Introducing Bowden Fellows

As the new year starts, so does a new program – Bowden Fellows. These are folks from practice and academia working closely with the Bowden Professor to push forward an agenda of improving libraries and library science education.

Kimberly Silk, Principal Consultant for Brightsail Research and Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto. Kim works with GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector organizations to help them adopt evaluation practices, develop metrics, and use data analysis to measure progress toward strategic goals, improve operations and demonstrate outcomes. Kim’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Library Science from the University of Toronto. In 2020 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation from the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria.

This spring Kim will be working with the Texas State Library and Archives around the use of data for assessment and ongoing services, and teaching a course in library evaluation for the University of Texas at Austin’s iSchool.

Susan Gregurek, Library Director Jarrell Community Library and Resource Center. Susan is the Library Director for Jarrell Community Library and Resource Center in Jarrell, Texas. The library is a new small rural non-profit library in a community experiencing exponential growth. Her past experiences as a retired K-8 educator, staff development trainer, Board of Director of an educational non-profit, and worked for a major textbook company has helped to prepare her for her new challenges expanding library resources, programs and activities for the diverse community of Jarrell.

This spring Susan will be working with students in building and managing the Jarrell Community Library.

Preparing Future iSchool Faculty in Librarianship: LADDER

Great news! I am part of a team headed by Dr. Soo Young Rieh and including Dr. Ken Fleischmann that just got funded by IMLS. The main goal of the project is to create future iSchool faculty highly skilled in data science and AI with a strong connection to the library field. 

One of the complaints I often here from librarians and library science students is that technically-oriented faculty don’t understand or have experience in librarianship. In this project, rather than “skilling up” library-oriented doc students, we’ll be “contexting-up” data folks with the context, values, and core strengths of librarianship. This is actually how I became attracted to libraries in my doctoral work. 

The grant is also a response to the concerns of library directors that faculty and students don’t get first hand learning in libraries.

Nine iSchool doctoral students will be selected as LADDER Fellows over three years and will be funded by the IMLS. Each year, the three PIs and three doctoral students will collaborate with librarians, rotating across three library contexts: Austin Public Library, Navarro High School Library, and UT libraries. Another aspect of this grant is that LADDER Fellows will be asked to form a doctoral committee like other doctoral students will do. What’s unique here is that each committee member takes a specific mentoring role: a research mentor, a professional engagement mentor, and a teaching mentor. The collaborative mentoring is designed to provide a triangulated educational experience for doctoral students so they will grow to be strong researchers and capable educators who understand the importance of applying their knowledge to authentic library contexts.

Keep an eye out for cohort recruitment!

http://www.imls.gov/news/imls-announces-21-million-investment-us-library-and-archive-initiatives

The Bowden Professor Presents Angela Craig

For those in the Austin area, please join us to hear from Angela Craig, the great library director of Charleston County Public Library Tuesday April 5th at the Austin Public Library: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/angela-craig-director-charleston-county-public-library-tickets-310531848117

Angela Craig will speak about her work at the Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina with a focus on community engagement

About this event

Angela Craig has been Executive Director of the Charleston County Public Library since April 2019. Angela started with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in 2005. In her 15 years with public libraries, she has spent time cultivating creativity, collaborating with staff, and developing a patron-focused experience by removing barriers to library services.
While adept at working with all populations, Angela has specialized in increasing library access to vulnerable populations and underserved communities. In 2013, she published Serving At-Risk Teens: Proven Strategies and Programs for Bridging the Gap, culminating in a visit to South Korea as their keynote speaker for the International Youth Symposium in 2015.

Active in national and regional professional library groups, Angela holds a master’s degree of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University. Angela believes in the transformative power of reading and literacy, and that strong public libraries are a platform to meet the needs of their community. A mother of two, she is a huge fan of reading to her children, is an avid reader of all genres and loves to talk to people about their favorite books.

This event is supported by the Virginia and Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin. Angela Craig is also an advisor the the Bowden Professor.

On the Passing of Charles Bowden

This month we lost Dr. Charles Bowden, professor, scientist, doctor, art lover, and the ‘Charles’ in my title: Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship. Dr. Bowden made tremendous advances in the treatment of bipolar disorder as a clinical professor at the University of Texas Health San Antonio.

I had the opportunity to meet Charles with his equally impressive wife Virginia last year. I am glad I had the opportunity. In that meeting with the Bowdens we talked about the importance of connecting students to the greater library community. This is evident in how my endowed professorship was set up.

Virginia and Charles have been generous supporters of the University of Texas iSchool, often funding infrastructure and excellence funds that allow academics to get things done. This was based on his experience as a professor as well as Virginia’s academic experience. In setting up the Bowden professorship, they made sure I had the ability as well as the obligation to innovate.

If you would like to see what combining great science with great broad impact looks like, take a look at his profile at UT Health.

I know in the weeks to come many will talk of Charles and his accomplishments. I know many voices from his family, colleagues, and friends will fill in the picture of a man making a difference. For myself, this sad moment is an opportunity to recommit to making a positive impact in the world, using scholarship to improve society, not simply document it. Thank you Charles for your support and your work. Rest in peace.

Here is his obituary: https://www.missionparks.com/obituaries/Charles-Bowden-4/#!/Obituary

An Invitation to the New Librarianship Symposia

Hi, my name is David Lankes. When I wrote the Atlas of New Librarianship 11 years ago my goal was to start a conversation about librarians, libraries, and their role in helping communities of all sorts make better decisions and help community members find meaning in their lives. Over the past decade that conversation has spread across the globe. It has also grown deeper with passionate new voices adding new perspectives, expertise, and challenges.

Continue reading “An Invitation to the New Librarianship Symposia”

Goodbye University of South Carolina

Today thinking about what the School of Information Science faculty, staff, and students have accomplished over my 5 years as director. A 280% increase on the undergrad program, a new graduate certificate in equity diversity and inclusion, hosting 2 national library research conferences, 6 classroom-to-school library cohorts, 8 new faculty, over a million dollars in external funding, increased enrollments in the MLIS and PhD, revised curriculum for the masters and undergrad programs, a successful accreditation, moving up the rankings, membership in the iSchools, membership in IFLA. All of this and 4 provosts, 2 presidents, 2 deans, a pandemic, and a bone marrow transplant.

That’s a wrap for me.

“Spring” Cleaning the Website

tl;dr version: I’m going to be making updates and cleaning up files on the site. This may lead to broken links in the next few days.

I’ve had a website before we called them blogs – hell, before we called them home pages. I started my site as hand edited HTML files, mostly linking to presentations I had done. When I outgrew HTML files I built my own PHP database site…then I got busy so I moved through different content management systems (TikiWIKI anyone). They got hacked, and I kept trying different flavors, until I found WordPress, and have been pretty much twisting it to my will for the past decade.

Seriously, if you have nothing better to do check out http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/ in the WayBack Machine.

With all those editors (anyone remember iWeb?) came different servers. Until about 8 years ago servers I ran (Sun Servers, Apple Servers) then ones at Syracuse’s iSchool, and finally GoDaddy web hosting.

The point is, this site has been part information dissemination, and equal part Frankenstein’s Monster for experimentation. So now it has come time to do a little cleaning. Moving things from an external site into WordPress to make backups easier, killing unlinked files, and yes, possibly even jettisoning early PowerPoint files on the wonders of FTP exported to HTML from PowerPoint. My goal is to keep as much as possible (particularly early presentations and papers), but I need to get this in hand.

So, if this week you run across a dead link – wait. If next week you run across a dead link, let me know.

New Librarianship Symposia Invitation

I am so happy to announce a symposia series on New Librarianship.

Ten years ago MIT Press published The Atlas of New Librarianship. We are taking the opportunity of its 10th anniversary to explore some of the key issues in librarianship that have evolved and emerged since 2011 in a series of online symposia in October and November 2021. We would like to invite you to be a part.

The symposia series is sponsored by MIT Press, the University of South Carolina, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the British Library, KB National Library of the Netherlands, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, Gigabit Libraries Network, URFIST de Bordeaux, Enssib, and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. We also expect more international organizations to join as sponsors shortly.

Call for Contributions

We seek abstract and creative format proposal submissions for ideas and approaches that can guide the field over the next decade and address the following areas:

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Post-neutrality librarianship
  • International influences
  • A “new normal” agenda in a COVID-affected world 

Symposia sessions will be streamed live, free of charge, and with efforts made to meet accessibility needs. Detailed descriptions for each topical area are below.

Accepted abstracts will be presented during a symposium and published on the University of South Carolina ScholarOne digital platform. Three abstracts for each symposium will be invited for development into white papers and awarded $2500 stipends. In addition, selected presentations will be developed into commissioned essays to be included in the Atlas of New Librarianship. Submissions from library practitioners and early career faculty are highly encouraged.

Each symposium will focus on concepts that guide library practice and development, rather than focusing on skills or specific functions tied to a given institution. Participants will be encouraged to seek broad concepts and theory that ultimately determine how librarianship is defined in and outside of the context of a library, as well as beyond sectors (public, academic, school, etc.). These symposia seek the ideas that will guide the field over the next decade instead of the latest trends or services.

Abstract submissions should address one of the four following core topics:

Symposium 1: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: The vital need for diversity in librarianship stems from twin beliefs in the inherent value and dignity of all people and in the fact that the best knowledge is derived from the richest variety of sources. How can this be expressed as a core value of librarianship and what are its implications for the institutions librarians build and maintain? How can we address institutional racism, biases, discrimination, and inaccessibility   in library institutions, education, and practice internationally? How might we integrate principles of inclusion and universal design?

Symposium 2: Post-Neutrality Librarianship: Librarians cannot be unbiased neutral information professionals and passionate advocates for better communities. To seek an improved society calls for a vision of what “improved” means. How can librarians reconcile the reality of making service decisions in a context of limited resources with a mandate to serve the whole community?

Symposium 3: International Influences: Concepts of diversity, of service, and of librarianship itself are strongly influenced by local contexts. The idea that the work of librarians looks the same in Kenya, Norway, China, and the United States is founded on the strained concept that universal structures serve all. What in librarianship transcends national boundaries, what varies, and what is the process that connects the two?

Symposium 4: A New Normal Agenda in a COVID-Affected World: The COVID pandemic has put in sharp contrast the role of libraries in communities, and made clear how what was once considered normal, must never be normalized again. Librarians must fight for universal broadband, better workforce development, and expand democratic conversations, to ensure the wellbeing of communities and understand their roles in a crisis. What does the new normal agenda for librarianship look like? 

Paper Abstract Submissions:

Abstracts for papers to be presented during a symposium should discuss, analyze, and critique critical ideas, theories, and concepts addressed within the chosen symposium topic. Submissions will be evaluated on quality of content; theoretical, conceptual, or practical significance; relevance for practice; originality; and clarity. The maximum length for an abstract, including references, is 500 words. Appendices should not be included. No author names should be listed in the abstract submitted for review. 

Creative Format Contribution Proposals:

In addition to the call for paper abstracts, we invite multimedia contributions in visual, audio, audiovisual, or hybrid formats. Contributions should include a sample of work and a contributor statement and engage with critical ideas, theories, and concepts addressed within the chosen symposium topic. Submissions will be evaluated for quality of content; theoretical, conceptual, or practical significance; relevance for practice; and creativity.

Editorial Board Review: Submissions will be refereed by an editorial board assigned to each symposium area. Please see the “About” page for Editorial Board Member information.

Important Dates

  • June 30, 2021: Abstract submissions due by 11:59 PM EST
  • August 1, 2021: Notification of abstract and creative format proposal acceptance; notification of abstracts selected for white paper commissions 
  • October 28, 2021: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Symposium 
  • November 4, 2021: Post-Neutrality Librarianship Symposium 
  • November 11, 2021: International Influences Symposium 
  • November 18, 2021: A New Normal Agenda in a COVID-Affected World Symposium 
  • February 28, 2022: Publication submissions due by 11:59 PM EST (GMT -5)
  • July 2022: Processing of materials, copyediting of submissions, and preparation of introductory materials, including audio introductions of selected content, will be completed and published on the University of South Carolina ScholarOne site.
  • End of 2022 (approximate): Target publication date for The Atlas of New Librarianship,Second Edition

Click here for more information and to submit your abstract: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/newlibrarianshipsymposia/cfp.html