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Simmons College Names New Dean of Graduate School of Library and Information Science

BOSTON (March 27, 2013) — Simmons College has named Eileen G. Abels, Ph.D., a longtime library and information science practitioner and educator with a specialty in digital reference education and remote reference services, as the new dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS). Her appointment begins July 1.

Former Simmons GSLIS Dean Michèle Cloonan served 10 years as dean, and will continue her scholarly work at Simmons as a researcher and professor, specializing in the preservation of cultural heritage and book trade history.

Dr. Abels has spent more than 30 years in the library and information science field, including positions as a research associate, information specialist, professor, and academic administrator. She is currently Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor at The iSchool, College of Information Science and Technology, at Drexel University in Philadelphia; and President of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), a national forum for library educators to share ideas, discuss issues, and seek solutions to common problems.

"We are proud to welcome Dr. Abels to Simmons, and look forward to the strong leadership and vision she will provide for our library and information science programs," said Simmons College Provost Charlena Seymour.

At Drexel, in addition to her other responsibilities, Dr. Abels oversees the ipl2, a digital library that resulted from the merger of the Internet Public Library and the Librarian's Internet Index. Prior to joining the faculty at Drexel in 2007, Dr. Abels spent more than 15 years at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and taught courses in reference services, information access, access in electronic environments, access to business information, and digital reference. She has extensive experience in both classroom and online teaching, and her research focuses on digital reference education and remote reference services. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Abels held a variety of library and information science positions working as a business information specialist at the Boston Consulting Group, as a business librarian at Price Waterhouse's Washington National Tax Service, and as Director of the Library System at the Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas in Mexico. She has published widely in the area of reference services, including a book, conference papers, and journal articles. She is the co-author of Business Information Needs and Strategies.

Dr. Abels received her BA from Clark University, MLS from the University of Maryland, and her Ph.D. from UCLA. She is the recipient of the 2007 Special Libraries Association Rose L. Vormelker Award, the 2008 ASIS&T Thomas Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award, and the 2012 ALISE Award for Professional Contribution to Library and Information Science Education.

Simmons GSLIS has a strong academic reputation and is among the nation's top 10 schools of library and information studies as determined by the last three rankings from U.S.News & World Report, including the most recent 2014 edition. It is the only library and information science school in New England to be ranked in this category.

Founded in 1902, Simmons GSLIS is one of the country's oldest library and information science programs. With campuses in Boston and South Hadley, Mass., the school has 750 students in master's and doctoral degree programs, and has a network of approximately 9,000 alumni worldwide.

As the Simmons GSLIS Dean, Dr. Abels will maintain and advance the school's strong national stature, its top 10 U.S.News ranking, and its impact on the community and profession. The GSLIS dean provides leadership and resources towards fulfillment of the school's mission, goals, and objectives, and is a key member of the leadership team of Simmons College, working closely with the President, Provost, and other deans. Follow Simmons GSLIS on Twitter @SimmonsGSLIS.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, and library and information science Simmons also houses the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.

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