Tag Archives: School of Library and Information Science

Research, Jazz and a Doctorate Degree: Q&A with a Ph.D. Student

OmerMeet Omer Farooq, a doctoral student in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). Farooq completed the master’s program in SLIS in 2012 and remained a Golden Flash to pursue his doctoral degree. In our Q&A, Farooq talked about his research, his experience teaching and his favorite local Kent restaurants.

Q: What is your educational background?
A: I went to Ohio State University for my undergrad in psychology. Go Bucks! I finished my Master in Library and Information Science from Kent State while in Columbus.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a doctoral degree?
A: Throughout my master’s program I had a wonderful advisor, Dr. Miriam Matteson, and she involved me in a few research projects that organically developed. She was very encouraging in that aspect. Then I decided to apply for a Ph.D. program, and I got accepted with the teaching assistantship.

Q: What are your research interests, and what projects are you working on currently?
A: In a nutshell it’s how students acquire information literacy skills and how they learn to be proficient in academic research. My dissertation topic is looking at the intersection of information literacy instruction and effective learning and instructional techniques that draw from cognitive science and educational psychology. Undergraduate freshman are my research participants.

Q: How has your experience teaching been?
A: This is my second year of teaching Information Fluency in the Workplace and Beyond. I helped revise this class with a faculty member, an adjunct instructor and a couple instructional designers over the course of the summer. We’ve had this course offered to undergraduates for a while, but it was time to revise it. The information in the course was outdated. The social media spectrum has evolved, and there are new tools and platforms.

The Association of College and Research Libraries had a new guiding document for academic libraries titled Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We looked at the course in light of what are the knowledge practices undergrads should be able to do in terms of information seeking behavior, information needs and information use. It was an interesting and rewarding experience at the same time.

Q: When you find free time, what sorts of things do you like to do?
A: I like listening to music. I play the guitar, but I haven’t really had time to play like I used to. I’ve been listening to a lot of early jazz like Soft Machine and Indian saxophonist Vijay Iyer. Also, my wife and I like to explore new places to eat. Some of our favorite places are Wild Goats, because they have great discounts, and Ray’s Place.

Q: Do you have a dream job?
A: I like to see myself in a lot of different positions. For me, an important thing is the institutional culture of people. Good culture and good colleagues that help support what you do. That really is how it started for me. The important thing in a dream job is that nurturing cultivating factor where you have good support on top and good support laterally.

by Elline Concepcion

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.”

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.”

How to Survive the Beginning of the Semester

Stack of Books

By Britney Beaman

Let’s face it, the days consisting of sleeping in, hanging out with friends, going out and having delicious holiday meals are over. It’s time to get back into our school routines, and sometimes, it’s a hard adjustment.

Since the first couple weeks can be just as nerve-racking as the final weeks of the semester, I’m going to give you all some tips for how to make the adjustment back to school a little easier.

Tip #5: Buy an agenda. I don’t care what anyone says, an agenda is necessary in college. It’ll be especially helpful to have one in the beginning of the semester when you are trying to adjust to new classes and the groove of the semester.

Tip #4: Manage your time wisely. Poor time management is going to lead to poor work. You’ll do your best work when you don’t procrastinate. Take a look at Maria Pascucci’s expertise about time management. She’s the author and founder of Campus Calm, a website and book dedicated to making college less stressful.

Tip #3: Get some sleep. Pascucci mentioned this in her blog as well, but I can’t stress this enough. Your work load is usually the smallest during this time in the semester. Take advantage of it by going to bed at a decent time and getting sleep. I’ve learned from experience that the more regular my sleep patterns are, the more productive (and happy!) I am.

Tip #2: Join student clubs and organizations. This is a great way to make friends and gain experience that will help you after college & it’ll look good on a resume, too! The College of Communication & Information has great opportunities including anything from student media to national societies. If you are not familiar with these opportunities, below you can find informational links about different organizations to get involved with.
JMC Opportunites
– COMM Opportunities: Kent Communication Society and Lambda Pi Eta
SLIS Opportunities
VCD Special Programs
The Tannery

Tip #1: Enjoy it! Yes, it can be a bummer going back to class after break, but your years here at Kent State University are limited. Figure out how to manage school with friends because you won’t always live on the same campus as them. As a senior, time has gone by incredibly fast. I used to wish my time away because all I wanted to do was graduate, but now that I graduate in May, I wish I had more time here at school with my friends. What’s the point if you’re not enjoying your learning experience, anyway?

So, there are my five tips that I think you might find helpful in surviving these first couple weeks. If you have any other helpful tips, please let us know! Good luck with your semester!

Britney Beaman is a senior public relations major and a marketing assistant for the College of Communication and Information.

Information Architecture and Knowledge Management to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

By Nicole Gennarelli

The Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) program will celebrate its 10th anniversary this November.

IAKM takes a holistic approach to how knowledge is managed, interpreted and retained through the graduate program’s three concentrations: knowledge management, user experience design and health informatics. The program is administered by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and is designed to keep students informed of new information skills that will help them find career opportunities that are relatively new yet growing — and are highly in demand.

The Master of Science in IAKM originated as an interdisciplinary program with partners from the schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science, Communication Studies and Visual Communication Design, along with the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management and the Department of Computer Science.

“It was and is a truly innovative program that strived to anticipate new roles for information professionals,” saidThomas Froehlich, Ph.D., IAKM founder and former program director. “It has done so quite successfully, though at the beginning it was challenging to encourage applicants to sign up for fields that were just emerging and for which there were few job ads. Yet, there were many students who, upon searching the Internet for a good program to suit their interests, happened upon the IAKM site and knew they had found an educational home.”

The original concentrations were in information use, information architecture and knowledge management. In keeping with the evolution of the information professions, the concentrations now are user experience design (which encompasses usability and information architecture), knowledge management and health informatics, a new concentration that started this year. In addition to offering the M.S., IAKM also offers certificate programs in these concentrations.

“The program was designed to be innovative, progressive and adaptive, and in its 10-year existence, it has changed courses, curricula and requirements in response to the dynamic and changing environment for the need for information professionals,” Froehlich said. “The number of students enrolled in the program has been growing steadily, and the program is poised to rapidly increase enrollments in each of the concentrations, mainly due to the concentration advisers and their plans and realizations. Leadership has evolved to the advisers in each concentration: Denise Bedford, Ph.D., in Knowledge Management; David Robins, Ph.D., and Karl Fast, Ph.D., in User Experience Design; and Professor Michael Bice in Health Informatics. They all have considerable expertise in their respective fields and can lead these concentrations to maturity.”

Richard Rubin, Ph.D., associate provost for extended education who served as SLIS director from 1999 to 2010, attributes much of the program’s success to Froehlich.

“Dr. Froehlich’s energy and commitment made IAKM possible,” Rubin said. “During my time as director, I strongly supported IAKM’s work. SLIS has also enthusiastically supported IAKM with both fiscal and human resources.”

IAKM was ahead of the curve in recognizing the need for both knowledge managers and information architects, Rubin said.

“Although it had a relatively slow start, it now has substantial enrollments as the need for such individuals has become apparent in the workplace,” he said. “Over the years, the curriculum has changed as the needs for such individuals have changed, and its contemporary curriculum makes it highly desirable for those going into the field. IAKM is a tremendous interdisciplinary asset to the university community.”

James Gaudino, Ph.D., former dean of the College of Communication and Information who is now president of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., remembers IAKM as a cutting-edge program with the potential to gain an international presence.

“I saw it as a practical extension of changes in information and communication sciences generated by digital technologies,” he said. “I was particularly impressed by its interdisciplinary breadth and its attractiveness to a broad range of professions. Without question, it held the potential of providing a framework to integrating the disciplinary and professional program that were the basis of the college.”

Being at the leading edge of such a pioneering program at Kent State has been challenging and rewarding, Froehlich said.

“One of the greatest pleasures of the program is to see how many graduates have found successful and prestigious jobs, mainly because they were creative, energetic and hard-working persons,” he said. “The program became a vehicle for them to shine, making the program look good and attracting more employers. A program is known by its graduates and if the IAKM program sparkles, it is due to the aura created by its graduates.”

The graduates – along with Froehlich – will be the focus of the 10th anniversary celebration reception, said Don Wicks, Ph.D., SLIS interim director. “We’re delighted to honor Dr. Froehlich’s leadership, without which IAKM might not exist. And we look forward to welcoming back some of our alums, including our first ever IAKM alumnus of the year.”

The reception will take place on Nov. 29 in Rm. 330 of the Kent State University Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. RSVP athttp://bit.ly/iakm10th-rsvp.

Nicole is a senior public relations major and a marketing assistant for the College of Communication and Information.

Students Relate Health Informatics to Careers

By Nicole Gennarelli

Students in the health informatics program at Kent State University are seeing the long-term benefits it can have on their career.

Health informatics is a new concentration in the Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) program in the School of Library and Information Science.

According to the IAKM website, “Health informatics (HI) is the science that defines how health information is captured, analyzed, transmitted and managed. It focuses on information systems, informatics principles and information technology as it is applied to the continuum of health care delivery. This integrated discipline features specialty domains in management science, management engineering principles, health care delivery and public health, patient safety, information science and computer technology.”

Rachel Helbing
Rachel Helbing

Rachel Helbing, who obtained a Master of Library Science (M.L.I.S) from Kent State in 2007, said health informatics seemed like a perfect fit for her background.

“I worked in community mental health for two years after earning a degree in psychology from Miami University. I am currently the community health librarian for Barberton Public Library’s branch at Summa Barberton Hospital. Health informatics brings together my major interests of mental health and information,” she said. Helbing recently completed Professor Michael Bice’s Health Informatics Management class.

Health Information Management, one of the first courses in the health informatics sequence, covers planning, selection, deployment, management of electronic medical records (EMR), management decision-support and tracking systems (DSS) and other health information technologies (HIT).

Charles Trunick
Charles Trunick

Chuck Trunick, clinical research informaticist at a large local health system, is also in the Health Informatics Management class. He said this course has provided him with a broad view of the healthcare landscape and how it is evolving every day.

“I have been a successful information sciences and implementation professional with many industries for more than 30 years,” Trunick said. “I desired a formal education to learn about other perspectives of health informatics in addition to my current experiences.  I believe this program will provide me with updated skills and help me learn other methods and approaches, achieve academic credentialsrecognized by the healthcare industry and open doors to other institutions to contribute to my ‘know-how’ learned and experienced over time.”

Joan King
Joan King

Joan King, a registered nurse for more than 30 years, said the health informatics program is “phenomenal.” She loves that she can advance her career by getting a health informatics certificate with 18 graduate hours, and then go on to obtain a master’s degree using 12 of those hours. The certificate allows her to get into the field sooner as she continues her school work.

“The past five to 10 years of change regarding the impact of health information technology has fascinated me,” King said. “This is the first online class I have taken, and I was concerned about classroom interaction, but our class discussions are phenomenal. I have learned so much through the lectures, readings and discussions. The government involvement with electronic health records is so encompassing. Through the discussions, it’s interesting to see how the government’sinvolvement will impact the adoption of the EHR either negatively or positively. This class has expanded my concept of what the EHR means to institutions, physician offices, clinicians, the patient and the delivery of health care.”

Michael Bice
Michael Bice

Michael O. Bice, Kent State professor and former health care executive, leads the HI program. He said the program appeals mainly to physicians, nurses and other professionals already working in health care.

“One look at the headlines will tell you that health informatics professionals are in great demand across the country, and will continue to be needed as Federal initiatives for electronic health information networks are implemented,” Bice said.

Bice added that the demographics of the first class are impressive: 58 percent have an RN degree; the average health care experience is 15 years; and most of the students are direct care givers or middle managers. Two students are in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and three are MSN/MBA students. The largest contingent of students is from the Cleveland Clinic, followed by the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and Akron General Medical Center.

For more information, visit www.kent.edu/healthIT.

Nicole is a senior public relations major and a marketing assistant for the College of Communication and Information.