Author: James Elmborg

MLIS Student Catherine James Published in Public Services Quarterly 

SLIS MLIS student Catherine James recently had an article published in the Future Voices column of Public Services Quarterly. “Trigger Warnings: To Label or Not to Label?” explores what trigger warnings are and specifically how they are emerging ethical dilemmas for academic libraries. Her article also discusses existing library standards related to trigger warnings. Catherine is a member of the 11th National Online MLIS Cohort and will graduate in December 2017. James’ article may be found at the link below. 

Congratulations, MLIS Student Catherine James!

MLIS student Catherine James recently had an article published in Public Services Quarterly 13(4): “Trigger Warnings: To Label or Not to Label?” (

From the introduction: “Her essay examines trigger warnings and their impact upon the higher-education community, specifically as emerging ethical dilemmas for academic libraries. She discusses existing library-based standards related to trigger warnings and concludes by suggesting alternative perspectives through which academic librarians should view trigger warnings to arrive at the most beneficial outcome for all concerned.”

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD 2017 – Renee Blalock and Tim Lewis 

On Alumni Day, Friday, November 10th, the Library School Association of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama awarded the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award to Irene S. (Renee) Blalock and Timothy Alan Lewis.

This award was created to recognize SLIS alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to the library, information, media, or book arts professions and have achieved distinction in their field.  Those considered for the Distinguished Alumni Award are judged on the full range of their professional accomplishments.

Irene S. (Renee) Blalock received her MLS in 1981.  Renee spent her entire professional career at the largest public library in Alabama, the Birmingham Public Library, serving in the Literature Department, Southern History Department, as a Branch Head, Collection Department Manager, Regional Coordinator, Operational Coordinator, Associate Director, and finally Director from 2009 to 2014.  In her many years of active service, Renee became an indispensable part of the volunteer community in Birmingham and was involved in many community activities and affiliations.  Examples of her professional leadership include President of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, the Jefferson County Public Library Association, and the University of Alabama Library School Association.  Further, she has served on committees of the American Library Association and was on the Board of the national Public Library Association.

Tim Lewis received his MLS in 1983 and his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1984.  Tim has spent his professional career at the Library of the Supreme Court, first as Reader Services Librarian, then Associate Director, and finally as Director of the Law Library and State Law Librarian from 1992 to the present.  He is responsible for the management of the largest public law library in Alabama, advises and assists county law librarians with legal information needs, and provides leadership to the law library community in Alabama.  Tim has served as President of the Alabama Bench and Bar Historical Society, the Law Library Association of Alabama, and is on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Center for Law and Civic Education.  Tim has shared his experience by authoring numerous articles concerning legal information and has made more than two dozen presentations at seminars and other programs on this topic.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was established by the Library School Association in 2000. With the announcement of the 2017 honorees, a total of 15 alumni have been recognized with the award.  The name of each recipient is placed on a permanent plaque displayed at SLIS in Gorgas Library.

Dr. Elmborg represents UA SLIS at OK Annual ACRL Conference 

SLIS Director, Dr. James Elmborg, was recently a featured guest speaker at the 2017 Oklahoma Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries Annual Conference, Reaching Toward the Margins: Critical Librarianship in Academia. In his presentation, “Talking Back to the Text: Marginalia, Marginalization, and Marginalized People,” Dr. Elmborg states, “The Library is a Contact Zone, where cultures meet, clash, and grapple. The Library [also] serves and defines its imagined community and how that community relates to larger cultural narrative.” Dr. Elmborg notes that the academic library is a context for learning. “We are all educators. Educators ask questions and encourage learners to find their voices and use them.”  
For more information and full slides from Dr. Elmborg’s presentation, please visit

Congratulations, Dr. Bonnici! 

Dr. Laurie Bonnici was recently awarded funding as Visiting Scholar at the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.  This competitive, prestigious award will allow Dr. Bonicci full access to a cadre of social media analysis software for evaluation purposes as well as any training she may wish to have in using the Lab. The Social Media Lab will host her for one month in late Spring 2018. “The purpose is to investigate and identify the best social media analysis software to inform data collection on the seeking of health information for a NSF proposal I will be applying for in the near future,” says Dr. Bonnici. “The experience of engaging with a variety of software will also inform in the development of a CCIS course on social media analysis software and methods.  In addition, the visiting scholar opportunity includes engaging in collaborative research with the Social Media Lab.  So the opportunity to engage with and collaborate with premier researchers working in social media analysis in Canada is very exciting.”