Faculty Spotlight – Summer Recap

Faculty and students at UA SLIS persevered beyond unexpected challenges in summer 2020 and continued to produce research and creative activity in a variety of venues.

On June 6, Prof. Sarah Bryant released a book project called Read This Out Loud in response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. This book is a downloadable template that is available through her website alongside detailed binding video tutorials. The purpose of the project is to enable anyone to participate in the production and dissemination of this book, a list of names of almost 2,000 Black people killed by police between the years 2013 and 2019. This book was distributed for free in the local community and across the United States. The book template has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times. The San Francisco Center for the Book staged a book binding event for it on September 1 and German artists Birgit Nielsen and Ann Carolin Renninger adapted Prof. Bryant’s work to include victims of racism and right-wing violence in Germany, where they staged a binding event on September 9 and 10.

Dr. Steven MacCall presented in July at the LD4 Conference on Linked Data in Libraries. The conference had originally been scheduled for May 2020 at College Station, Texas; however, the ever-present threat of COVID-19 prevented maintaining the original schedule and plan of events. Delivered virtually, Dr. MacCall presented in the “digital collections” track of the conference with his presentation titled “Data-Driven Semantic DAM Indexing Incorporating Statistical Play-by-play Game Logs: A Linked Data Application using Wikibase from the 2017 Football Season of the Alabama Crimson Tide.” The objective of this project was “to demonstrate how statistical play-by-play datasets generated by loggers during college football games could be incorporated into a semantic indexing process for photos and video clips captured during those games.” The YouTube recording of his presentation can be found here.

Dr. Bharat Mehra had several co-authored articles published in various academic journals. “Framing a Discussion on Paradigm Shift(s) in the Field of Information” was published in the Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology and can be accessed here. Dr. Mehra also co-authored “An ‘Owning Up’ of White-IST Trends in LIS to Further Real Transformations,” published in The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy and “Scenarios of Technology Use to Promote Community Engagement: Overcoming Marginalization and Bridging Digital Divides in the Southern and Central Appalachian Rural Libraries” in a special issue of Information Processing & Management. The link to the later article can be found here.

Dr. Miriam Sweeney, along with collaborators Dr. Todd Freeborn (UA’s College of Engineering) and Dr. Claire Major (UA’s College of Education), received a $299,997 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project “Using Problem-Based Learning to Increase the Ethical Reasoning Skills of Electrical and Computer Engineering Students.” Read more about the project on Dr. Sweeney’s site here.

Congratulations SLIS faculty!