Sujin B. E. Huggins, associate professor, was appointed to the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Book Award Jury, 2017-19.

Stacy T. Kowalczyk, associate professor and Yijun Gao, assistant professor, will present their accepted paper, “Information Studies in Two Cultures: A Review of iSchool Curricula in China and U.S.,” at the iConference in Wuhan, China, March 22-25, 2017.

Karen Snow, associate professor and director of the doctoral program, is speaking at the Association for Library and Information Science Educators conference Thursday, January 19 in the Technical Services Education Special Interest Group session, “Leveraging Educator-Practitioner Partnerships to Define Competencies for Technical Services Professionals.”


Doctoral student K. C. Boyd’s article “A Leader for Readers: K. C. Boyd Brings Lessons from a Chicago High School to a New District,” was published in the November 2016 issue of School Library Journal.

MLIS student Elizabeth Morris was selected for the American Library Association’s Student-to-Staff program during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 23-26, 2017.


Kyle Carson, MLIS ’13, was appointed digital asset manager at the NASA Visitors’ Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Laurel Johnson, MLIS ’15, was named the 2017 Young Adult Library Services Association’s ALA Emerging Leader.

Roberto A. Sarmiento, MLIS ’84, was elected President-Elect of the Special Libraries Association.

Ruth Mary Woods, MALS ’75, retired from the Aurora Public Library.


Diane Foote, assistant dean and curator of the Butler Children’s Literature Center, has been appointed to the Association for Library Service to Children’s Distinguished Service Award Committee, 2017-18; and ALA’s Task Force for the 50th Anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, 2017-19.