Category: Book Arts News

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.

Honors Day 2019 in Review

The School of Library and Information Studies hosted students, alumni, family, and faculty to recognize our outstanding MLIS and Book Arts students for Honors Day on April 5, 2019, at a ceremony on the fifth floor of Gorgas Library. Attendees enjoyed greetings by Dr. Mark Nelson, Dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, and an address on Book and Publication Arts from alumna Inge Bruggeman, Assistant Professor and Area Head Book & Publication Arts and the Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada, Reno. Please join us in congratulating these deserving recipients.

Bethel Fite Endowed Scholarships for Part-Time Students

Awarded to a part-time student pursuing an MLIS degree. The recipient was selected through faculty nomination and presented by Dr. Robert Riter.

The 2019 recipient is Shakera Stanley.

Corr Scholarship

Awarded to students currently enrolled in SLIS and pursuing specializations in school or youth services. The recipient was selected by School Media/Youth services faculty and presented by Dr. Jamie Naidoo and Dr. Steven Yates.

The 2019 recipient is Mary Beth Keenan.

SLIS Faculty Scholar Award

Awarded to a SLIS student on basis of service to the School, academic excellence, and professional promise. The recipient was selected through faculty nominations and a faculty vote and presented by Dr. Robert Riter and Dr. Jeff Weddle.

The 2019 recipient is Jillian Sico.

Florine Oltman Award

Awarded to students currently enrolled in SLIS and pursuing specializations in special libraries. The recipient is selected by Special Libraries Faculty and presented by Professor Sybil Bullock and Dr. Steven MacCall.

The 2019 recipient is Alanna Barnett Cole.

Raymond F. McClain Book Arts Award

Awarded to a Book Arts student on the basis of academic/creative excellence, demonstrated leadership, and professional promise. The recipient was selected by Book Arts faculty and presented by Professor Sarah Bryant and Professor Anna Embree.

The 2019 recipient is Jillian Sico.

Student Paper Award

Awarded to best paper written in fulfillment of a SLIS course requirement during the past academic year. The recipient was selected from student submissions, which were reviewed by a committee of three faculty members and the award was presented by committee chair, Dr. John Burgess, with Dr. Miriam Sweeney, and Dr. Jeff Weddle.

The 2019 recipient is Craig Guild.

Nominees for Beta Phi Mu Honor Society

Established in 1948 by a group of leading librarians and library educators, Beta Phi Mu was established to recognize and encourage scholastic achievement among library and information studies students. Students are nominated by faculty vote. Nominees were announced by James Gilbreath, President of the Beta Kappa Chapter of Beta Phi Mu.

The 2019 nominees:
Kristen Adams

Damaris Azan

Edmund Balzer

Justin Barkley

Virginia Collins

Pamela Ewing

Jennifer Fain

Holly Flores

Holly Gunlefinger

Jennifer Hitzke

Rachel Joiner

Beth Keene

Eliscia Kinder

Miles Kurosky

Eva Lynch

Willandra Mahand

Corley May

Christine Moynihan

Kaitlin Poole

Michael Price

Hannah Pryor

Holly Ragland

Katherine Rashid

Christine Remenih

Debra Richards-Flint

Ashton Rigdon

John Sanders

Melanie Simms

Alexandra Smith

Laken Smith

Dan Tang

Kate Thompson

Kristen Watts

Julianna Waynick

Kelsea Whaley

Joseph Wright

Student Accolades: February 2019

Samuel Edge, a current MLIS student, was recently published in The Serials Librarian. His article, “A Subject ‘Queer’-y: A Literature Review on Subject Access to LGBTIQ Materials” was first created as an assignment in Dr. Miriam Sweeney’s Race, Gender, and Sexuality in LIS class. Edge is interested in promoting equitable and community-driven access to information and is currently employed by the Mayo Clinic as a prospect development analyst.

Jillian Sico, a current MFA Book Arts student, was recognized by both the University of Alabama Graduate School, the College of Communication & Information Sciences, and SLIS for Outstanding Research by a Master’s Student for her highly significant research in the field of book arts which has regional, national and international impact. Read more about Jillian’s research here.

Kyle Holland Joins the MFA Book Arts Faculty at SLIS

The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is pleased to announce the appointment of Kyle Holland as an Instructor and Studio Manager in the MFA Book Arts program. Kyle is a book artist and printer with strong interest and knowledge in hand papermaking. His work draws on his experiences growing up in the South and examines his identity within the context of a masculine subculture. His work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nevada Museum of Art, The Center for Book Arts, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, and UC Berkeley among others. Holland has a BFA in Fine Arts from the Memphis College of Art, and is a candidate for an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA (expected May 2019). He has taught papermaking, printing, and book arts courses for the University of the Arts, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and numerous book art centers and studios in the United States. You can learn more about Kyle and his work by visiting his website:

MFA Book Arts Student Recounts Summer Research Travel in Featured Blog

Jillian Sico, MFA in the Book Arts student, is currently featured on University of Alabama’s Capstone International Center website in a post that captures her experiences during a Summer 2018 research trip to Mexico. Sico’s travel was funded in part by the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), the Capstone International Center, and the Graduate School. This is just one of many SLIS examples of funded travel for our students. Learn more about the opportunities available for student travel by speaking to any faculty member or the SLIS office.