Category: SLIS News

Naidoo Named as Interim Director of UA SLIS

Dr. Jamie, Campbell Naidoo, SLIS Interim Director and Professor
Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, SLIS Interim Director and Professor

Dr. Mark Nelson, Dean of The University of Alabama (UA) College of Communication and Information Sciences, has announced the appointment of Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo as interim director of the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS). Dr. Naidoo will be stepping into this administrative role as Dr. Jim Elmborg returns to the faculty before retiring at the end of the academic year.

“Dr. Elmborg was the exact right person at the right time to lead our School of Library and Information Studies,” said Nelson. “His thoughtful and deliberative style along with his commitment to transparency and integrity helped us to navigate changes and prepared us for a new level of collaboration within our college.”

Dr. Naidoo will begin his role as interim SLIS director on October 1, 2021. “I’m excited to continue the work Dr. Elmborg has started and serve alongside my colleagues as we expand and strengthen SLIS’s programs in archives, book arts, information science, and library studies,” said Naidoo.

Dr. Naidoo earned his Ph.D. in information science and MLIS degree from the University of Alabama SLIS program prior to working as an assistant professor at The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science. He returned to UA SLIS in 2008 where he’s been serving as the Foster EBSCO professor, teaching courses in library services to diverse populations, youth programming, and children’s and young adult materials and services. Dr. Naidoo has also worked in both school and public libraries in  Alabama.

His research agenda centers on the representation of LGBTQIA+ and Latinx populations in children’s materials as well as public and school library services to LGBTQ+ children and/or families. Dr. Naidoo has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books on these topics, in addition to presenting his work at national and international conferences. In 2016, he received the American Library Association’s Achievement in Library Diversity Research for his work. Dr. Naidoo is also the past president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY).

In 2021, Dr. Naidoo received the University of Alabama Outstanding Faculty-Initiated Engagement Effort for his Book Bonanza for the Black Belt and Beyond program which he started in 2009. The program donates new children’s and teen books to school libraries in economically disadvantaged areas of Alabama.

A national search for the new school director will launch in fall 2022. Founded in 1972, SLIS currently offers graduate degree and certificate programs in book arts and library and information studies. Our Master of Library and Information Studies degree is accredited by the American Library Association. For more information about UA SLIS, visit

Faculty Spotlight – September 2021

Dr. Bharat Mehra and Chris Barrett also published a chapter entitled “Out of the Closet? Exploring the Infoscape of LGBTQ+ Fiction for/about Youth in India” in International LGBTQ+ Literature for Children and Young Adults.

Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo and recent MLIS graduate Sadie Zabawa published the chapter “Sameness & Difference in Visual Representations of Same-sex Couples in International Children’s Picture Books” in International LGBTQ+ Literature for Children and Young Adults (pp. 183-198) edited by B. J. Epstein and Elizabeth Chapman and published by Anthem Press (London, United Kingdom).

Congratulations to these faculty members and students for their contributions to the LIS field!

SLIS Faculty and Students Present at ALISE 2021

SLIS was well-represented in the planning and execution of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) conference. The conference was held virtually September 20-24, 2021, and the theme was “Crafting a Resilient Future: Leadership, Education, & Inspiration.”

Dr. John Burgess presented two juried papers and served as a panelist on two panels.

  • Juried Paper with MLIS graduate Juliana Mestre: “A Survey of the Communication of Core Values in Alabama Public Library Online Policy Statements”
  • Juried Paper: “Sustainability as Moral Obligation for LS Practice in Edge Cases of Global Catastrophic Risks”
  • Panelist: Pedagogical Practices of Information Policy Instruction
  • Panelist: (Re)envisioning an Information Ethics/Policy Course for the Future

Dr. Laurie Bonnici and Dr. Bharat Mehra served as proposal reviewers for the conference. Dr. Mehra also serves as a co-chair for the Community Connect mini-grants offered through ALISE.

Dr. Jim Elmborg presided as a co-convener of the ALISE Deans & Directors meeting during the conference in his role as co-chair of the ALISE Dean & Directors Group.

Kaeli Nieves-Whitmore, a UA College of Communication & Information Sciences PhD student, presented a work-in-progress poster titled “Learning Through Experience: Reflecting on Community-Engaged Scholarship.”

Congratulations, all!

Student Spotlight: 2021-22 Student Organization Officers

SLIS is fortunate to have engaged student organization leadership across many areas of the field. We celebrate our 2021-22 leaders!

American Library Association Student Chapter

Co-Presidents: Lauren Tubbs-Ezell and Jessica Lublin

Secretary: Amanda Decker

Treasurer: Sara Kaparos

Association of Moving Image Archivists

President: Valeria Dávila Gronros

Vice President: Ryan Inman

Treasurer: Elizabeth Meads

Society of American Archivists Student Chapter

President: Laura Daly

Vice President: Erin Watt

Secretary/Treasurer: Kathy Brunot

Social Media Coordinator: Matthew Hamilton

Website Manager: Ashley McMahon

Project Manager: Nick Wantsala