School of Library & Information Science of Library & Information Science{8007D1B3-F161-4709-A985-998F352D93E1} Learning and WiFi Hotspots<h4>Can you tell us about these research projects, in brief?</h4> <p>I am currently working on two research projects. The first study is examining ethics in service learning with Assistant Professor Colin Rhinesmith and Meghan Doran, Assistant Director of Service Learning at the Community Engagement Office. We are interviewing community partners who have collaborated with local universities for service-learning projects to learn what they view as respectful and mutually beneficial in these partnerships. We are asking questions related to communication, student preparation, benefits and harms, and power dynamics in order to learn what respectful partnerships look like for community partners and their constituents. One of our goals is to provide recommendations for professors, students, and staff so that they create, participate in, and maintain service-learning projects that take into account community partners&rsquo; perspectives and needs throughout the duration of the partnership.</p> <p>The other project is an evaluation of Boston Public Library&rsquo;s hotspot lending program, which allows patrons to check out portable internet hotspot devices as part of the library&rsquo;s circulating collection. We will be running interviews and focus groups with library patrons and employees to understand their experiences using the WiFi hotspots. We are also interested in learning how floating collections contribute to broader digital equity goals, such as by providing internet connection to patrons outside the physical library branches, circulating devices to higher demand neighborhoods, and increasing access to internet-based opportunities. </p>2019-04-18T00:00:00-04:00{DEBA6BE3-2DF8-48C9-943E-C56F252264AD} Community News, April 2019<h4>Faculty</h4> <p>Adjunct <strong>Abby Baines</strong> is the newly appointed Head of Public Services at Smith Libraries. Baines recently gave a <em>Library Journal</em> webinar on the Five College <a href="" target="_blank">FOLIO implementations</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Assistant Professor <strong>Peter Botticelli</strong>, adjunct <strong>Martha Mahard</strong>, and Professor and Dean <strong>Michele Cloonan</strong> collaborated on a recent publication, <em>Libraries, Archives, and Museums Today: Insights from the Field</em>, published by Rowman and Littlefield, 2019.&nbsp;Co-authors of particular chapters of the book included SLIS alumni <strong>Emmeline Dehn-Reynolds </strong>'17MS, <strong>Brett Freiburger </strong>'16MS, <strong>Bryce Roe</strong> '16MS, <strong>Lily Troia </strong>'16MS, and<strong> Samantha Strain </strong>'18MS. Current students and alumni who assisted include <strong>Joel Demelo </strong>'19MS,<strong> Ann Erdmann </strong>'15MS, <strong>Lena Denis</strong>,<strong> Eliana Fenyes</strong> '16MS, and <strong>Jonah Santiago</strong> '17MS.</p>2019-04-09T00:00:00-04:00{A276377F-79C6-4CD6-B12F-D1DF5472A28C} Social Responsibility into Archival Education<p>Over the past decade, archival concerns have increasingly focused on social issues as records professionals recognize and confront the responsibilities and challenges of documenting a complex global and digital society. Although such issues as social justice, community engagement, inclusive access and documenting marginalized populations have predominated in the archival literature, they have yet to be fully translated into archives education curriculum. Bringing together archival educators and practitioners, this symposium seeks to begin a discussion about creating an archival curriculum that addresses contemporary societal needs while at the same time honoring traditional archival theory and that explores theoretical frameworks, methodologies and best practices for teaching archives in a socially conscious environment.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 2019 Allen Smith Symposium, "From Community to Curriculum: Translating Social Responsibility into Archival Education," will gather <a href="">School of Library and Information Science</a> (SLIS) faculty and area professionals to engage in discussion. It will also honor the contributions of Professor Jeannette Bastian during her final semester before her retirement. Here are details about the impressive list of panelists participating in the Symposium.&nbsp;</p>2019-04-04T00:00:00-04:00{AF60758B-5243-4AB5-97B2-F7FE3930A6EE} Future of Libraries is in Good Hands<p>Amy Ryan has over thirty-five years of public library management experience in her extensive career. That experience has informed her work with SLIS students, with whom she meets to discuss career plans and interests. We asked Ryan a few questions about her work with students.</p>2019-03-19T00:00:00-04:00{2C631653-02AC-45F5-83CF-3BF30933E15B} Marie desJardins Delivers Keynote at SIGCSE 2019<p>The College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences <a href="">Dean Marie desJardins</a> was asked to deliver the keynote at the <a href="" target="_blank">SIGCSE Conference</a> (February 28-March 2) when her colleague, Freeman Hrabowski (whom she was scheduled to introduce), was unable to travel to Minneapolis. We caught up with her after the whirlwind to learn about her talk, "Pursuing the Dream: A 50-Year Perspective on American Society, Technology, and Inclusion in Computing."</p>2019-03-13T00:00:00-04:00{0E00E28A-B663-4E76-83D6-8E7DB815ECA5} of Congress Internship Leads to New Opportunities<h4>Can you tell us about your internship/your daily tasks?&nbsp;</h4> <p>I was assigned two core projects during my internship with the Library of Congress, based on new acquisitions to the Asian Rare Books Collection, and the Asian Art Collection. In all of my projects, I developed skills in creating original descriptive bibliographic records. </p>2019-03-12T00:00:00-04:00{19157ACC-D80C-4E0E-8D08-B8D4EDF0BD83} Artful Archivist: Combining Library Science and the Art of Books<h4>How did you become interested in bookbinding?</h4> <p>I took a course in bookbinding at Simmons in 1997, while finishing up my School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) degree in <a href="" target="_blank">archives management</a>. The course taught us basic library materials repair, and I loved learning about the construction of books, how to dismantle and rebuild books during the repair process. I loved it so much I continued taking courses in book repair and conservation at North Bennett Street School in Boston and at the Garage Annex Street School of Books Arts in Northampton between 2001 and 2006 to build my skills. That lead me toward <a href="" target="_blank">bookbinding and book arts</a>. I've been repairing and conserving books since then.</p>2019-03-05T00:00:00-05:00{A6172E7A-5547-437B-BAC2-FA516A206A05} Director Sanda Erdelez Participates in International Alzheimer's Research Project<p>Dr. Sanda Erdelez, Professor and Director of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), presented at the BOBCATSSS conference in Osijek, Croatia in January. BOBCATSSS is an annual symposium in the field of library and information science organized under the auspices of EUCLID (European Association for Library and Information Education and Research).&nbsp;</p> <p>In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Osijek, Dr. Erdelez presented a paper, &ldquo;The Use of Online Discussion Forums by People with Alzheimer&rsquo;s Disease and their Caregivers,&rdquo; reporting the first stage of quantitative analysis of the posts on an online discussion forum focused on the problems experienced by people affected by Alzheimer&rsquo;s disease and their family members. They found that the most frequent posters and the patients being discussed in the posts were predominantly female.&nbsp;</p> <p>The follow up qualitative analysis will explore the most prominent themes in the content of the online discussion posts. This study is part of a larger international research project on which Dr. Erdelez collaborates with an interdisciplinary team from the University of Osijek to identify information needs of the caregivers of Alzheimer&rsquo;s patients.</p>2019-02-25T00:00:00-05:00{1CCDCFC0-1365-4CC5-956D-8B08AEA07B99} Caryn Anderson '04MS Selected as Fulbright Specialist<p>Adjunct Faculty Caryn Anderson '04MS was accepted to the U.S. Fulbright Program as a <a href="" target="_blank">Fulbright Specialist</a>. The Fulbright Specialist Program offers U.S. academics and established professionals the opportunity to attend two- to six-week, project-based exchanges at host institutions across the globe. The Fulbright Specialist may visit institutes of higher education, government, medical or cultural institutions, or non-governmental organizations including issue-centered think tanks.</p>2019-02-19T00:00:00-05:00{ED1E3B7C-3386-4F42-8CAF-7D86F3A60911} Gellman-Danley '75MS Named PTK International Honorary Member<p>Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley '75MS, president of the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago, Illinois, has been named an International Honorary Member of <a href="" target="_blank">Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society</a> (PTK).&nbsp;</p> <p>PTK is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations.</p> <p>This recognition is considered PTK&rsquo;s highest honor for a non-member. The award is not given every year, but only when the Society identifies an individual who has provided extraordinary support to Phi Theta Kappa. In Phi Theta Kappa&rsquo;s 100-year history, fewer than 40 International Honorary Members have been named.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I am deeply honored by this recognition,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The real winners are the community college students who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in academics. I remember fondly their great pride during Phi Theta Kappa ceremonies. I am always touched and excited about these students&rsquo; remarkable success stories.&rdquo;</p> <p>Gellman-Danley was named president of the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Higher Learning Commission</a>&nbsp;(HLC) &mdash; the largest of the seven regional higher education accreditors &mdash; in 2014. HLC is responsible for accrediting post-secondary institutions in 19 states.</p> <p>She holds a bachelor&rsquo;s degree from Syracuse University, a master of <a href="">library and information science</a> from Simmons University, a masters degree from Oklahoma City University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She also did post-graduate work at New York University and earned continuing education from Cornell University, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago.</p> <p>Gellman-Danley earned her credential as a Certified Professional Coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching in 2016 and as an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation in 2018. She also earned certification in Social and Emotional Intelligence assessment from the Institute for SEI in 2018.</p> <p>She is currently enrolled in the Happiness Studies Academy, positive psychology coaching. Her coaching focuses on executive coaching for college presidents.</p>2019-02-18T00:00:00-05:00{C8A6B09B-58AE-44B0-9C15-2CDDBD4D24CC} Jeanette Bastian on Decolonizing the Caribbean Record<h4>Can you tell us a bit about your book?</h4> <p><em><a href=";qid=1549033504&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=decolonizing+the+caribbean+record" target="_blank">Decolonizing the Caribbean Record, An Archives Reader</a></em>, was initially envisioned as a text for the Masters of Archival Science (MAS) degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. In 2014, I was part of a UNESCO-funded team designing MAS curriculum in the UWI Department of Library Studies (I am also a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Master of Philosophy in Caribbean Literature).&nbsp;</p> <p>The team focused on designing a curriculum that was sensitive to the cultural heritage of the Caribbean as well as to the archival concerns of small former colonial islands in tropical climates. One huge issue was the lack of relevant readings that spoke to these concerns. So three of us decided to create a text. My co-editors, Stanley Griffin and John Aarons, both archivists and educators at UWI, and I have been working on this book for the past four years. The book, over 800 pages, includes 40 original essays, the majority by Caribbean authors&mdash; not only archivists, but historians, anthropologists, museum curators and humanists. The essays cover a wide range of topics including reparations, music, oral tradition, performance, tropical preservation, genealogy, monuments, archival history, as well as essays from the Caribbean diaspora. Although it was initially designed to support the MAS program, we feel that this Reader is widely applicable to postcolonial communities generally, and should be of interest to scholars and students of the Caribbean in addition to archivists.</p>2019-02-12T00:00:00-05:00{44D3D0FF-8138-4A45-98E0-6B51A5036A2F} for Students from the SLIS Alumni Board<h4>Can you tell us about your position on the School of Library and Information Science Alumni Board?</h4> <p> </p> <p>I've been on the board since 2015, first as a Director-at-Large, then as Vice President and currently as President for the 2018-2019 year. In this capacity, I'm responsible for organizing and overseeing our meetings (generally six per year) as well as the events that we arrange for alumni and current LIS students. Each member of the board plays an important part in the creation and roll-out of our events. The current board is made up of a great cross section of LIS professionals, who are dedicated to sharing their expertise with alumni, and current students. It's been great getting to know them and working with them on a variety of initiatives.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>2019-02-05T00:00:00-05:00{4032700D-13E2-41BD-A933-BEB037081F67} the Future of Artificial Intelligence<p>The <a href="">College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences</a> Dean Marie desJardins presented at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Annual Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 29.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dean desJardins was on a panel to present the interim results of the 20-year AI (Artificial Intelligence) Research Roadmap. There was remarkably strong interest in the session, with approximately 600 people in attendance.</p>2019-01-31T00:00:00-05:00{C62E44EB-46DD-4AE6-802E-DDA5FE0EC6E8} Community News, February 2019<h3>Faculty</h3> <p>Associate Professor <strong>Naresh Agarwal </strong>gave four talks this winter. He was the Keynote Speaker at the International Conference on Library and Information Science, January 19-21 in Sapporo, Japan (pictured). The title of his speech was, "Disconnectedness in a connected world: Navigating between the physical and digital contexts." Agarwal gave an invited talk, "Understanding Context in Information Behavior: Does Context matter in Research Data Management?" at the Winter Conference of the New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science &amp; Technology (ASIS&amp;T) on January 11 in Worcester, MA. At the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of ASIS&amp;T, January 3-4, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, he made a remote presentation on the South Asia Chapter of ASIS&amp;T. He also presented a co-authored research paper, "Is there a mantra for successful collaboration? Mapping faculty experience in facilitating cross-culture collaboration.&rdquo; On December 9, 2018, Agarwal gave an invited talk &ldquo;Teaching Innovation in Information Science: Curriculum and Course Development&rdquo; remotely at the Curriculum Development Workshop (&ldquo;Excellence through Innovation: Re-envisioning Information Science through Curriculum in Bangladesh&rdquo;) held at the Institute of Information Sciences, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali, Bangladesh.</p>2019-01-29T00:00:00-05:00{C24969D0-B5DF-49B6-825E-9FE1B0C4D9F6} a Lasting Impact with Rural Librarians <h4>What is your current job?</h4> <p>In 2016 I began my current job at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) located in Austin, Texas, right next to the Capitol building. The State Library has four departments&mdash;Archives and Reference, State and Local Records, Library Development and Networking, and the Talking Book Program&mdash;to help fulfill its mission of serving all Texans. Before I started, I had never visited a State Library and had only a vague idea of what made it a unique institution. Now that I&rsquo;m here, I'm constantly amazed at the variety of projects that are supported and created by state libraries.</p> <p>As a Library Technology Consultant, I train and consult with staff from Texas libraries with a focus on digital inclusion. I organize and present in-person workshops and webinars on technology topics and answer questions from library staff about everything from digital literacy for seniors to internet policies and patron privacy to WiFi hotspots. I engage with our local and national community to build partnerships with those that share our mission, and engage with the technology and library community to better understand the needs of Texans now and in the future.</p>2019-01-15T00:00:00-05:00{39ADE118-B986-49E6-AE89-176793E2EE71} Former SLIS Faculty Member, Terry Plum<p>Simmons grieves the loss of Terry Plum, former director of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) West and faculty member, who passed away peacefully on December 10 after a long illness.</p> <p>Terry came to SLIS (then GSLIS) in 2000 as an assistant professor, teaching courses in reference, management of information technology, and user instruction. In 2002, he became program director of the SLIS West program in Western Massachusetts.&nbsp;</p> <p>2013 saw him take on the role of Assistant Dean for Academic Initiatives, where he oversaw online programs and technology, in addition to leading international projects. With his steady, thoughtful guidance, the SLIS West program grew into a nurturing community of students, faculty and staff, due in no small part to Terry's teaching ability, leadership and sense of humor.</p> <p>Colleagues have praised Terry for his friendship and professional guidance. Eric Poulin, Lecturer and Site Coordinator at SLIS West, shared these thoughts: "There is not a single institute of learning or information in the western New England area that hasn&rsquo;t been positively influenced by Terry and his work. I learned more from him and his easy-going yet determined spirit than I probably have learned from anyone else in my professional life. He guided SLIS West not only with integrity and the highest academic standards, but with good nature and positive humor. I will miss him with all of my heart."</p> <p>Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry's wife Sydney and their family at this difficult time. Everyone who had the privilege of working with Terry will remember the positive impact his kindness has had on their lives and work.</p>2018-12-14T00:00:00-05:00{C6ADD0DB-3065-45DB-BA28-838B54A0B22A} Culture and Knowledge Through Libraries<p>The <a href="">School of Library and Information Science</a> (SLIS) has trained librarians and archivists in Iraq since 2004. After the American invasion, SLIS received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other sources to assist Iraqis in the rebuilding of their libraries. Professor Emeriti Pat Oyler and Professor Harvey Varnet met with librarians to support them in the endeavor. Two of the early trainees, Falah Almosalhi &rsquo;13PhD and Abdulateef Khairi &rsquo;13PhD, later earned their doctorates from Simmons.</p>2018-12-04T00:00:00-05:00{7AF76BC8-F289-4157-8A08-521DC06E4D04} Community News, November 2018<p>Congratulations to <strong>Professor Jeannette Bastian</strong> on the publication of&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">Decolonizing the Caribbean Record, An Archives Reader</a></em>, edited by Jeannette A. Bastian, John A. Aarons and Stanley H. Griffin (Litwin Books). This somewhat hefty volume (over 800 pages) speaks to many information and cultural heritage concerns about underrepresented communities. It includes 40 original essays written primarily by academics and archivists from within the Caribbean with some contributions from the diaspora. The essays cover a broad spectrum of cultural heritage and records issues for former colonial entities, illustrating dilemmas but primarily demonstrating how the decolonized society re-conceptualizes its records and re-constructs its archives.</p>2018-11-29T00:00:00-05:00{7E4C3AF0-AE2F-4A0D-8746-786B2131EEFF} the New SLIS Faculty<p>We caught up with Assistant Professors <a href="">Donia Conn</a> and <a href="">Rebecca Davis</a> for mini interviews as a way to welcome our new faculty and get to know them better.&nbsp;</p>2018-11-13T00:00:00-05:00{A8A54F99-7076-4D22-BCEF-4182AE886386} and Welcome to our Spectrum Scholars<p>The Spectrum Scholarship Program, funded by the American Library Association, offers scholarships to populations underrepresented in the library and information science (LIS) field, to support them in attaining an LIS degree. We welcomed five Spectrum Scholars this fall and caught up with a few of them for a special welcome to the <a href="">School of Library and Information Science</a> (SLIS).</p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" />2018-11-06T00:00:00-05:00{5D1FAA30-15E7-4D0F-8FBD-54C3916B2805} on the Future with Dean Marie desJardins<p>Dr. Marie desJardins joined Simmons as the inaugural dean of the College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences (COCIS) this semester. Dr. desJardins brings extensive experience to this new role; she was previously Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Information Technology and Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. desJardins is an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher as well as a passionate advocate for women in technology. She has been invited to co-chair one of three upcoming workshops, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), to develop a roadmap for AI research over the next several decades. We talked with Dean desJardins to learn more about her research and her vision for COCIS.&nbsp;</p> <hr />2018-11-01T00:00:00-04:00{90BA0838-94E7-4140-8A96-003AF61483BC} Community News, October 2018<strong> <h4>Faculty</h4> </strong> <p>SLIS hosted a delegation of 25 visitors from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on September 27. Associate Professor <strong>Naresh Agarwal</strong>, Assistant Professor <strong>Danielle Pollock</strong>, and Liaison Librarian <strong>Linda Schuller</strong> gave a panel presentation and discussion on information technology in libraries and led a tour of Beatley Library.</p> <p>Associate Professor <strong>Naresh Agarwal</strong> gave an invited talk "Individual or Organizational Point of View: The Relationship Between Information Behavior and Knowledge Management" via video conferencing to participants of the 2<sup>nd</sup> International Conference on Information Management &amp; Libraries (ICIML 2018), University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan on Oct 12. He was also invited to launch the newly-formed <a href="" target="_blank">South Asia Chapter of the Association for Information Science &amp; Technology</a>&nbsp;at the conference.</p> <p>Assistant Professor <strong>Colin Rhinesmith</strong> co-authored an article with former student Christiana Lynne Urbano Stanton, which was published in <em><a href="" target="_blank">Public Library Quarterly</a>.</em>&nbsp;Rhinesmith and his colleague, Bianca Reisdorf (UNC Charlotte) published the chapter, "An Asset Based Approach to Digital Inclusion Research in the U.S. Context" in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digital Inclusion: An International Comparative Analysis</em></a>.</p> <strong> <h4>Alumni</h4> </strong> <p> Cambridge librarian <strong>Jennifer Gordon</strong> '02MS was awarded a <a href="">$25,000 Milken Educator Award</a>. The Milken Educator Awards aim to reward great teachers and innovators in the classroom. Gordon, who teaches students to love books and literacy learning at Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School, was praised for "making the library cool again."</p> <p><strong></strong><em><a href="" target="_blank">The Emerald Handbook of Modern Information Management</a></em> edited by the late Dean and Professor Emerita <strong>James M. Matarazzo</strong> &rsquo;65MS and <strong>Dr. Toby Pearlstein</strong> &rsquo;77MS, &rsquo;86LDS won the CILIP Knowledge &amp; Information Management Information Resource Award. Associate Professor Laura Saunders contributed the chapter,&nbsp;"Information Literacy: What Does it Mean and Where Does it Fit In?"</p> <div><strong> <h4>In Memoriam&nbsp;</h4> </strong> <p>With great sadness, SLIS mourns the passing of <strong>Claudia Morner</strong> this October. As an adjunct professor, Claudia was an important part of SLIS for some 30 years. She taught courses in management, academic librarianship, and international librarianship. She was also a co-author with former Dean Bob Stueart and Barbara Moran on the latest edition of the textbook,&nbsp;<em>Library and Information Center Management</em>. In her career, she was dean and professor of the University Library at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H. Claudia was also one of the first people at Simmons to teach at Yonsei University as part of the SLIS exchange program. At SLIS we remember her dearly for her dedication to her students, as well as her positive presence and bright smile.&nbsp;</p> </div>2018-10-31T00:00:00-04:00{49808ACE-FE53-44C3-BECC-D37AE13775CD} Mercier Receives First Alden Poole Faculty Mentor Award<p>Faculty mentors can change students' lives. They work with students both inside and outside the classroom, ask tough questions, push them to try new things and see their potential before the students do themselves. Simmons is fortunate to have several such mentors, including <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=223DC6FD9DE34FB98385596F2ABCEAD5&amp;_z=z">Cathryn Mercier</a>, Simmons Professor and Director of the Children's Literature Program and Director of the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=5CD457AAEA8A403285C71DDF76917413&amp;_z=z">Center for the Study of Children's Literature</a>, who received the first Alden Poole Faculty Mentor Award through the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=DAD003362ACC4443AE3A9C282D716E91&amp;_z=z">Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities</a>&nbsp;at Simmons University on October 19.</p> <p>This award was created in honor of Alden Poole, a valuable mentor to Gwen Ifill '77, '93HD. Ifill's family wanted Poole to be recognized as part of the story of the new college. Poole saw Ifill's promise, connected her to a job at the <em>Boston Herald</em>, and nurtured her to ask big questions of herself and the world. He was loved by his colleagues and students &mdash; so much that he was given a plaque in 1977 from eight graduating students, one of whom was Ifill. These eight young women knew early on that Simmons faculty mentors set their students up for lives of purpose and success.</p> <div class="photo-and-caption-right"><img height="300" alt="Maybe A Caption? List of People in Photo?" width="350" src="~/media/F26E426141474504BD7ECA2361C088B7.ashx" /></div> <p>For this new mentoring award, Ifill College Dean Brian Norman reached out to alumnae/i of the programs in the Ifill College, asking them to nominate a faculty member. Mercier was nominated by one of her first dean's fellows who credits Mercier with helping her move from bookstore worker to children's literature author. That's the type of support and belief that makes dreams come true. Or as Ifill inscribed on a copy of her book <em>Breakthrough</em> to Poole: "To Mr. Poole: Without whom I would never have pulled it off..."</p> <p>Mercier's role as a mentor will be felt across an entire generation of young readers who are discovering new and different worlds in literature. As is often the case with mentors, Mercier herself has had wonderful mentors throughout her life: "Mentors see something in us that we may not see in ourselves. They find the time, just the right word or raised eyebrow or a comment in a paper, to push us beyond where we thought we wanted to go."</p> <p>One of Gwen Ifill's legacies is her commitment to mentoring and nurturing the next generation. The Poole Award represents one way to instill her values at the heart of the new Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Main photo: President Helen Drinan, Cathryn Mercier, Professor Lowry Pei</em></p> <p><em>Second photo: Professor Lowry Pei, Joanna Poole, '86, Janet Poole, President Drinan, Bert Ifill, Professor Janie Ward, Dean Brian Norman, Gisele Becker Ifill</em></p> <p><em>Photo Credit: Lucky Li Photos (Class of 2018)</em></p>2018-10-24T00:00:00-04:00{18A7C39D-8714-4E9E-AE20-53DE4398CD31} Gordon '02MS Wins Milken Educator Award<p><strong>ON PURSUING LIBRARY SCIENCE:</strong> I've wanted to be a librarian ever since I was a kid. I used to draw check out cards in the backs of my books and would make friends and family check them out. Reading has always been my favorite pastime, but I never realized that going to school to be a librarian was something people could do.&nbsp;</p> <p>I went to college as an English major and was in my last year, unsure of what to do after graduation. One of my part-time jobs was assisting in the Writing Center and my boss just threw, "Why don't you go to school to become a librarian?" at me. It clicked &mdash; like one of those cartoon characters getting hit in the head with a brick. I applied to Simmons that day.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON ATTENDING SIMMONS:</strong> I'm in my career because of Simmons! I was in my first semester and hadn't settled on a direction yet when I found a job listing in that trusty jobs/internships binder for my current position at Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School. I applied, got the job, and fell in love with working in a school library &mdash; specifically THIS library. I've gone back to Simmons since graduating to take a few more classes, work on my practicum, get certified, etc.&nbsp;<span class="image-right">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Jennifer Gordon '02MS in a library. " width="350" src="~/media/F5AFEBDD287947BD9B582E04FF28EEC0.ashx?h=300&amp;w=350" style="height: 300px; width: 350px;" class="image-right" /></span></p> <p><strong>ON HER REWARDING WORK:</strong> I find this position most rewarding when kids are excited about reading, getting good books into their hands, reading with other students &mdash; everything. There's nothing better than a class getting upset when you've stopped reading at a good part because it's time for them to leave. I love it when they bargain to come in for recess so they can keep reading, or when kids have release dates of books memorized and they're chomping at the bit to read it first. It's also amazing when they demand an old favorite that they've read every single week for the last two years because it makes them happy. I love that my kids love books.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON WINNING THE MILKEN AWARD:</strong> I was shocked to win the <a href="" target="_blank">Milken Award</a> &mdash; I'm STILL shocked. When you think the day is going to go one way (setting up for an assembly, prepping for a reception for the Commissioner, rearranging classes, etc.) and it ends up with you winning an award and being featured on the news? Surreal city! But it's really so wonderful for my school and my profession to be acknowledged like this &mdash; I'm beyond honored.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON MAKING THE LIBRARY COOL AGAIN:&nbsp;</strong>I think that my enthusiasm for books and reading goes a long way &mdash; when I love a book, they almost always end up loving that book. We also do a lot of hands on activities in the library. I try to tie my makerspace projects to STEAMS (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and social studies) and I'm a firm believer in physically creating something. We're constantly building things with different materials, I have a collection of cardboard just in case we need or want to construct something, and the kids love it. I have the added benefit of working with students outside the library in reading groups, our school band, and our Adventure Club, as well as during recess and lunch duty.</p> <p>In a world that's so driven by technology, I love that my students still love physical books. They cannot wait for new books to arrive, we love pouring over illustrations, anticipating the new read &mdash; it's so awesome to see.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <em>Photos courtesy of Charlie Little Photography.</em>2018-10-24T00:00:00-04:00{C1B507BE-3FF8-4172-BA25-A12127243E40} in Rwanda<p>In May 2018, Professor and Math &amp; Computational Sciences Director <a href="">Nanette Veilleux</a> and SLIS Associate Professor <a href="">Lisa Hussey</a> traveled with students Vanessa Burns '20 and Heather Moeykens '18 to Rwanda. They worked with the Maranyundo Girls School (MGS) in Nyamata to collaborate with the computer science instructors and organize the fiction and related materials in the library. MGS is a private boarding school run by Benebikira Nuns. MGS consistently scores in the top three in national testing and many students go on to college and successful careers. </p> <p>Nanette, Vanessa, and Heather worked with the faculty to identify and train students as lab curators to provide more independent use of the computer labs. Nanette developed and presented suggestions for final projects for the students in their last year. They also met with several different students to assist in the development of computer programming and apps. One student group, self-named the "Techies," won a national award last year for an app they created.</p> <img alt="Heather Moeykens and Vanessa Burns with students in Rwanda" src="~/media/4F6925AF383F483A9FEB91BC53E1F9E4.ashx?h=244&amp;w=244" style="height: 244px; width: 244px; float: left; margin: 3px 12px 3px 3px;" /> <p>In the library, Lisa, Vanessa, and Heather introduced several well-received changes. The first involved reorganizing the fiction into easily identifiable categories based on reading levels (Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced) and each book was assigned a color stripe based on the reading level (Green, Yellow, or Blue). Within each section, the books were organized based on the author&rsquo;s last name, identified by a sticker with a letter on the spine, just above the color stripe. Poetry, plays and stories were separated into their own section and identified by a purple stripe. Non-fiction pleasure reading (non-textbooks) were separated into biographies and memoirs (orange stripe) and general non-fiction (red stripe).&nbsp;</p> <p>Lisa worked with the librarian, Sister Vivian, to train a group of six students as library assistants, including instruction on how to process new books into the collection. Vanessa and Heather worked with the students to create signage that explained the new system and identified the location of each area.</p> <p>The group was able to rearrange bookshelves and create space for two tables to provide study space in the library. The Maranyundo students responded well to the changes and used the tables the day after they were brought into the library. Vanessa worked with students to create decorations to make the library a welcoming spot, as well as providing readers&rsquo; advisory for students. </p> <p>During their stay, the group visited other areas of Rwanda. Lisa, Vanessa, and Heather visited two other schools and saw the libraries and computer labs in each place. As a group, they visited the National Library of Rwanda and the Genocide museum in Kigali, the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda in Butare, and spent a day touring Akagera Park, Rwanda&rsquo;s National Park. </p> <hr /> <p><em>Pictured, at top: Vanessa Burns, Sister Vivian, Heather Moeykens, and Associate Professor Lisa Hussey.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>Pictured, below: Heather Moeykens and Vanessa Burns pose with MGS students.&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>All photos courtesy of Lisa Hussey.&nbsp;</em></p>2018-10-16T00:00:00-04:00