Category: SLIS News

SLIS Community Partner Bob Friedman Receives Campus Recognition

Pictured above (from left): Bob Friedman, Director of the BBRM, with Dr. Robert Riter, Assistant Professor and Archives Coordinator.

Each spring, the Council on Community-Based Partnerships recognizes excellence in community-based scholarship. Students, faculty, staff and UA community partners are honored for outstanding research. Past projects have ranged widely, including health care, education, science and technology, art, literature, and special needs. Recipients are nominated by associates and peers.

This spring, SLIS nominated community partner Bob Friedman and the Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM) for the Excellence Award for Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort. Along with the award, the BBRM and SLIS were awarded $2,000 in seed funds for their “Mapping Birmingham Black Radio” project.

From the April 17, 2019 Community-Based Partnerships Award Luncheon Program: “The Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM) is a community-based museum dedicated to preserving the history of Birmingham black radio and the pioneering role of broadcasters in supporting Civil Rights activities. A significant Alabama cultural heritage institution, the BBRM places particular emphasis on capturing endangered narratives through oral history. In his role as founder and director, Bob Friedman has secured multiple grants from national organizations to support the museum’s mission. As a result of his efforts, the BBRM has been invited to join Library of Congress consortia dedicated to preservation of radio. Additionally, in his role as mentor, Friedman has provided opportunities through partnerships with UA’s School of Library and Information Studies to prepare generations of students to responsibly and ethically preserve cultural heritage while utilizing socially conscious best practices.” Learn more about the BBRM here.

Burgess Marks the Publication of Information Ethics Title

SLIS congratulates Assistant Professor Dr. John T. F. Burgess on the publication of Foundations of Information Ethics, a title he edited with Dr. Emily J. M. Knox for ALA-Neal Schuman. Dr. Burgess also contributed two chapters to the book, “Principles and Concepts in Information Ethics” and “History of Ethics in the Information Professions.” The book is a collection of essays by leading experts in the field of information ethics, providing an entrance into current scholarship in information ethics, and is written for both researchers and practitioners. At SLIS Dr. Burgess teaches Research Methods and Academic Librarianship, and in Fall 2019 will offer the course Information Ethics for the LIS Profession.

Pictured below: Dr. Burgess adds Foundations of Information Ethics to the SLIS Faculty Publications display.


SLIS Hosts Community Archives Partner for Lunch and Discussion

On Wednesday, March 20, SLIS hosted the third annual archival discussion lunch with Bob Friedman, director of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM). Faculty, alumni, and current students came together and discussed current themes and conflicts in archives. The BBRM is one of many community archives engagement opportunities nurtured by Dr. Riter for SLIS students interested in archival studies.

Pictured (left to right) above are a few of the lunch attendees: SLIS Assistant Director Dr. Ann Bourne, Emily Bibb (Curator of The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama), Alex Smith (Digital Archivist at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute), Bob Friedman, and SLIS Assistant Professor Dr. Robert Riter (Marie Drolet Bristol-EBSCO Endowed Professor and Archives Coordinator).


SLIS gives over $20,822 in new free books to Black Belt School Libraries

During March 2019,  The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) will award $20,822 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 from January to February. We received applications from 30 highly deserving schools. The judges chose 6 school libraries in the Black Belt Region of the state to receive on average $2600 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 2 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.

Please join us in congratulating the following winning school libraries:

2019 Book Bonanza Black Belt Winners:

Banks School, serving grades PreK-8  (Pike County), Librarian Kim Head
Dallas County High School, serving grades 9-12 (Dallas County), Librarian Amy Reeves
Mt. Olive Intermediate School, serving grades 3-5 (Russell County), Librarian Cyrone Overton
Pike County High School, serving grades 7-12 (Pike County), Librarian Kimberly Dunn
Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School, serving grades K-5 (Dallas County), Librarian Krystal J. Dozier
Sweet Water High School, serving grades PreK-12 (Marengo County), Librarian Patricia Jones

2019 Book Bonanza Beyond Winner:

Thorsby High School, serving grades K-12 (Chilton County), Librarian Vanessa Langston (pictured below)
Woodstock Elementary School, serving grades PreK-4 (Bibb County), Librarian Terri Woodruff

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 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 next year 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 2020) 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 on the program website:

Pictured below: 2019 Book Bonanza Beyond Recipient Thorsby High School (Chilton County) Librarian Vanessa Langston receives boxes of new books in the eleventh year of the program.

SLIS Students, Faculty, and Alumni Present at 10th Annual Diversity Symposium

SLIS was well represented at the 10th Annual Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium. This symposium featured a number of speakers, on such topics as: diversity and politics, diversity and reputation, and engaging diversity. The theme of this year was sports, with a keynote panel on the activist athlete and a keynote discussion with Justin Ching, founder of j-school. Several SLIS faculty members are members of the College of Communication and Information Studies Diversity Forum.

Many current students shared their research during the symposium. Sammi Bryan presented her paper, “Surviving the Catalog: Organizing and Representing Sexual Trauma and Violence in Public Library Collections.” Yvette Joyner presented her poster, entitled, “Library Relevance Literature and the Digital Divide: Critiquing Future-Proofing Trends for Rural Communities.” Hannah Hurdle presented her poster, “Examining Challenges to Access of Information: Services and Technologies for People with Disabilities.” Chism Lien also presented a poster on “The Representation of Diverse Creators in Art Museums’ Digital Collections.”

Dr. Bharat Mehra, EBSCO Endowed Chair in Social Justice at SLIS, presented during the “Engaging Diversity” panel, which was moderated by Assistant Professor Dr. John Burgess. Dr. Mehra’s paper, “Diversifying Engaged Scholarship to Further Social Justice in the Rural Southern and Central Appalachian Region,” highlighted initiatives implemented in diversifying engaged scholarship in communication and information professions to further social justice and social equity in this region. Assistant Professor Dr. Miriam Sweeney served as a member of the 2019 Symposium Planning Committee.

Several SLIS Alumni also took part in the symposium. Ellie Campbell (MLIS ’14) presented “Tupelo Pride,” a short documentary film about the first ever LBGTQ Pride event held in Tupelo, Mississippi, as part of the “Engaging Diversity” panel. She also presented a paper titled “Promoting Diversity in the Law Library.” Joi Mahand (MLIS ’18) presented her poster, “Black Girl Magic: The Diverse Voices of Black Girls in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.” Michael Fitts (MLIS ’01) and Sylvia McAphee (MLIS ’01) co-presented their research, “3D: Discerning Diversifying Deliberately,” during the poster session as well.

Congratulations to all the participants who represented SLIS at the 10th Annual Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium.

Pictured below (L to R): Current SLIS students Sammi Bryan, Yvette Joyner, Hannah Hurdle, Chism Lien.

Pictured below (L to R): SLIS Professor Dr. Bharat Mehra; SLIS Alumni Ellie Campbell, Joi Mahand, Sylvia McAphee, and Michael Fitts.