Category: SLIS News

Student Spotlight – September 2020

At UA SLIS, it is always exciting when current students have scholarly work published and presented in academic venues. Two current MLIS students, Laura Langberg and Tara Peace, have both recently had their work from previous classes published. MLIS student Valeria Dávila Gronros recently presented at a virtual summit convened by the Library of Congress.

Laura’s article was recently published in the Serials Librarian. Titled ” Espaanol & Inglaes: Reinforcing English Hegemony in Library Information Systems,” her work was originally written for Dr. Sweeney’s class on Race, Gender and Sexuality in Fall 2019. Laura’s article “investigates the ways in which libraries codify and replicate English-centric practices by exploring encoding and acquisitions to begin to uncover for whom libraries are meant to serve through a qualitative literature analysis.” Langberg’s article can be found here.

Tara’s article was published on the Library History Round Table News and Notes website, the blog of the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association. Her work was written for Dr. Steven Yates’s class, Information in Communities, in Fall 2019. Tara’s paper, “Librarianship and Neutrality: Thoughts on the Core Values of  Diversity and Social Responsibility” examines neutrality in librarianship and how it interacts with the American Library Association core values of diversity and social responsibility. Peace’s article can be found here.

Valeria Dávila Gronros recently co-presented at the “I\V/A\V: Informal Virtual Audio Visual Summit” online on September 15, 2020. The presentation was centered on accessibility to information and making information more accessible to others. Valeria has participated the “No Time To Wait” symposium and has been translating the content of the symposium’s video recordings to Spanish. The symposium’s video presentations are made available every year through YouTube, and Valeria and her co-presenter Joanna White have both been translating and editing auto-generated caption content by using the “community contributions” tool that YouTube plans to discontinue by September 28, 2020. Valeria and her co-presenter talked about their work and how the move to terminate community contributions might affect people relying on this tool, creating an equity issue. A recording of their presentation can be found here by accessing Session 2 of the I\V/A\V content.

Congratulations to Laura, Tara, and Valeria!

Archival Studies Community Partner Panel Discussion

– Alexandra Smith, (MLIS ’18): Digital Archivist, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
– Kevin Bailey, (Archival Studies Certificate ’20): Digital Archives and Collections Coordinator, UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society
– Bob Friedman: Founder/Director, Birmingham Black Radio Museum
– Dr. Alan Blum, MD: UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society

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!

SLIS Celebrates Honors Day 2020

The School of Library and Information Studies Honors Day activities could not be held as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so that means the celebration moves online! Here’s the agenda for what we had planned for Honors Day 2020. Join us in celebrating these deserving MFA and MLIS students and recent graduates. We salute you!

SLIS gives over $23,200 in new free books to Black Belt School Libraries

During March 2020,  The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) will award over $23,200 in new, free books to elementary, middle, and high school libraries in Alabama via the SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt & Beyond Program.

School librarians in the Black Belt region were asked to apply for the book give-away program in February 2020. We received applications from 26 highly deserving schools. The judges chose five school libraries in the Black Belt Region of the state to receive on average $3,300 each in brand new children’s and/or young adult books. The judging of the applications was rigorous, as every school exemplified a significant need.

We have selected also two Book Bonanza Beyond winners. The Beyond winner is a low-income private school in the Black Belt Region of the state, or a public school demonstrating significant economic need in an area of the state outside of the Black Belt. The purpose of this award is to give an equally deserving school library, that is not eligible to be a Book Bonanza for the Black Belt Winner, a one-time opportunity to address literacy needs in their school community. Each of these schools will also receive on average $3,300 in brand new children’s and/or young adult books.

University of Alabama SLIS graduate students participated in the judging of applications and selection of books for the winning school libraries.

Please join SLIS in congratulating the following winning school libraries:

2020 Book Bonanza Black Belt Winners:

Aliceville Elementary School, serving grades K-6 (Pickens County), Librarian Shannon Moore

Dixie Elementary School, serving grades PreK-5 (Russell Country), Librarian Charity Wade

Goshen High School, serving grades 7-12 (Pike County), Librarian Kim Dillard

Moundville Elementary School, serving grades PreK-5 (Hale County), Librarian Wendy Tucker

William R. Martin Middle School, serving grades 7-8 (Dallas County), Librarian Debra Stauffer

2020 Book Bonanza Beyond Winner:

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, serving grades PreK-5 (Madison County), Librarian Jared Wasson

Westlawn Middle School, serving grades 6-8 (Tuscaloosa County), Librarian Georgia Tidwell

Note: County listed is the county in which the school resides and not necessarily the name of the school system.

Established in 2009 by Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, the SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt (& Beyond) is an annual program that provides free new books to school libraries in the Black Belt region of state. Schools in the Black Belt region are encouraged to apply again in January 20201 for a chance to receive free books for their school libraries during the next SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt & Beyond Program. Low-income private schools in the Black Belt Region or schools in economically disadvantaged areas of the state outside the Black Belt are encouraged to apply next year (in January 2021) to be a Beyond Winner.  If you need additional information about the program, please contact Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo at or SLIS at 205-348-4610. Information is also available here, on the program website.