Author: Steven Yates

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

SLIS Faculty Present at ASIS&T 2021

The 84th Annual Conference for the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) was held October 30 through November 2 in a hybrid format including live sessions in Salt Lake City, UT. We are delighted to have professors presenting at this year’s conference.

Dr. Bharat Mehra will be speaking on a panel, “Conceptualizing Relevance of Information as a Social Justice Issue: An Interactive Panel Discussion,” on October 31 at 11:00 AM, MDT.

Dr. John Burgess will be speaking on a panel, “Information Injustice and Intellectual Freedom: Polarizing Concepts for a Polarizing Time,” on November 1 at 10:00 AM, MDT.

Faculty Spotlight – October 2021

Dr. Bharat Mehra published a paper entitled Libraries Reclaiming “Social Justice Warriors” during “Miss Rona’s” Global Pandemic Crises in The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy 91(4), 385-401The publication may be accessed here:

Dr. Mehra and Joseph Winberry (PhD candidate, University of Tennessee) published a chapter entitled “’Politic’ Talks to Address the Global Democracy Recession in Academic Libraries of the South: An Exploratory Website Analysis” in Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy: Confronting Polarization, Misinformation, and Suppression (Advances in Librarianship: Vol. 50) edited by Natalie Greene Taylor, Karen Kettnich, Ursula Gorham, and Paul T. Jaeger (pp. 183-210) published by Emerald Group Publishing (Bingley, United Kingdom).  Access the abstract for the publication here:

Dr. Bob Riter and former SLIS students Jeff Hirschy and Kim McDade recently published an article in collaboration with community partner Bob Friedman. Friedman is the director of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum. The article is entitled “Preserving the History of Birmingham Black Radio: A Discussion of Preservation, Outreach, and Collaboration.” Their article can be found here.

Dr. Steven Yates recently presented at the 2021 national conference of the American Association of School Librarians, held October 21-23 in Salt Lake City. He presented “COVID Taught Me to Collaborate! Using High-Touch Marketing to Elevate Your Practice” with Dr. Michelle Wilson (MLIS ’05). He also moderated the panel “Federal and State Advocacy for School Libraries: New Challenges and Opportunities” featuring panelists Amanda Kordeliski, Director of Libraries and Instructional Technology for Norman (OK) Public Schools, and Kevin Maher, Deputy Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the American Library Association.