Category: SLIS News



The Library School Association of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Award.  The joint recipients this year are Irene S. (Renee) Blalock and Timothy Alan Lewis. 

               The award was created to recognize alumni of the School who have made an outstanding contribution to the library, information, media, or book arts professions and have achieved distinction in their field.  Those considered for the award are judged on the full range of their professional accomplishments. 

               Irene S. (Renee) Blalock received her MLS in 1981.  She spent her entire professional career at the largest public library in Alabama, the Birmingham Public Library, serving in the Literature Department, Southern History Department, as a Branch Head, Collection Department Manager, Regional Coordinator, Operational Coordinator, Associate Director, and finally Director from 2009 to 2014.  In her many years of active service, she became an indispensable part of the volunteer community in Birmingham and was involved in many community activities and affiliations.  Examples of her professional leadership include President of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, the Jefferson County Public Library Association, and the University of Alabama Library School Association.  Further, she has served on committees of the American Library Association and was on the Board of the national Public Library Association. 

               Tim Lewis received his MLS in 1983 and his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1984.  He has spent his professional career at the Library of the Supreme Court, first as Reader Services Librarian, then Associate Director, and finally as Director of the Law Library and State Law Librarian from 1992 to the present.  He is responsible for the management of the largest public law library in Alabama, he advises and assists county law librarians with legal information needs, and he provides leadership to the law library community in Alabama.  He has served as President of the Alabama Bench and Bar Historical Society, the Law Library Association of Alabama, and is on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Center for Law and Civic Education.  Tim has shared his experience by authoring numerous articles concerning legal information.  And he has made more than two dozen presentations at seminars and other programs on this topic. 

               The Distinguished Alumni Award was established by the Library School Association in 2000.  There is no requirement that the award be given annually.  With the announcement of the 2017 honorees, a total of 15 alumni have been recognized with the award.  The name of each recipient is placed on a permanent plaque displayed at the Library School and the recipients will be recognized at Alumni Day, which will be held at the Gorgas Library on Friday, November 10, 2017. 

Congratulations, UA SLIS, on Recent ALA Reaccreditation!

At the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago, the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation (COA) voted to continue accreditation of the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies’ Masters Degree in Library and Information Studies through 2024. This is exciting news for both faculty and students of the SLIS Master’s Degree program, as well as the UA College of Communications and Information Sciences.  

 For the past year, UA SLIS has undergone a comprehensive accreditation review of the MLIS program.  SLIS faculty and staff prepared a thorough self-study in preparation for an evaluation visit by an External Review Panel (ERP). “In the spirit of continuous improvement, the accreditation process involves the strategic assessment and evaluation of a program as well as the enhancement of program operations,” stated Dr. Ann Prentice, Interim Director of SLIS.  

 The American Library Association Committee on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for “the execution of the accreditation program of ALA, and to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies for the approval of council (ALA, 2017).” The COA develops standards for accreditation through a consensus-building process that involves various communities of interest, including educators, students, and professionals in library and information studies. Throughout the standards-development process, the COA seeks, receives, and uses comments and suggestions from library and information studies communities in both the United States and Canada (ALA, 2017). 

 As part of the mission to develop and formulate standards of education for library and information studies, the COA reviews the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies on an ongoing basis. The 2015 Standards were adopted by approval of the Council of the American Library Association on February 2, 2015. 

 Congratulations, UA SLIS, on this momentous accomplishment of reaccreditation for the MLIS program through 2024! 


SLIS Welcomes 13th National Online MLIS Cohort

The faculty and staff of SLIS, along with our partners in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, welcomed our thirteenth national online cohort last week.

The three-day, intensive orientation gave students an opportunity to meet the faculty, bond with one another, and learn more about their chosen program and university. By all accounts, this year’s orientation was a success.  It is a SLIS tradition that incoming cohorts choose their own collective name. This year is if our pleasure to introduce you to the newest cohort, “Thirteen Going on Nerdy.” 

Dr. Laurie Bonnici and Dr. Jinxuan Ma (Emporia State University)

Dr. Laurie Bonnici and Dr. Jinxuan Ma (Emporia State University) have had a co-authored book chapter accepted for publication in Social tagging for linked data across environments, L. Spiteri and D. Rasmussen Pennington, 

 eds., London, UK: Facet. The chapter is titled “A Content Analysis of Hashtag Usage in Two Facebook Groups.” 

Dr. Laurie Bonnici has had a paper accepted

Dr. Laurie Bonnici has had a paper accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Document Academy DOCAM 2017 to be held in Bloomington, Indiana on September 29-30, 2017. “Finding quality in an s-town of documents.” The paper proposes the concept of witness marks as identifiers of quality information in online social media opinion posts.