Author: Steven Yates

Faculty Spotlight – January 2022

Dr. Hengyi Fu was named a finalist for the iConference’s Lee Dirks Award for Best Full Research Paper. Her paper, entitled “Facial Recognition Interaction in a University Setting: Impression, Reaction, and Decision-Making,” was selected as a top five finalist. The winner of the award will be announced during the annual conference, which will be held from February 20 – March 4. More information about Dr. Fu’s paper, as well as the other finalists’ work can be found here. We wish Dr. Fu the best of luck!

Dr. Miriam Sweeney was recently announced to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Illinois Information Literacy Summit. The theme for the conference this year is “Expanding the Conversation: Digital, Media, and Civic Literacies In and Out of the Library,” which directly ties in to Dr. Sweeney’s research in critical digital media and information studies. The conference will be held virtually on Friday, April 29, 2022. Congratulations, Dr. Sweeney!

SLIS News – December 2021

Student Spotlight

Lauren Tubbs-Ezell, current MLIS student, was chosen as a 2022 Emerging Leader for American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders program. She was selected for the program to represent Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures—a division of ALA. No more than 50 individuals are selected to participate in a cohort. The Emerging Leaders program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. Congratulations on this incredible achievement, Lauren!

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Bharat Mehra recently published a chapter “Extending Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan in the 21st Century: Social Justice Laws of Librarianship” in a book entitled Handbook of Research on the Role of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Achieving Civic Engagement and Social Justice in Smart Cities edited by Mohamed Taher and published by the IGI Global (Hershey, PA). It can be found here.

Dr. Mehra was also a panelist on a webinar earlier this month, entitled “Explore Family-School-Library Partnerships: A Librarian’s Guide to Engaging Families in Learning” hosted by the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement. Congratulations, Dr. Mehra!

Alumni Feature

Alumna Joy Batting Lee (MLIS ’01) was named Teacher of the Year at her school, Williams Intermediate School, a part of Pell City Schools. Way to go, Joy!

Alumna Melissa Summerford (MLIS ‘16) was voted Teacher of the Year at her school, McCalla Elementary School, a part of Jefferson County Schools. Congratulations, Melissa!

Student Spotlight – November 2021

Valeria Dávila, MLIS student and president of UA’s Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) student chapter, was appointed Co-Chair of the AMIA Advocacy Committee. The Committee’s mission is to identify and promote opportunities to shape public perception and raise awareness of archives and archival professionals, explore ways that AMIA can advocate for the resources needed by archives and archival professionals; and suggest strategic collaborations and partnerships as methods of amplifying advocacy efforts. More information about Valeria’s appointment can be found here. Congratulations!

Elizabeth Meads, current MLIS student, recently competed in the annual 3 Minute Thesis competition, hosted by the UA Graduate School. After competing in the preliminary rounds, she was selected as one of fifteen finalists to represent SLIS for a chance of securing a $1,500 scholarship and a chance to represent UA at the regional 3 Minute Thesis competition in January. Her talk was on audiovisual preservation and the urgent need to save these decaying formats. Though she did not earn a spot on the winner’s podium, we are proud that she was named a finalist. This year’s 3 Minute Thesis competition was recorded at the Digital Media Center on campus and will soon be published on their website and will also air on Alabama Public Television in January. Elizabeth was also elected Vice President of the UA ALA student chapter. Congratulations!

Meads and her supporters at the 3MT finals–Left to right: Kate Bennett (MLIS/MFA student), Elizabeth Meads (MLIS student), Faith Walker (MLIS student), Brianna Bonner (MSW student).

Alumni Spotlight – November 2021

Hali J. Black (MLIS ’17) was recently honored with the 2021 Past President Award, given to her by the Mississippi Library Association. Hali is currently an assistant professor and First Year Experience Librarian at the University of Southern Mississippi. Congratulations, Hali! More information about Hali and her recent award can be found here.

Jason B. Byrd (MLIS ’08) will join the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith as the director of the Boreham Library, starting January 18, 2022. Congratulations on the new leadership position! More information about Jason and his new role can be found here.

UA Hosts Inaugural Joint Archival Studies Research Forum with the University of Southern Mississippi

UA SLIS and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) held its first ever joint Archival Studies Research Forum on October 22nd. The goal of this collaboration is to promote and support student and faculty collaborations between the two universities. There were two papers presented at this forum, one from each university. From UA SLIS, presenters were Valeria Dávila and Laura Daly on “Archives and Communities Podcast: Past and Future. Valeria served as president of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) student chapter from 2020-2021 and Laura Daly is the current president of the chapter. From Southern Mississippi, Rori Holford presented “Memory and Disruption of the Race Discrimination System in African American Cemeteries.” The Forum was organized by Dr. Robert “Bob” Riter, coordinator of UA’s Archival Studies program, and SLIS alumus Dr. Jeff Hirschy, coordinator of USM’s Archival Studies program. The Archival Studies Program within SLIS is looking forward to collaborating with other programs in the future and having more joint forums to promote student and faculty research.

UA Student Presents at Research Forum
UA SLIS student Valeria Dávila presents at the UA/USM Joint Archival Studies Research Forum