GSLIS After Dark: An Evening of Recognition and Connection

April 23, 2014

Alumni, faculty, and students convene to celebrate GSLIS and the GSLIS Alumni Board.

More than 100 Simmons GSLIS alumni, faculty, students, and College administrators convened at the 5th annual GSLIS After Dark event on April 4, 2014 to celebrate the school's and GSLIS Alumnae/i Board's accomplishments, present the Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Toby Pearlstein '77LS, '87DA, and showcase GSLIS students' research posters.

GSLIS Alumni Board President Hank Sway '09LS initiated the festivities by announcing the new President-Elect Linnea Johnson '01UG, '04LS, GSLIS Information Technology Manager and adjunct faculty professor, along with new officers, including Frances Harrell '11LS as Vice President, Kathleen Schmidt '06LS as Secretary, and Cindy Fisher '08LS as Director-at-Large. About 589 alumni contributed a total of $212,692 to the Simmons Fund by the end of March, according to current Director-at-Large Michele Mizejewski's '06LS video presentation. Sway also encouraged alumni to give to the Simmons Fund for GSLIS and help raise the GSLIS donor participation rate to 10% by June 31, 2014. All donations large and small contribute to the annual giving rate which is tied to school rankings and reputation.

Praising GSLIS' position as a nationally ranked top ten library and information science school, Simmons College President Helen Drinan encouraged the GSLIS community to become "ambassadors of the school" by sharing their experiences with others. She discussed how her GSLIS education continues to provide value, especially in preparing for the upcoming introduction of Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Simmons Leadership Conference.

Touted by Drinan as the "best person to lead GSLIS," Dean Eileen Abels then shared new GSLIS developments that will enhance the school's educational offerings. In addition to the recent opening of the Collaboratory and receiving an Institute of Museum and Library Services planning grant, Abels introduced the new Information Science and Technology and Cultural Heritage Informatics concentrations that will be available in Fall 2014. Abels discussed the launch of the UnBound blog, which is designed to increase dialogue about the future of libraries and LIS education among members of the GSLIS community.

Abels also announced that the undergraduate computer science and Children's Literature graduate programs to Simmons GSLIS, as well as the Horn Book's relocation to Simmons.

Dean Abels then introduced Toby Pearlstein, who was presented with the Alumni Achievement award. Pearlstein described how she became a librarian through serendipity, creating her own luck, and how she's "even busier during retirement." Mostly recently, Pearlstein and Dean Emeritus and Professor James Matarazzo authored the book, Special Libraries: A Survival Guide. Inducted into the Special Libraries' Association Hall of Fame, Pearlstein is also the former director of Global Information Services at Bain & Company, one of the world's largest corporate library networks. Previously, she was a librarian and archivist at Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

In addition, student posters featured exciting research projects, including The Library Corps of Discovery: Exploring Public Libraries Kickstarter campaign, social media outreach tools for archives, legal research practices, and the impact of folksonomies on retrieving digital objects, among other intriguing topics.

Alumni and students are invited to contact the GSLIS Alumnae/i Board to learn how they can become involved. 2014 promises be an exciting year for GSLIS.

By Dean's Editorial Fellow Jennifer Moyer