Category: SLIS News

Professor Steven Yates Awarded in Three Minute Thesis Competition


On November 15, 2016 SLIS faculty member Steven Yates won recognition for presenting a summary of his doctoral thesis entitled Adjuncts: The Online Teaching Majority representing the department of the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies. Prof. Yates finished third out of fifteen in a highly competitive field. The Three Minute Thesis Competition is an annual interdisciplinary competition that showcases the research of UA’s doctoral and master’s students. The Center for Public Television & Radio will air a special program about this year’s competition in 2017. Please join us in congratulating Prof. Yates for this honor!

SLIS Alumni Selected for ALA Emerging Leaders Class of 2017

SLIS MLIS graduates Derek Cornelison and Cristin Dillard were selected as two of fifty Emerging Leaders for the upcoming class of 2017. According to the published article on the ALANews Website, “The program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. “

Read more about their selection and the Emerging Leaders program here:

Dr. Naidoo Appointed 2017-18 ALA Representative to USBBY

SLIS would like to congratulate Associate & Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo on his recent appointment by the Executive Board of the American Library Association as ALA representative to the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) Board of Directors. This appointment is for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2017 and concluding December 31, 2018. As a member of the USBBY Board, Dr. Naidoo will represent ALA at three USBBY meetings per year: in February at the children’s Book Council in New York city, at ALA Annual Conference, and at either the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention in November (in even years) or the USBBY Regional Conference in October (in odd years).

SLIS Student Baheya Jaber wins George N. Atiyeh Prize


Baheya S. J. Jaber has been awarded the 2016 George N. Atiyeh Prize , given annually to a current Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) student to attend the Middle Eastern Librarian Association and Middle East Studies Association annual conferences as a featured guest. Jaber is an MLIS student at University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) and a Fulbright Scholar from Ramallah, West Bank-Palestine. She received both her undergraduate degree in Finance and Banking and her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Birzeit University, Palestine. Now in her second year of the MLIS program at UA, Baheya is pursuing the thesis option, and is currently working with Dr. John Burgess , Dr. Ann Prentice, and Prof. Sybil Bullock on a critical analysis of emerging LIS trends given the realities of academic libraries located in conflict zones.

Like many LIS students, Baheya’s introduction to the field of library and information began by chance, with a job at the library. Jobs are hard to find near her home, and after completing her undergraduate degree, Baheya happened upon a job opening at the Birzeit University main library’s collection development department and took it. During her time in the Birzeit University library, Baheya earned practical and professional experiences by assisting different departments within the library and participating in library related training courses and conferences. Baheya was drawn to a career in Library and Information and the interdisciplinary overlap between library studies, information technology and business management. She views these overlapping interests as opportunities to use different skills, such as communication and networking with diverse people and opportunities to learn by traveling for training programs and conferences; focusing on higher education and continued studies, and collaborating with other library specialists, students, researchers, and teachers from Birzeit University as well as national and international professionals, vendors, publishers, universities and institutions.

Her professional experience at Birzeit University academic library fostered a passion to pursue a Master’s degree. This passion was encouraged by library faculty at Birzeit who were aware of the pending retirement of most professional librarians in the university’s library. Baheya recognized this shortage of professional librarians as well as the lack of an LIS program in her area. She was encouraged by the library director to pursue her MLIS abroad through the Fulbright Scholars Program. After completing their degree, Fulbright scholars are required to return home to complete a two-year residency to apply their education and make a positive contribution to their field of study in their home area. Baheya was careful to choose a thesis that could be applied in her home of Palestine, as well as in neighboring countries facing similar challenges.

Baheya was drawn to UA’s School of Library and Information Studies because it offers one of the top LIS programs in the US, accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Jaber states that UA’s highly professional staff from different backgrounds provides students with an excellent advising and learning experiences. She also appreciates that UA’s MLIS program explores different areas of Library Science, which gives students flexible choices based upon their interests and career objectives. SLIS gives students the opportunity to gain applicable academic experiences such as internships, conference attendance and job opportunities, and participation in SLIS organizations.

Baheya believes this combination of academic and professional experiences will help UA LIS students understand the dynamic environment accompanying technological advancements in libraries. As future library professionals librarians have to cope with these developments to make sure they are satisfying their patrons’ needs by improving the role of libraries. “Libraries are becoming more dynamic and diverse in terms of employees and the patrons they serve, engaging more with communities through outreach programs to increase customers awareness of library services, and are becoming learning centers with diverse layouts equipped with technology labs, quiet and loud study areas, and even coffee shops,” Jaber notes. “Libraries provide search services by reaching people physically and virtually 24/7 and are becoming more collaborative and comfortable places where people can come to spend some time chatting with friends, studying, researching, using all the technological facilities available (i.e. PC’s, laptops, scanners, printers, photocopiers, 3D printers, smart boards, and others). Also, libraries are open to the people of their service area who benefit from library services and they are places for entertainment where many social and cultural activities are held (i.e. exhibits, book fairs). This helps to empower and improve community knowledge, awareness and involvement.”

Baheya advises new LIS students to take advantage of the great opportunities offered outside classrooms such as internships, conferences, job opportunities, participation in professional and academic organizations, and studying abroad. She believes these opportunities will help LIS students to enrich their experiences and skills, to build networks with others in their discipline for future career opportunities, and to pursue higher educational degrees. When asked what is next for her, Baheya stated that she looks forward to applying her education and sharing what she has learned back home. “It is so important for people to learn from others, and have exposure to other cultures and perspective so that they can have a new vision. I want to make a positive impact and I want my voice to be heard.”

By Jessica Ross

Work of current SLIS student featured in the Washington Post

The Washington Post and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s As it Happens program featured the work of MLIS student and Gadsden 2015 Cohort member Beth Matherne this week. These profiles focus on Matherne’s efforts as an immigration lawyer to represent Central American asylum seekers in Atlanta and the emotional toll that struggle took. SLIS is proud to have Matherne continue her pursuit of social justice here as she seeks to become a law librarian. Please check out the links below for the related article and interview to learn more about Beth Matherne and her work.