Category Archives: School of Library and Information Science

CCI Offers Wide Array of Summer Courses

Summer sessions at Kent State give students the opportunity to get some classes out of the way and to catch up, get ahead or stay on track to graduate.  While some students might cringe at the thought of taking summer classes, others take advantage of the chance to complete a few courses in six or eight weeks as opposed to the fifteen-week semester during the school year.

This summer, the College of Communication and Information is offering over 30 courses that span across all four schools: Communication Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication, Library & Information Science and Visual Communication Design. Courses are offered both in-person and online, giving students the option to choose the best learning environment for their needs. CCI is offering courses at all levels, from 10000-level introductory classes to 40000-level senior seminars. Don’t think these courses are all work and no play; JMC is offering summer film courses about Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, and zombie movies.

There are three summer sessions with courses offered during each session. Summer I runs June 9 – July 12, lasting six weeks; Summer II runs June 9 – August 2, lasting eight weeks; and Summer III runs July 14 – August 16, lasting six weeks. The last day to add courses for Summer I is tomorrow, Thursday, June 12, so be sure to sign up now if you are interested in taking a CCI course this summer!


Students taking notes in Professor Jan Leach’s Ethics and Issues in Mass Communication summer class

“What’s Real? Investigating Multimodality”: A Collaborative Exhibit

By Autaum Hollinger

What’s real? That’s the question undergraduate and graduate students are exploring for a class project that will culminate in an exhibit in the MuseLab in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) on the third floor of the University Library.

The exhibit is scheduled to open on Thursday, May 1, 2014, with an hors d’oeuvres reception from 7 to 8 p.m. All are welcome, but an RSVP is requested.

The “What’s Real?” project involves five integrated teams of seven or eight students each, who are enrolled either in the “Packaging, Promotion and Retail Environments” or “Interaction Design: Spaces and Systems” courses in the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD) or the “Object Knowledge” course in SLIS. Participants will conceptualize, design, build and install the exhibit in seven weeks.

“The focal point for the exhibit will be a top hat, each group viewing it through the lens of a particular modality – sound, movement, touch or text,” SLIS Assistant Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., said. “Each team will have a space in MuseLab to focus on their assigned modality and to explore what’s real, or what they perceive as real, in an environment.” Latham teaches the Object Knowledge course and coordinates the museum studies specialization in SLIS.

Latham said she has been working on this project since September 2013 with Visual Communication Design (VCD) faculty members Jessica Barness, assistant professor, who teaches the Interaction Design course, and David Middleton,Ph.D., associate professor, who teaches Retail Environments. While each instructor had a different reason for pursuing this project, based on the focus of his or her teaching, all three shared an interest in the opportunity for collaboration between the departments and the hands-on experience and portfolio-building for the students.

Patrick Lowden, a VCD junior in the Interaction Design class, said his goal in signing up for this course was to get some experience that is unlike anything he has gotten in other classes.

“Being able to design around an exhibit or space was something I really wanted to do because I haven’t done that before,” he said. He added that having all five exhibits in one space “forces us to streamline our ideas to fit them into the allocated space.”

Each group will use a variety of media to engage visitors who come to the exhibit. Latham, Middleton and Barness presented their classes with a topic that would allow the students to explore the how in addition to the what of an exhibit. For this exhibit the what is the top hat, and the how are the different modalities (sound, movement, touch or text).

“A top hat is lighthearted enough that we could accomplish this in seven weeks without having students spend enormous amounts of research to hone in on the topic. The top hat reaches into various parts of our culture and our world. It proved to be an interesting, enjoyable thing to work with.”

At the center of the exhibit is an actual top hat borrowed from the Portage County Historical Society.

“The top hat focus has made things very interesting. It’s an abstract and almost forgotten type of relic,” Lowden said. “You don’t really see people wearing top hats anymore. Doing research on the history of top hats has been really interesting for me, and trying to design around something you have no experience with has been challenging but fun. In my group, ‘movement,’ we are trying to have an interactive piece, all about the movement of the top hat through dance.”

Before opening to the public, the exhibit will be evaluated by a jury made up of design and museum professionals: Jim Engelmann, Exhibition Designer, Design and Architecture, The Cleveland Museum of Art; Kevin Fromet, Design Consultant, Studio Graphique; Jake Kellogg, Senior Art Director, Point to Point, Inc.; Christopher Seeds, Interactive Designer, Findaway World; Natalie Ata, Instructor, Kent State University, and Designer, CraftLab Design; Reggie Tabora, Group Creative Director, Rosetta; and Kimberly A. Kenney, Curator, McKinley Presidential Library & Museum.

“What’s Real?” will be on exhibit in the MuseLab through Dec. 10, 2014. The lab is open to visitors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the academic school year, and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment during the summer.

Latham said, “The MuseLab is a component of the Museum Studies specialization in the School of Library and Information Science, but it can be used by students, faculty, researchers, members of the community, the creative community, museum people in practice — who can all come in and try out things they wouldn’t normally be able to do. It’s truly a space for experimentation and collaboration.”

Photo #1: VCD student Joe Wathen uses the MuseLab vinyl printer.
Photo #2: VCD students Danya Dargham (left) and Lauren Haase work on their exhibit for “What’s Real? Investigating Multimodality.”

Alumna Earns Spot in Top 10 of “I Love My Librarian” Awards

School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) alumna Holly Camino, M.L.S. ’96, was chosen as one of 10 winners of the 2013 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times  I Love My Librarian Award.

Camino, originally from Medina, Ohio, graduated from Ohio University in 1995 with a degree in sociology. She began working at the Medina Library at 16 years old as a page in the children’s room.

“I enjoyed working there and went on to work as a student assistant at Alden Library while at Ohio University,” Camino said. “On summer breaks I would work at the Medina Library. When I was about to graduate, I knew that I needed to pursue a master’s degree, but wasn’t exactly sure in what field.  My supervisor at the time, Cindy Lombardo, suggested I go to library school because she felt I would be good at it. It seemed like a good choice, and it definitely was the right one for me.”

Camino has held a range of library positions after obtaining her Master of Library Science (M.L.S.), and is currently manager of Buckeye Library in Medina where she oversees the day-to-day operations of the branch and staff. She also leads the Author Event committee, Adult Team, which is responsible for making sure that the system is addressing the needs of staff and patrons in regards to adult services, and is involved in several strategic planning efforts.

“Besides being surrounded by books, I really enjoy the interaction with our patrons, many of whom I know because I grew up in the area and graduated from Buckeye High School, across the street from the library,” she said.

Camino was nominated for the I Love My Librarian Award by a teen who has visited Buckeye Library after school for the past five years because he needed a place to go.

“I received a voicemail message from Maureen Sullivan from the American Library Association, and I had no idea what it was about, but just had to call her back,” Camino said. “When she told me I won the award, I couldn’t believe it. It was just the most awesome news!”

Camino, her husband and parents all flew to New York last December to attend the awards reception hosted by The New York Times.

“It was an amazing time, and the event was lovely,” she said. “It is nice to be recognized for the hard work that my staff and I do. It has been a very exciting time, and I just feel honored to have been selected.”

Camino’s advice for students wanting to pursue a career in library science – go for it!

“Don’t limit yourselves by what you think you want to do in libraries,” she said. “Take different classes, visit different kinds of libraries, and take any kind of experience you can get. Taking different paths has led me to where I am today.”

Student Spends Time in China During International Course Weeks

By Nicole Gennarelli

School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) student David Mease interacted with students and professors from around the world this summer while attending The Sichuan University International Course Weeks program at Sichuan University (SCU) in Chengdu, China.

According to a CNN article, as of July 1, 2013, Chengdu’s population was 14 million people and growing. Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan Province located in Southwest China. In the West, the city is surrounded by the Qionglai Mountains and sits at the edge of the Sichuan Basin. According to Sichuan University’s website, there are more than 40,000 undergraduate students, 20,000 master’s students and Ph.D. candidates, and 1,000 foreign students. Students from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan also attend the university.

Mease, a SLIS student with a concentration in information science and a focus on user experience design and information application and system design, is pursuing his degree at the SLIS location in Columbus (State Library of Ohio) and plans to graduate in spring 2014.

This past summer, he traveled to Chengdu from June 27 to July 21 to take classes, learn about different cultures and China’s history, and travel the region. The Sichuan University International Courses Week is largely funded by SCU, one of the largest universities in China, Mease said.

“SCU invites a limited number of universities from around the world, and Kent State was one of the schools chosen this past year,” he said. “The invited schools then nominate a group of students and a group of professors, from which a number are then selected and invited to come for the three-week program in Chengdu, China.”

Mease was able to select from a wide range of courses taught by different professors from around the world. He took two courses, Chemistry from Ancient Religious Texts taught by Dr. Jason J. Chruma of SCU and Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs taught by Professor George Bigham of Kent State. Mease was also able to engage with Chinese students in SCU-hosted discussions and debates on topics such as world history, politics and economics.

“This was such a valuable trip in relation to my interest in information science,” Mease said. “One of the Chinese graduate assistants did a great job setting up contacts and interesting discussions for me with several computer science students from SCU. We talked about their current research and how it related to semantic analysis and knowledge management. I am looking forward to the possibility of working with them on future projects.”

When Mease first found out about this study abroad program, he couldn’t believe it; it sounded too good to be true.

“I thought visiting one of the world’s oldest cultures and now one of the largest and growing economies would be an amazing opportunity,” he said. “To be immersed in Chinese culture, to learn with some of the top Chinese students, and to make relationships with faculty and students for future projects − how could I pass that up? My only concern was that I wouldn’t be chosen, considering how many people I expected to apply for the program.”

In addition to the courses and conversations, two of Mease’s favorite activities were visiting the Sichuan Panda Base and the Dujiangyan irrigation system.

“Giant pandas are native to the Sichuan region, and the trip to see them at the Sichuan Panda Base was fun,” he said. “Another highlight was our trip to the Dujiangyan irrigation system. It is a massive earthwork that controls flood waters and irrigation to the whole region. At more than 2,000 years old, it’s amazing that it’s still in use, and largely with the original design.”

Based on this travel experience, Mease is really looking forward to finding new projects on which to collaborate with some of the students and faculty he met in China.

“With my work in business and areas of interest in the SLIS program, the opportunity to see how culture, education and business in China operate was very valuable,” Mease said. “It was surprising to me how the people, and specifically the widespread entrepreneurial culture, are so similar to the United States.”

School of Library and Information Science to Double its Space with Expansion

By Nicole Gennarelli

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is currently undergoing a 14,000-square-foot renovation to expand and double its space for teaching, research and student services.

In 1970, the school moved into its current offices on the third floor of the then-new library, with six faculty members, two staff members and 100 students. More than 40 years later, the school has grown to 22 faculty members, 11 staff members and more than 650 students at locations on the Kent Campus, at the SLIS site in the State Library of Ohio in Columbus and online.

The space being remodeled is on the third floor of the library and was previously used by Audio Visual Services. The remodeling is being completed in two phases. Phase 1 involves the full renovation of the former Audio Visual Services space (14,000 square feet), and Phase 2 involves the renovation of the existing SLIS space (approximately 12,000 square feet). The construction began in December 2012 and will be completed by June 2013.

“By 2010 SLIS had totally run out of space,” said SLIS Associate Professor Greg Byerly, Ph.D. “There were not enough offices for faculty or staff. Some faculty members were assigned to Ph.D. carrels on the library’s fifth floor, while some staff members were located at counters or in rooms that had previously been closets.”

In May 2010, a proposal was made to the Provost to expand SLIS into the Audio Visual Services space. SLIS then participated in the library remodeling planning process that was completed by the Office of the University Architect from May to September 2010.

“The end result of all this construction and remodeling will be a new SLIS,” Byerly said. “The immediate need for offices for faculty and staff will be met. All faculty members will have individual offices. Graduate assistants will have assigned work areas with desks, file cabinets, tables, etc., and there will be offices available for adjunct faculty, grant coordinators and visiting scholars. In addition, SLIS will have offices and rooms for further expansion of its faculty and staff.”

Students will benefit from the renovated space as well. The main office will be more centrally located to better support students, and they will have access to research labs where they can work alongside faculty in designated areas.

“SLIS is not just a ‘library school,’” Byerly said. “In addition to educating librarians, SLIS offers specializations, and in some cases separate degrees, in museum studies, knowledge management, information architecture, particularly user experience design, and health informatics. This construction will permit these areas to continue to expand and will provide the needed infrastructure to support them.”

The expansion of the school will also allow for expansion of the area for the Marantz Picturebook Collection in the Reinberger Children’s Library Center. The Reinberger Center, which opened in 2003, combines a classroom inside of a children’s library. The Marantz Picturebook Collection contains more than 25,000 picturebooks donated to SLIS by Ken and Sylvia Marantz in 2007.

“The current construction project includes a second physical expansion of the Reinberger Center to include a rare books room to preserve and secure some of the valuable picture books in the Marantz Collection,” Byerly said.

While the construction is going on, it will have little effect on students and classes this semester. The biggest phase of the renovation is remodeling the new space, which can be done first. Also, because SLIS offers many specializations online, there is no need to add classrooms at the moment.

“The project outcome will clearly be for the better,” said SLIS Director Tomas Lipinski, Ph.D. “We’re looking forward to an expanded state-of-the-art working and learning space. It’s my hope that it will be a showpiece for the campus and for Library and Information Science schools.”

School of Library and Information Science Hosts Visiting Scholar from University of Barcelona

By Megan Grdina

Cristobal Urbano has always been fascinated with books and how they can change one’s perspective on life. Now, he is interested in how libraries should manage ebook collections.

“I remember when I was 12, in the back of the classroom there were many books,” he said. “I think the book is an object that attracts many people.”

Urbano is a visiting scholar from Barcelona, Spain. He teaches at the University of Barcelona where his expertise is library and information science (“information and documentation” as it is called in Spain), with particular interest in information sources and services. He is also an active researcher.

Urbano is observing four classes and doing research at Kent State this fall. These courses include: Digital Libraries, Selection of Library Materials, Research Methods and Metadata Architecture and Implementation. He finds all of them interesting but is drawn to metadata architecture because the class is face-to-face.

“Kent State has a strong faculty, if you link that strength with their research in digital libraries and the building of digital collections,” Urbano said. “I have to take advantage of the materials they teach and research.”

He is focused on what collaborations and connections he can make at Kent State to support his research in building library collaboration and consortia in El Salvador. He has been talking to faculty at Kent State, as well as faculty in Latin America, so his research in e-collections, metric studies and the use of information will be enhanced.

“It is important to look at the big picture,” Urbano said. “I want to know the feeling librarians have here about the evolution of ebooks in library collections.” He hopes to conduct a survey in Ohio, as well as in Barcelona, to compare these feelings.

Urbano is living with SLIS/IAKM Professor Tom Froehlich, Ph.D., during his stay in America. Froehlich is assisting Urbano during this experience at Kent State.

“I’ve known Cristobal since 2005, when I was invited on my sabbatical to teach at the University of Barcelona,” Froehlich said.

The University of Barcelona is beginning to teach courses in English to enhance its curriculum and to make its courses available to a broader audience in different countries, including the United States. This is one reason why Urbano wanted to come to the United States.

“Cristobal wants to improve his English, do research in digital libraries and meet with faculty,” Froehlich said.

It is always interesting to learn about other cultures and integrate them, according to Urbano. Urbano said there are plenty of differences between Kent and Barcelona. One difference is student life. Students live in dormitories here, but there is no such thing as living on campus at the University of Barcelona.

“It is very different, but the most outstanding difference is that Kent State is one university with a large green environment,” Urbano said. “We do not have a campus; we just have different buildings around the city.”

Urbano knows he’ll gain knowledge during this research semester and enjoys this life-changing experience.

“As a School of Library and Information Science professor, you have to have a broad culture, and I think to know what is happening here in this country is important,” Urbano said. “This experience will help me to become more fluent in English and to have a better understanding of the United States market for ebooks.”

WHYCCI Summer Classes?

By Britney Beaman

As the semester is coming to an end, it’s not a bad idea to register for summer classes. I know the last thing you probably want to think about is another class right now, but enrolling in a summer class or two isn’t a bad idea. Why you ask?

  1. Make hard classes easier: Taking a tough class in the summer will make the class easier for a couple reasons. One, you won’t (unless you choose to) have as many classes to juggle as you would during a regular semester. This gives you much more time to study and focus on the class or classes you’re taking. Two, summer classes are condensed courses, so you won’t have to spend as many weeks in that course as you would during a regular semester.
  2. Graduate on time: If you don’t want load up on classes during your semesters, summer classes can help you to graduate in four years. That’s what I ended up doing, and it really helped me out. Each regular semester I took 15 credit hours of class and almost every summer I took a summer class or two. I will earn my Bachelor’s degree in four years and never had a semester over-loaded with credits.
  3. Move ahead in your major:  If you choose to take LERs and LSRs in the summer, you’ll have less non-major classes to take during your semesters. As I said before, condensed courses make the classes easier on you, and if you get these classes out of the way, you can move on quicker in your major. This way, too, you won’t have to take as many of these classes as an upper-classman.
  4. Improve your GPA: This is another aspect of summer classes that I took advantage of. After a long semester of 12-plus credit hours, taking one or two courses is cake. You have all the time you need to study, do your homework and get a good grade in the class. It’s a great way to improve your GPA a little.
  5. Maintain school mode: After a long summer, the first couple weeks of the fall semester can be rough. I know it is for me. I always feel like I don’t remember how to write, I can’t focus and I can’t manage my time, nor do I want to. When you take summer classes, though, you maintain school mode without much stress. Just taking a couple classes at a time is easy and keeps your work ethic polished for the full semester to come.

Summer classes are open for registering now. Below you can find some classes that are offered for students in the College of Communication and Information:

School of Communication Studies

– COMM 15000 Intro to Human Communication: An inquiry into the nature and function of human communication in interpersonal, group and public contexts.

– COMM 26001 Public Communication in Society: Examines communication in public settings. Content includes issues in mass media, political communication and political advertising, news, crisis communication, public opinion and communication in executive, legislative and judicial settings. Students explore the influence of mediated messages via application of mass communication theories and constructs.

– COMM 30000 Communication Research Methods: Introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication. Students should complete this course early in their program of study.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

– JMC 20006 Multimedia Techniques: Introduction to basic elements of multimedia journalistic storytelling, including the creation of audio, video, slideshows and multimedia packages for distribution via the Internet.

– JMC 21001 Principles of Advertising: Advertising history, purposes, techniques, media and research; analysis of functions of advertising organizations.

– JMC 40006 Law of Mass Communication: Libel, slander, privacy, copyright, obscenity, regulation of advertising, broadcasting and corporate speech.

School of Library and Information Science

– LIS 30010 Information Fluency in the Work Place and Beyond: Teaches information access, technology and media literacy skills, which enables students to become, not only information literate, but also information fluent-able to move seamlessly among multiple information sources and technologies resources to fill their informational needs whether in the classroom or the workplace.

– LIS 50693 Open Source Software for Libraries: Maximum workshop credit accepted for MLIS degree is 4 semester hours. Intensive examination of special topics of interest to practicing librarians.

– LIS 60001 Access to Information: Examination of information access issues. Topics include discussion of information needs, use of information sources and information access services.

School of Visual Communication Design

– VCD 13000 Intro to Visual Communication Design I: Introduction to the design and illustration program in VCD as well as the design profession. Focus on historical overview, industry standards, job opportunities, creative design process and skills needed to succeed.

– VCD 28000 Photography: Basic camera techniques to provide a better understanding of photography as a creative skill in visual communication.

– VCD 37000 Visual Design for Media Advanced: A lab course which students apply design concepts to computer-generated communication pieces using a layout software program. May not be used toward degree requirements for VCD majors.

For more information about these or other classes offered this summer, visit