Author: Steven Yates

SLIS Faculty Present at Faculty Research Day

Several SLIS faculty presented at the 2020 UA Faculty Research Day. This event is held to display and commend excellence in research, creativity, and scholarship by uniting faculty from across campus. Faculty Research Day is also aimed at increasing awareness of faculty research and to foster enthusiasm among faculty, as the University of Alabama prides itself on being a world-class research institution. Due to the threat of COVID-19, this year’s exhibition was held virtually. Prof. Sarah Bryant, Dr. Steven MacCall, and Dr. Steven Yates were all recipients of Research Grant Committee (RGC) grants that were highlighted in poster presentations.

Prof. Sarah Bryant’s research poster, “Color Cards Artist Book,” received a 2019 RGC grant. The focus of Prof. Bryant’s research was on “the history and binding structures of 20th century color cards, sample books, and mixing guides.” The intent of the research was to “design, print, and bind a limited-edition artist book using the visual and structural formats used in the production of swatch books.” Prof. Bryant’s poster can be viewed here.

Dr. Steven MacCall also won a 2019 RGC grant. Dr. MacCall’s research, “Investigation of a Data-Driven Indexing Method for Multimedia Asset Collection in Sports: Phase I: How Much Data Can Be Recovered from Alabama Football History?,” aimed at “contributing to the development of a data-driven method for indexing multimedia asset collections documenting sports games by incorporating play-by-play statistical datasets including play data recovered from the historical record.” The purpose of the research was to determine how much data could be recovered from historical data sources of football play-by-play data, specifically from typewritten game logs from the 1992 season and newspaper accounts of games from the 1961 season. Dr. MacCall’s poster can be viewed here.

Dr. Steven Yates received a 2018 RGC grant. Dr. Yates’s poster presentation, titled “School Libraries, Standards, and the Summer Slide: One Public School District’s Approach,” examined the “presence of standards-based activity in the summer library program for an Alabama public school district over time.” The purpose of this research was to “document a public schools system’s school library operations outside of the  school calendar year, specifically during the summer months” and “how a public school system implements the National School Library Standards” per the American Association of School Librarians in 2018. Dr. Yates’s poster can be viewed here.

Congratulations to these faculty members on their research and we are proud to have them represent SLIS so well!

Faculty Activity Update, Fall 2019

SLIS faculty have been quite busy over the past few months. Here’s a selection of the great work they’re doing along with continuing to teach multiple courses to our fantastic MFA, MLIS, and PhD students.

Dr. Laurie Bonnici

Dr. Bonnici’s recent publication, “More Than Meets the Eye: Toward an Ontology of Proximity,” was accepted to the 2019 Proceedings from the Document Academy. This article was co-authored by Brian O’Connor (University of North Texas).

Prof. Sarah Bryant

Assistant professor Sarah Bryant’s newest book, The Radiant Republic, will be featured in juried exhibitions at the Carroll Gallery of the Newcomb Art Department of Tulane University, as part of the exhibit “Book Arts as Convergence,” at the San Francisco Center for the Book as part of the exhibit “Retro/Intro(Spection),” at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts as part of the exhibit “New Editions 2019,” and in Denver as part of the exhibit “Artists’ Book Cornucopia X” at the Art Gym Gallery and as part of the exhibit “Word|Image|Object” at the Denver Public Library. We look forward to her solo exhibition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, which will be open from January 2 through January 30.

SLIS also congratulates Professor Bryant and her artist collective Shift-lab, as they are honored as the book artist of the month by the College Book Art Association (CBAA). Read the article here.

Dr. John Burgess

SLIS News celebrated the publication of Dr. Burgess’s most recent book earlier this year. Read more here.

Prof. Anna Embree

Professor and Book Arts coordinator Anna Embree has binding work featured in multiple exhibits, including: online for “Ephemera/ Ephemera Binding: Forever, Always, and Now,” in “The Artful Book” at the Long Beach Museum of Art, and in “Art of the Book” at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County in New York. Her work was recently featured in the “Paper-Centric Exhibition” at the Toe River Arts Gallery of Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

Additionally, Embree and Prof. Bryant’s new Cuba book, Proverbio/Proverbs, is also being shown alongside Embree’s other work in two exhibitions, at both the Long Beach Museum of Art and at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County.

Dr. Hengyi Fu

Dr. Fu recently presented “Topics of example questions and discussion at the early stage of community building for health Q&A: A case study of Health Stack Exchange” at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) in Melbourne, Australia. Read it here.

Prof. Kyle Holland

In September, Book Arts instructor and studio manager Kyle Holland attended the Friends of Dard Hunter conference in Philadelphia and participated in the panel “The Present and Future Needs of Contemporary Hand Papermakers.” His contribution to the panel focused on papermaking in academic settings and how educators can help students to develop their papermaking careers while in school. Holland also led a workshop entitled “Lace Sheets with Eastern Fibers” at the conference.

Prof. Holland’s work is part of the exhibition “Psych Land” at the FAR Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, along with two other book artists. The exhibit is on view until December.

Prof. Holland is also taking part in an exchange portfolio entitled, “Extra Pulp,” which is being organized by IS Projects in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Nineteen other prominent papermakers from the East Coast and the South are also participating in this exchange, which utilizes paper as its own form of expression. The work produced by this exchange is on display until January 2020.

Check out information on both of Holland’s exhibitions out here.

Dr. Bharat Mehra

Dr. Mehra has a variety of recent publications and numerous presentations around the world. He will also be chairing the 83rd annual meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology with co-chair Dr. Kendra Albright (Kent State University) in October 2020.

The following are a sample of his many 2019 publications.

Dr. Mehra’s peer-reviewed edited volume entitled LGBTQ+ Librarianship in the 21st Century: Emerging Directions of Advocacy and Community Engagement in Diverse Information Environments has been published by Emerald Group Publishing as part of the Advances in Librarianship series. Mehra wrote the  introduction and the chapter “What is “LGBTQ+” Information? Interdisciplinary Connections.”

Dr. Mehra’s article “Deconstructing ‘Boxes & Walls’ in a Fluid Non-Binary Gendered Society: Gender Inclusivity and Equity in North American Academic Libraries,” was published as part of a column entitled “Gender Inclusivity and Equity in the Academic Libraries: Insights from Around the Globe” edited by Clara M. Chu and Jaya Raju in the College & Research Libraries News (C&RL News).

Dr. Mehra with Everette Scott Sikes and Vandana Singh: “Scenarios of Technology Use to Promote Community Engagement: Overcoming Marginalization and Bridging Digital Divides in the Southern and Central Appalachian Rural Libraries,” in the Information Processing & Management (Special Issue: Marginalized Communities, Emerging Technologies, and Social Innovation in the Digital Age. Edited by Jia Tina Du, Iris Xie, and Jenny Waycott). Read it here.

Dr. Mehra’s article entitled, “Information ACTism in “Trumping” the Contemporary Fake News Phenomenon in Rural Libraries,” was published in Open Information Science (Special Issue: Fake News in Library and Information Science, edited by Renate L. Chancellor and Shari A. Lee), 3(1), 181-196, in August 2019 Read it here.

Dr. Mehra’s article entitled, “Scenarios of Health Engagement Experiences and Health Justice in Rural Libraries,” co-authored with Everette Scott Sikes and Vandana Singh was published in the International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (Special Issue: Health Justice. Edited by Beth St. Jean, Gagan Jindal, Yuting Liao, and Paul T. Jaeger), 3(3), 56-87, in August 2019. Read it here.

Dr. Mehra’s article entitled, “The Non-White Man’s Burden in LIS Education: Critical Constructive Nudges,” was published in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (Special Issue, A Critical Dialogue: Faculty of Color in Library and Information Science. Edited by Jose Sanchez and Nicole A. Cooke), 60(3) (July 2019), 198-207.

Dr. Jamie Naidoo

Dr. Naidoo presented research on international LGBTQ children’s literature and participated on a panel on Mexican children’s literature at the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) regional conference in Austin, TX October 25-27.

Dr. Robert Riter

SLIS congratulates Dr. Robert Riter on three recent publications.

He published “Archives in the Stacks: Documentary Editions in Collections,” in Collection and Curation. Read it here.

He also published, “Book Art and the Representation and Communication of Original Sources,” in Art Libraries Journal. Read it here.

Finally, he published, “Documenting Craft: A Discussion of Recordness in Book Art,” in The Blue Notebook. Read it here.

Dr. Riter has three new service appointments: the Association for Documentary Editing’s Publications Committee, the Archival Education and Research Initiative’s Journal Ranking Working Group, and the Sustainable AERI Data and Research Infrastructure and Analysis Working Group.

Dr. Miriam Sweeney

SLIS congratulates assistant professor Dr. Miriam Sweeney on her keynote, “Facing Our Computers,” which she presented at the Library Research Seminar VII last month. Dr. Sweeney’s talk focused on the emergence of smart digital assistant technologies and the concerns surrounding their design and use.

Dr. Jeff Weddle

Read more about Dr. Weddle’s recent appearances for Citizen Relent (2019), his latest creative work, here.

Dr. Steven Yates

SLIS Assistant Director Dr. Steven Yates is a candidate for 2021-2022 president of the American Library Association. The voting period will be March 9-April 1, 2020. Read the official press release here and look for more information on his campaign site.

Archival Studies Program Update, Fall 2019

The SLIS Archival Studies program continues to grow and expand! Here’s a recap of recent news from this robust area of emphasis and certificate option for SLIS students:

Community Partnership News:

The Birmingham Black Radio Museum and SLIS Archival Studies have established the Alabama Black Radio Project, a documentation strategy dedicated to the preservation of Alabama’s radio history. This project extends the BBRM model state-wide.

SLIS Archival Studies has partnered with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Archives to establish a joint internship program dedicated to the cataloging and indexing of BCRI’s oral history collection. This initiative is led by SLIS alum Alex Smith, Digital Archivist at the BCRI.

SLIS Archival Studies has also partnered with the UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society to establish the Public Health Collections Curation Internship program. This program is concerned with preparing students to deploy health collections to address public health concerns.

Fall Campus Activities:

Assistant professor and Archival Studies Coordinator Dr. Robert Riter and the UA Society of American Archivists (SAA) chapter have hosted a number of guest speakers and tours this fall. Discussions have been available on campus and via Zoom.

On October 7th, SLIS hosted a discussion with alum Alex Smith, who now works as the digital archivist at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Ms. Smith discussed her day-to-day work as a digital archivist in a community-focused information environment, the process of establishing and maintaining sustainable institutional collaborations, and the practice of digitizing and cataloging oral histories.

On October 14th, Dr. Alan Blum, Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair of Family Medicine, and director of Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society, led an informal discussion on the Center’s role in deploying archival collections to address public health concerns. He also discussed the contextual uniqueness associated with maintaining working archival collections within the context of a public health research institute.

On November 18th, Bob Friedman, founder and director of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum, will visit SLIS. Mr. Friedman will discuss the founding, development, and management of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum, and his role in mentoring emerging community-engaged archival professionals. We will also introduce the Alabama Black Radio Project, a newly established initiative dedicated to the documentation and preservation of Alabama’s radio history.

Current student and SAA chapter president Mark Usry led two tours of archival institutions on the UA campus. On October 9th, SLIS students toured the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society in Nott Hall. On October 16th, SLIS students were able to tour the Paul W. Bryant Museum.