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.

Bowden Professor First Year Highlights

The following are some of the highlights of my work as the Bowden Professor.

The New Logo for the work of the Bowden Professorship

Invited Speakers with Students:

Angela Craig, Director Charleston County Public Library

Roosevelt Weeks, Director Austin Public Library

Dianne Connery, Pottsboro Public Library

John Chrastka, EveryLibrary

Bowden Capstone Scholars:

Chloe Santiago – framework for a grant-fundable program to train library leaders on power building and political and financial literacy specifically geared towards libraries who struggle to receive adequate funding, particularly those in low-income areas and historically BIPOC communities

Sarah Varenhorst – With San Diego State University’s health science librarian developed resources related to health science information, with a focus on vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jessica Gonzales – Worked with the Chattanooga Public Library in looking at ways to enhance its Summer Reading Programs and transform them into true early literacy efforts.

Emma Hetrick – Worked with the U.S. Embassy in Rome on the American Corner YouLab in Pistoia and the American Corner in Trieste. The goal of the project was to enhance the reading collections of both Corners, as well as create a better understanding of studying in the U.S.

Miriam Early – Worked with the Georgia Public Library Service to provide management, training, and support for GPLS’s DigEx program, which offers administrative support for public library-created digital exhibits.

Libraries Lead the New Normal:

Podcast hosted by Beth Patin (Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University), David Lankes (Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor, iSchool, University of Texas at Austin), and Mike Eisenberg (Dean/Professor Emeritus, iSchool, University of Washington); 19 Episodes and Counting

Assessing the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC):

Contracted with TSLAC to evaluate effectiveness of federal library funds. Helped to set the next five-year plan for supporting Texas libraries. Developing capacity within TSLAC to use data on library impact and advocacy for the state’s rural libraries. Developing voluntary certification for rural library staff to provide better service, and to defend the free expression of ideas.

Rural Library Development:

Working with rural libraries, such as Jarrell and Pottsboro, to improve library service to rural populations, and the nearly 2 million Texans with no library service.

Externally Funded Projects:

New Librarianship Symposia, IMLS and Others. Organizer. Convened an international series of symposia on the issues of post-neutrality librarianship; diversity, equity, and inclusion; cross-border connections; and a post-COVID new normal agenda. The New Librarianship Symposium Series was sponsored by the University of South Carolina, MIT Press, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the U.S. Library of Congress, the British Library, KB National Library of the Netherlands, OCLC, URFIST de Bordeaux, Enssib, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the University of Texas at Austin Bowden Folio, and Gigabit Libraries Network. $35,000

NEWCOMER Building a Network Community Centered Librarianship, Erasmus+ European Union. Project Consultant. Build a network of librarians from Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands to exchange best practice in community librarianship focused on inclusion and adult education. $137,798 (€117,250)

LADDER An IMLS funded project to prepare technically oriented future-faculty to teach library science students topics such as AI and data science. Partners include Austin Public Library, University of Texas Libraries, and Navarro High School. Co-PIS, Soo Young Rieh, Ken Fleischmann, David Lankes. $623,501

Presentations:

“Less; Better.” State Librarian’s Program, New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference 2022. Atlantic City, NJ.

“Serving & Saving Communities.” Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference 2022. Knoxville, TN.

“Relationships Instead of Transaction.”  X Congreso Nacional de Bibliotecas Públicas. Online.

“New Librarianship and Defining the Role of Librarians in Today’s Communities.” National Library of Peru. Online

“Challenges of Academic Libraries in the Digital Landscape: Retaining Value by Retaining the Human Connection” National Library Day Keynote. Sharda University, Greater Noida, India.

“Come together: Librarians across borders for better communities.” Next Library Festival 2021. Online.

“New Librarianship and Our Better Angels.” #vBIB as an independent, digital conference – organized by the Professional Association Information Library (BIB) and TIB – Leibniz Information Center Technology and Natural Sciences and University Library. Online.

“A New Normal – Renaissance of the public Library.” Stelline Conference, Milan, Italy. Online.

“Libraries Leading the New Normal.” Computers in Libraries 2021. Online.

“Librarians Building the New Normal.” Brazilian Federation of Associations of Librarians, Information Scientists and Institutions Keynote. Via Video.

Help! Connecting Great Students with Great Libraries

Looking to get some projects done and help students at the same time?

Library students in the Texas program are required to complete a Capstone project. These projects are 125 hours that constitute: 

“a fieldwork-based project under the guidance of a field supervisor from the organization or department sponsoring the project. Students must produce a deliverable and undertake a single, large project (not several small ones) as one of the aims of a PEP is for students to learn how to manage a considerable piece of work and deal with obstacles and challenges that arise in long projects.”

I am funding students to work with libraries on projects. These could be anything from planning a new type of service, examining the effectiveness of programs, or developing professional development. The only constraints are that unlike internships, this about one big project, students must be able to do the work remotely, and the results must be shared.

I will be meeting with these students on a regular basis to provide support and mentoring. This should minimize the amount of time you or your staff need to supervise the students. If you are interested in capstone projects, I will need an abstract of the project and a point person. Also, beyond the paid scholars, I will happily connect students to interesting projects.

If you are interested in supporting Capstone projects, please let me know (rdlankes@utexas.edu). As this work evolves, I would be very interested in your ideas on improving it for future years. Also, please feel to share this with colleagues that might be interested.

Here’s a list of previous projects:

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

On the Passing of Virginia Bowden

I am sad to report that Dr. Virginia Bowden, librarian, philanthropist, art lover, has passed away. Virginia with her husband Charles funded the Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship that I am honored to currently hold.

Virginia was a true force in librarianship, particularly medical librarianship. I am linking to her full obituary to read about this remarkable woman: computer programer, analyst, librarian, director, PhD holder:

https://www.missionparks.com/obituaries/Virginia-Bowden-3/#!/Obituary

What I will remember is her passion for library science students and the field. She wanted her support to connect students to the incredible library community. She saw the power in peers and community. She wanted students to see libraries in action, yes, but also the connections that happened at library conferences. She urged me to serve librarians in the field and student alike. She urged me to show the students the power of libraries beyond collections and buildings.

I am, and always will be, indebted to her for her service and support. I only wish I had more time to talk with her, and plan with her, and share. I will do my best to live up to her legacy and generosity.

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.

Video Sharing & So Much More: New N2L2 Episode

Episode 17: Video Sharing & So Much More

Beth Patin, Dave Lankes, & Mike Eisenberg

YouTube has more than 2 billion active users collectively viewing over 5 billion videos totaling a combined 1 billion hours of video viewing every day!! Tik Tok is the new kid on the block, just 4 years old worldwide, and already with over 1 billion active users watching 167 million videos every minute! These two entities wield tremendous influence across every demographic. Clearly more than benign video sharing platforms, they are mass media publishers, social media exchanges, and content creation streaming services. What’s the scoop? Are they valuable and helpful services or is there a darker side? Let’s find out.

Click here for episode page and previous episodes.

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

Chloe Santiago: Bowden Capstone Scholar

 I am building a framework for a grant-fundable program to train library leaders on power building and political and financial literacy. This program will be specifically geared towards libraries who struggle to receive adequate funding, particularly those in low-income areas and historically BIPOC communities, in order for those library leaders to have the knowledge and tools necessary to lobby for increased funding from their local governments.


Bio: Chloe Santiago is pursuing an MSIS at the UT Austin School of Information. She is interested in the potential to improve social, racial, and economic justice outcomes through advocacy for and through public libraries.

Sarah Varenhorst : Bowden Capstone Scholar

For my capstone project, I am working with San Diego State University’s health science librarian on a LibGuide related to health science information, with a focus on vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic. For this project, I am starting by researching information standards relevant to health science information and then using these standards to find information to add to the LibGuide. This is part of a project encapsulating libraries across San Diego County, including academic, hospital, and public libraries. I am excited to use this opportunity to grow as a future librarian and learn more about how to handle information related to sensitive topics such as health science. 


Bio: I am from Mustang, Oklahoma and I attended Pomona College in California for my BA in psychological science. I plan to pursue a career in education and outreach librarianship.